MS Thomson Spirit

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
MS Thomson Spirit at the Canary Islands in April 2005.
Name: 1984—2000: MS Nieuw Amsterdam
2000—2002: MS Patriot
2002: MS Nieuw Amsterdam
2002—2003: MS Spirit
2003 onwards: MS Thomson Spirit
Owner: 1984—2000: Holland America Line
2000—2001: American Classic Voyages
2002 onwards: Holland America Line[1]
Operator: 1989—2000: Holland America Line
2000—2001: American Classic Voyages
2003 onwards: Thomson Cruises[1]
Port of registry: 1983—1984: Willemstad, 22x20px Netherlands Antilles
1984—1997: St. Maarten, 22x20px Netherlands Antilles
1997—2000: Rotterdam,  Netherlands[1]
2000—2002: Honolulu,  United States[2]
2002—2005: Nassau,  Bahamas[1][3]
2005 onwards: Limassol,  Cyprus[4][3]
Builder: Chantiers de l'Atlantique, Saint Nazaire, France[1]
Yard number: V27[1]
Launched: 20 August 1982[1]
Acquired: July 1983[1]
In service: July 1983[5]
Identification: IMO number: 8024014[1]
Status: In service
General characteristics (as Thomson Spirit)
Type: cruise ship
Tonnage: 33,930 GRT[5][4]
Length: 214.66 m (704 ft 3 in)[5]
Beam: 27.26 m (89 ft 5 in)[5]
Draught: 7.52 m (24 ft 8 in)[5]
Decks: 10[5]
Installed power: 2 × Sulzer RLB66 diesel engines, combined 22,400 kW[1]
Propulsion: 2 propellers[5]
Speed: 21 knots (38.89 km/h; 24.17 mph)[1]
Capacity: 1350[5]
Crew: 520[5]

MS Thomson Spirit is a cruise ship owned by the Holland America Line and operated under charter by the United Kingdom-based Thomson Cruises. She was built in 1983 at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in France for Holland America Line as MS Nieuw Amsterdam.[6] Between 2000 and 2001 she sailed for United States Lines, a subsidiary of American Classic Voyages, as MS Patriot.[2] In 2002 she returned under Holland America Line ownership and reverted to the name Nieuw Amsterdam, but was not used in active service. During the same year she was chartered to Louis Cruise Lines, who in turn sub-chartered the ship to Thomson Cruises, with whom she entered service under her current name in 2003.[6]

Concept and construction

The Nieuw Amsterdam was the first in a pair of identical cruise ships built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique at St. Nazaire, France for the Holland America Line (HAL) with North-American cruising in mind. She was launched from drydock on 20 August 1982. While in final stages of construction a fire destroyed the ship's main switchboard on 24 June 1983, which delayed her delivey to her owners by three weeks.[6] She was delivered to HAL in July 1983.[1]

Service history

1983—2000: MS Nieuw Amsterdam

The Nieuw Amsterdam entered service with Holland America Line in July 1983, doing a transatlantic crossing from Le Havre to New York.[1][5] Following her maiden voyage she was used for cruising in the Caribbean during the northern hemisphere winter seasons and cruises out of Vancouver to Alaska during the summer seasons. In April 1984 she was joined in service by her sister MS Noordam (1984), which operated similar iteneraries.[6] As the HAL fleet grew from the late 1980s onwards, the Nieuw Amsterdam's iteneraries widened to various destination around the world.[7] In 1989 the Holland America Line was acquired by the Carnival Corporation, but HAL remained a separate entity.[6]

In late 1999 the Nieuw Amsterdam was sold to American Classic Cruises, with delivery planned for October 2000. The ship finished her final cruise with HAL in Vancouver on 24 August 2000. Subsequently she sailed without passengers to Sydney, where she was moored as a hotel ship for the duration of the 2000 Summer Olympics. On 2 October 2000 the ship left Sydney for San Francisco where she was handed over to her new owners.[6]

