MS Athena

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The Stockholm as originally constructed.
The Stockholm as originally constructed.
Name: 1948—1960: MS Stockholm
1960—1985: MS Völkerfreundschaft
1985—1986: MS Volker
1986—1993: MS Fridtjof Nansen
1993—1994: MS Italia I
1994—1998: MS Italia Prima
1998—2002: MS Valtur Prima
2002—2005: MS Caribe
2005—present: MS Athena
Owner: 1948—1960: Swedish America Line
1960—1985: VEB Deutsche Seereederei
1985—1989: Neptunus Rex Enterprises
1989—1994: StarLauro
1994—2002: Nina Cia. di Navigazione
2002—2004: Festival Cruises
2004—present: Nina SpA[1]
Operator: 1948—1960: Swedish America Line
1960—1966: VEB Deutsche Seereederei
1966—1985: VEB Deutsche Seereederei (summer seasons)/Stena Line (winter seasons)
1985—1994: laid up/rebuilt
1994—1995:Nina Cia. di Navigazione
1995—1998: Neckermann Seereisen
1998: laid up
1998—2001: Valtur Tourist
2001—2002: laid up
2002—2004: Festival Cruises
2004—2005: laid up
2005—present: Classic International Cruises[1]
Port of registry: 1948—1960: Gothenburg,  Sweden
1960—1985: Rostock, 22x20px East Germany
1985—1989: Panama City, 22x20px Panama
1989—2004: Naples, 22x20px Italy
2004—present: Lisbon, 22x20px Portugal[1]
Ordered: October 1944[2]
Builder: Götaverken, Gothenburg, Sweden
Yard number: 611[1]
Launched: 9 September 1946[1]
Christened: 9 September 1946[2]
Acquired: 7 February 1948[1]
In service: 21 February 1948[1]
Identification: Swedish Official Number 8926 (1948)[3]
Italian Official Number 1749 (1993)[3]
IMO number: 5383304
Status: In service
General characteristics (as built)[1]
Type: ocean liner
Tonnage: 12,165 GRT
Length: 160.08 m (525 ft 2 in)
Beam: 21.04 m (69 ft 0 in)
Draught: 7.90 m (25 ft 11 in)
Installed power: 2 × 8-cylinder Götaverken diesels
combined 12,000 hp (8,900 kW)
Speed: 17 kn (31.48 km/h)
Capacity: 390 passengers
4,700 metric tons deadweight (DWT)
General characteristics (currently)[1]
Type: cruise ship
Tonnage: 15,614 GRT
Decks: 8[citation needed]
Installed power: 2 × Wärtsilä 16V32 diesels
14,300 hp (10,700 kW)
Speed: 19 kn (35.19 km/h)
Capacity: 556 passengers

MS Athena is a cruise ship owned and operated by Classic International Cruises. She was built in 1948 as the MS Stockholm by Götaverken in Gothenburg for the Swedish America Line. Since her career with SAL she has sailed under the names MS Völkerfreundschaft, MS Volker, MS Fridtjof Nansen, MS Italia I, MS Italia Prima, MS Valtur Prima and MS Caribe, before beginning service under her current name.

As Stockholm she was best known for colliding with the SS Andrea Doria in 1956, resulting in the sinking of the latter ship.

Service history

At 525 feet (160.02 m) with a gross tonnage of 12,165, Stockholm was the smallest passenger ship operating on the North Atlantic route at the time. However, she was the largest ship built in Sweden at the time. Originally designed to carry 395 people, a 1953 refit expanded Stockholm's capacity to 548 people.

Collision with the Andrea Doria

On the night of July 25, 1956, at 11:10 PM, in heavy fog in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Nantucket, the Stockholm and the Andrea Doria of the Italian Line collided in what was to become one of history's most famous maritime disasters.

Although most passengers and crew survived the collision, the larger Andrea Doria luxury liner capsized and sank the following morning. Owing to the collision, 50% of the Andrea Doria's lifeboats were unusable. However, a number of ships responded and provided assistance, which averted a massive loss of life like that suffered by the Titanic over 40 years earlier.

Five crewmembers on the Stockholm were killed instantly and several more were trapped in the wrecked bow. Despite its having sunk about three feet (0.9 m), the crippled Stockholm helped in the rescue and ended up carrying 327 passengers and 245 crewmembers from the Andrea Doria, in addition to her own passengers and crew. After Andrea Doria sank, Stockholm sailed to New York City under her own power and arrived on July 27. The crushed bow portion was repaired at a cost of US$1 million three months later.

History after the collision

On January 3, 1960, the Stockholm was sold to the East German government, who renamed the ship Völkerfreundschaft and operated her as an ocean liner until 1985. In 1985 she was transferred to a Panamanian company "Neptunas Rex Enterprises". Her name was reduced to Volker, and by the end of the year she was laid up in Southampton, England. She was later used as a barracks ship in Oslo for asylum seekers in Norway under the name Fridtjof Nansen.

The Stockholm was sold to Italian interests in 1989 and towed to Genoa, the Andrea Doria's home port. When she first arrived, the press called the Stockholm the "ship of death" (La nave della morte). She was rebuilt from the waterline up and given a modern cruise ship design. Named the Italia I, then Italia Prima, she later sailed as Valtur Prima primarily to Cuba, and was laid up there in 2001. Acquired by Festival Cruise Line in 2002 and renamed Caribe she continued to sail to Cuba. Since 2005, the Stockholm sails as the Athena and is registered in Portugal. She is now flagged out of Cyprus operating for Classic International Cruises.

On 3 December 2008 MS Athena was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden. There were reported to be 29 pirate boats surrounding the ship at one stage until a US Navy P3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft circled above which led to some of the pirates to flee. The crew prevented the pirates from boarding by firing high pressure water cannons at them. No one was injured and the ship escaped without damage and continued on her voyage to Australia.[4]


PUBLIC ROOMS Capacity Deck
Olissipo Restaurant 520 Atlantic
Lotus Pool Grill 210 Calypso
Calypso Show Lounge 480 Calypso
Sirene's Bar 150 Calypso
Muses Night Club 80 Promenade
Captain's Club 30 Calypso
Tychon Card Room 40 Calypso
Ithaca Library 16 Calypso
Cyclope's Auditorium 260 Promenade
Emporio Boutique Calypso
Fitness Centre Observation
Beauty Salon Observation
Sauna Observation
Photo Shop Calypso
Circe's Casino Calypso
Chapel Mediterranean
Medical Centre Pacific
Swimming pool Calypso
Elpinor Bar Calypso
Aeolos Bar Navigators
Barbecue Calypso


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Asklander, Micke. "M/S Stockholm (1948)" (in in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "SAL Timeline". A tribute to the Swedish American Line. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Search results for "5383304"". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 27 December 2008. 
  4. "Pirates attack luxury cruise ship bound for Australia". Herald sun.,21985,24748674-662,00.html. Retrieved 2008-12-07. 

External links

de:Stockholm (1946) it:Stockholm (nave) pl:MS Athena fi:M/S Athena sv:M/S Stockholm (1948)