Written by Peter Knego
4 November 2015 - With a lull in the demand for steel, the shipbreaking industry in India has slowed significantly in recent months but not enough to prevent the damaged CELEBRATION from being beached at high tide on October 29 after a long delivery voyage from Freeport. CELEBRATION is the shortened delivery name for Celebration Cruise Lines’ BAHAMAS CELEBRATION, the former Color Line ferry PRINSESSE RAGNHILD of 1981, which was damaged after striking an underwater object on November 3, 2014. After repairs were deemed too costly, the ship was laid up at Freeport and eventually replaced by the 1986-built GRAND CELEBRATION, the former Carnival Cruise Lines’ CELEBRATION, which now operates on two night party cruises from West Palm Beach under the Bahamas Paradise Cruises banner.
Meanwhile, the VERONICA, which was built in 1966 as the KUNGSHOLM and later served as P&O’s first SEA PRINCESS and VICTORIA (and numerous other post P&O career names), has been sold to Indian scrap merchants. Last used at Duqm, Oman as a floating hotel, the VERONICA’s fate may not yet be sealed. There is a “Save The Kungsholm” campaign underway to bring the ship back to Sweden to be restored in a manner similar to the SS ROTTERDAM, which is enjoying a successful afterlife as a hotel ship at Rotterdam. While efforts to find a berth in the former KUNGSHOLM’s former homeport of Gothenburg or Stockholm have been difficult at best, the new need for refugee accommodation in Sweden may help save the ship. We hope to have more details on the ship’s fate soon.
The breakers in Aliaga, Turkey are making fast work of the historic Turkish liner AKDENIZ (see related stories), which was sadly delivered for demolition a few short weeks ago.
Nearby, the LISBOA, the former 1955-built refrigerated cargo ship PORT MELBOURNE that was vastly rebuilt into the deluxe cruise ship DANAE in 1975, is reaching the final stages of her demolition. She last operated as Classic International’s PRINCESS DANAE and was in the midst of a refit to become (now defunct) Portuscale Cruises’ LISBOA when work was called off due to corroded plating.