Cruise ship season 2016 continued on Friday with the arrival of the M/V Boudicca of the Fred. Olsen Cruise Line. Constructed in 1973 in the Wärtsilä Helsinki Shipyard, Helsinki, Finland, she has served many owners and operators in the last 40+ years.
Length: 205.5 metres
Beam: 25.2 metres
Weight: 28,388 tonnes
Draught: 7.5 metres
Speed: 22 knots
First, from 1973-1991 she sailed with the Royal Viking Line as M/V Royal Viking Sky. Registered in Norway, she sailed various routes worldwide before being sold to Norwegian Cruise Line and renamed M/V Sunward in 1991. Her career there was brief, and she was sold to Birka Cruises in 1992, renamed the M/V Birka Queen and put on the Baltic Sea route. In 1993, Birka chartered her to Princess Cruises with the new name M/V Golden Princess. When Princess Cruises received a new vessel in 1997, they returned the ship to Birka, who sold her to Star Cruises. She was then renamed SuperStar Capricorn.
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After a year sailing with Star Cruises, she was chartered to Hyundai Merchant Marine and renamed Hyundai Keumgang. Her new route (very short lived) was to cruise between South and North Korea. This endeavour proved to be a bit complicated, as you might have guessed, and by 2001 had failed completely. She returned to Star Cruises and continued to sail under their ownership until 2003.
Sold to Vlajes Iberojet (now Iberocruceros) and renamed the M/V Grand Latino in 2003, she offered cruises around the world, leaving from Spain. In 2005, she was sold one final time, to her current owners, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. They gave her the name M/V Boudicca, after the Celtic queen who led an uprising against the Roman Empire in 60AD.
Such a strong name meant it was time for an upgrade. The Boudicca was outfitted with new engines, more passenger cabins, and overall freshened up to make her more modern and appealing. She now has spas, a library, a gym and multiple pools, six restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, and many other amenities. Her lounges and bars host lectures, talks and classes for her passengers during the day, and live entertainment in the evening. In 2010, she was moved to Liverpool, UK and continues to be based out of there now.
In January 2015, a large engine fire left Boudicca adrift off the coast of Morocco, listing and without power. The problem was corrected quickly, and the ship managed to limp into port for further repairs with no injuries reported.
St. John's was the second port of call on her 16-day "Rugged and Rural Canada" cruise. After leaving on Friday, she headed to St. Pierre et Miquelon, and will also visit Sydney, NS, Corner Brook, NL, Red Bay, NL and Belfast, UK, before returning to Liverpool.
Those of you in St. John's can look forward to seeing Boudicca again in our fine harbour on September 12th, 2016!