53-year-old cruise ship visits Funchal
Thanks to David for the photo of an unusually small and rather charming old cruise ship visiting the port of Funchal at the moment, arriving last night. According to Wikipedia, Ocean Majesty was launched as Juan March for the Madrid based ferry operator Trasmediterránea in 1966. She was the first of two near-identical Albatros-class sisters, the other being the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. During her service with her original owners, Juan March was mainly used to ferry passengers from Spain to the Balearic Islands.
In 1985 she was sold to the Sol Mediterranean and became Sol Christina. However, she was not operated long by these owners and was quickly sold to become the Kyros Star of Opale Lines. She was then sold to Majestic International Cruises, who rebuilt her from her original ferry-like form into a cruise ship, and she received her current name Ocean Majesty.
Majestic International operated her for several years until they chartered Ocean Majesty to Epirotiki in 1994, the latter company renamed her Homeric. She operated under this name operated for a year until her charter expired, and she was subsequently returned to Majestic International and named Ocean Majesty once again. Majestic International has chartered her to many different companies since 1995, most frequently to the British vacation company Page & Moy. Since 2013 she has been operated by German cruise company Hansa Touristik between May and October.
Remarkably, for such a small vessel by today’s “block of flats” cruise ships she can accommodate 621 passengers. She is scheduled to leave this evening.