Flashback to Vasco Da Gama
The ship however was the Vasco Da Gama, built as the Infante Dom Henrique in Belgium in 1961, for service with Companhia Colonial de Navegacao of Portugal. The ship was 23,000GRT and carried 1018 passengers. The ship was built for service to the Portuguese colonies, until 1975. Sold in 1976 for service as a floating hotel in Sines, Portugal, as part of a wider economic development, which stalled, leading to the ship having very few visitors.
In 1988 the ship was purchased by Trans World Cruises, the ship was quickly refurbished and entered service on charter to German tour operator Neckerman, however engine problems and a collision caused the cancellation of the charter. This is when I believe that the ship was chartered to Ambassador Cruises, when my grandparents were onboard. They where doing an itinerary that included Egypt and Israel, but if you can shed anymore light onto the cruise please get in contact (Facebook, Twitter & Liam@crociere.co.uk).
I have heard suggestions that Ambassador Cruises later became Festival Cruises (Covered in this Article). However it would be great if you knew more about the company.
When, as a child, I asked my Nan and Grandad if they would ever go on a cruise they always said not again, my Grandad was uneasy at seeing the warships in certain ports, and my Nan disliked a floating walkway that was attached to the ship at one port (Pictured). I have taken the opportunity to share some of their photos with you of what the cruise was like, Any of the pictures you click will get bigger! There are more pictures available on our Facebook.
Around 13 years later my Nan & Grandad saw the ship again, laid up following the collapse of Premier Cruises (Covered in this Article). This time the ship had a blue hull and was destined for the scrapyard, but still had the classic line that made her recognisable, my Nan said it was sad that the ship looked so empty sitting on an outer part of the Harbour.
I think if my Nan & Grandad were still alive they would give cruising another chance, especially with the size of the Allure and Oasis of the Seas, However as fans of Walt Disney World I think perhaps they would be tempted in going on a Disney Cruise with the whole family.
The ship became the Seawind Crown in 1995 for Seawind Cruise Line, it was successful with these cruises and soon merged with Dolphin Cruise Line, acquiring Premier, and finally operating under Premier Cruise Line. During the ships final season it was chartered to Pullmantur. Following the collapse of Premier, Pullmantur tried to buy the vessel but ended up acquiring Oceanic, and quickly expanded in the Spanish cruise market, soon being acquired by Royal Caribbean. In 2004 the Seawind Crown was scrapped in China, thus ending an interesting career.
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