2000—2002: MS Patriot

On 18 October 2000 the Nieuw Amsterdam was taken over by America Classic Cruises in San Francisco and renamed MS Patriot.[1] American Classic Cruises had decided to revive the historic United States Lines brand for cruises operated out of Honolulu, and the Patriot was to be the first ship of this new venture. Unusually for a ship built outside the United States, the Patriot was registered in Honolulu.[2] By terms of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (also known as The Jones Act), only ships built in the United States may be registered in the United States, and only ships registered in the United States may be used in intra-United States traffic.[8] American Classic Cruises planned to have two brand-new ships (codenamed "Project America") built for United States Lines at the Ingalls Shipbuilding yards in Mississippi. This scheme was given generous support by the United States government with hopes that the project would help restart passenger ship construction in the United States. As a temporary measure the United States Lines was allowed to register the Patriot in a US port to begin operations before to completion of the Project America vessels, thereby allowing her to cruise around the Hawaii islands without the need to make calls at ports outside the US.[9] The Patriot was the first oceangoing passenger ship since 1958 to enter service under the United States flag.[2]

Following a refit the ship left San Francisco on her first cruise with her new owners on 2 December 2000, arriving in Honolulu on 8 December and commencing normal service around the Hawaii islands the same day. The United States Lines cruise venture proved to be short-lived. The 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks caused a slump in US tourism and on 18 October 2001 American Classic Cruises was declared bankrupt due to massive debts owned to the US government.[5][6] Following the bankruptcy of her owners the Patriot was laid up in Honolulu.[1]

2002—2003: Nieuw Amsterdam/Spirit

Holland America Line repurchased their old ship on 27 January 2002 and she reverted to her old name Nieuw Amsterdam. She did not re-enter service with HAL, but remained laid up, first in Honolulu and later in Charleston, North Carolina. In May 2002 the Nieuw Amsterdam was chartered to the Cyprus-based Louis Cruise Lines, renamed MS Spirit and sailed to Perama, Greece for a refit.[1]

2003 onwards: Thomson Spirit

Following a lengthy refit at Perama, Louis Cruise Lines sub-chartered the Spirit to Thomson Cruises from 3 May 2003 onwards. Upon entering service with Thomson the ship's name was amended into MS Thomson Spirit.[1] She was initially used on Western Mediterranean cruises out of Palma, Majorca and has continued making cruises on the Mediterranean during the northern hemisphere summer seasons and cruises on the Red Sea during the winter seasons.[6]

Decks and facilities

As Thomson Spirit

Thomson Spirit has nine decks.

  1. C deck - Engine room, crew spaces, Outside & inside cabins, self service laundry
  2. B deck - Outside and inside cabins, Self-service laundry
  3. A deck - Medical centre, Outside and Inside cabins
  4. Main deck - Sirocco's restaurant, The Compass Rose Restaurant, beauty salon, Outside and Inside cabins
  5. Broadway deck - Broadway Show Lounge, Explorers' Lounge, Card/reading room, Lido restaurant, Pool, Raffles Bar & Casino, Broad Street shops, Cinema, Browser's Corner
  6. Promenade deck - Mezzanine Bar and Lounge, High Spirits, Self-service laundry
  7. Mariner deck - Kidzone, Suites, Deluxe cabins, Grafitti's, Cabins adapted for wheelchair users, Self-service laundry
  8. Bridge deck - Bridge, Pool, Suites, Deluxe cabins, Oceans Health Club
  9. Eagle - Horizons, Presidential Suite, Deluxe cabins, Sports Deck


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 Asklander, Micke. "M/S Nieuw Amsterdam (1983)" (in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved 26 September 2009. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Boyle, Ian. "Nieuw Amsterdam". Simplon Postcards. Retrieved 30 September 2009. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Faergelejet – Nieuw Amsterdam (Danish), retrieved May 20, 2010.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Thomson Cruises – Vital statistics for Thomson Spirit, retrieved May 20, 2010.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 Ward, Douglas (2008). Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships. London: Berlitz. pp. 656–657. ISBN 978-981-268-240-6. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Plowman, Peter (2007). Australian Cruise Ships. Rosenberg. p. 65. ISBN 978-1877058509. 
  7. Miller, William H. Jr. (1995). The Pictorial Encycpedia of Ocean Liners, 1860-1994. Mineola: Dover Publications. p. 82. ISBN 0-486-28437-X. 
  8. DePledge, Derrick; Yamanouchi, Kelly (18 January 2003). "Deal may resurrect cruise ship industry". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 30 September 2009. 
  9. "Project America". Retrieved 30 September 2009. 

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
[[Commons: Category:Thomson Spirit

| Thomson Spirit


sv:M/S Nieuw Amsterdam (1983)