Tradewinds – Veteran Louis cruiseship sold to Dubai cash buyer

(Written by Jonathan Boonzaier)

13 March 2013 - Cypriot cruise operator Louis Cruises has sold another of its older cruiseships for scrap.

Dubai-based cash buyer Argo Systems FZE has bought the 11,200-gt The Calypso (built 1967) from Limassol-based Louis.

Shipping databases show that the long-laid-up ship has been renamed Caly, while sources on the Piraeus waterfront indicate it is being prepared for a one-way voyage to the Indian subcontinent for recycling.

The Calypso is one of the last of the elderly cruiseships that once formed the backbone of the Louis fleet. In recent years, the company has sent a raft of these older ships to the breakers as it invested in newer tonnage built in the 1980s and 1990s.

The sale of The Calypso leaves Louis with only one ship of similar vintage in service, the 15,800-gt Orient Queen (built 1968), which is programmed for a lengthy series of Mediterranean cruises this year.

The company has one other vintage vessel, the 14,200-gt Coral (built 1971), in layup in Greece.

Louis acquired The Calypso at auction in late 1999. It was built as an Italian ropax ferry and bounced around between various Mediterranean and Red Sea ferry operators before it was bought by Lelakis-controlled Regency Cruises in 1993 and underwent an extensive rebuild into a cruiseship.