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Former Aussie Cruise Ship To Become Middle East Hotel Ship.

November 9, 2020 Cruise News No Comments

According to Cruise Industry News, another victim of the COVID-19 pandemic, the former 1973 built Norwegian Star, which sailed in Australian and South Pacific waters for Norwegian Capricorn Line around 2000, but is now the Albatros, has been retired and sold to a new operator, set for a new life as a hotel ship in the Middle East.

She was one of three original Royal Viking Line vessels, the Royal Viking Sea, lengthened in a major refit on 1983 and becoming the Royal Odyssey in 1991 December and renamed the Norwegian Star in 1997, with in 1999 transferred to Australia to launch Norwegian Capricorn Line, a joint venture between Norwegian Cruise Lines and Australian interests, led by cruise visionary Sarina Bratton.

On the sad demise of Norwegian Capricorn, Norwegian Star was transferred from Australia In November 2000 to Star Cruises, laid up for some time in Malaysia, with as there was a new Norwegian Star entering service for Norwegian Cruise Lines in 2002, she was called Norwegian Star 1.

In 2002, Star Cruises decides to return the Norwegian Star 1 to her owners earlier than previously agreed, ending the charter, so she was renamed the Crown and chartered to China’s Crown Investment, with plans to use her as a gambling ship in Shanghai, but in 2003, after another short-lived venture, she returned to Europe for a Spanish Cruise Lines charter for a season in the Mediterranean as Crown Mare Nostrum.

In 2004, Crown chartered her to the German tour operator Phoenix Reisen in a long-term agreement, replacing the original Albatros, which was built in 1957.

In 2008 she was sold to MS Albatros Shipping Ltd, but with Phoenix Reisen’s charter maintained.

In 2020 as a result of COVID-19, Phoenix Reisen was forced to suspend all its cruises, with Albatros laid-up in Germany.

In October 2020, Phoenix Reisen sold the Albatros to Pick Albatros Group, which operates several hotels and resorts in Egypt, with Albatros having already departed Germany to be delivered to its new owners, and in Marine Tracker currently located near Le Havre in France.

A report edited by John Alwyn-Jones from Cruise Industry news

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