MS Renaissance

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Renaissance in Toulon, France.
Name: 1966-1977: Renaissance
1977: Homeric Renaissance
1978-1995: World Renaissance
1995-1998: Awani Dream
1998-2004: World Renaissance
2004-2006: Grand Victoria
2007-2009: Blue Monarch
2010: Maestro
Operator: 1966-1977: Compagnie Francaise de Navigation
1977-1978: Epirotiki Lines
1978-198?: Costa Cruises
198?-1983: Epirotiki Lines
1983-1984: TFC Tours
1984-1995: Epirotiki Lines
1996-1998: Awani Cruises
1998-2004: Royal Olympic Line
2005-2006: Elysian Cruise Lines
2006: Metropolis Tur
2007-2009: Blue Monarch Shipping
Builder: Chantiers de l’Atlantique
Launched: 1965
In service: 1966
Out of service: 2009
Nickname: As Renaissance: The White Dolphin
Status: Up for sale off of Mumbai
General characteristics
Tonnage: 12,000 tons
Length: 492 feet
Propulsion: Stabilizers
Speed: 16 knots
Capacity: 474
Crew: 230

MS Renaissance is a 1966 built cruise liner. She was built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique for Compagnie Francaise de Navigation, a subsidiary of Paquet Cruises. She operated for various owners until she was sold to be beached and scrapped at Alang, India in 2009.

Paquet Line

She entered service as a dual purpose vessel, ferrying passengers from Marseilles, France to Haifa, Israel, and also operating Eastern Mediterranean cruises. She sailed on these itineraries successfully for 4 years. In 1970, due to fierce competition from the commercial jet industry, Paquet unestablished Compagnie Francaise de Navigation, and founded the new subsidiary Nouvelle Compagnie de Paquebots. For the new company she began operating a transatlantic route from Marseilles to New York City. After 11 years of service with her original owners she was sold to Epirotiki Cruises. [1]

Epirotiki Lines

During a 1977-78 refit several new cabins were added. She was renamed Homeric Renaissance and upon entering service became Epirotiki's flagship. However very soon after this she was chartered to Costa Cruises, and operated for them as World Renaissance until the early 80s. After the charter she was given back to Epirotiki. She continued service with them until 1983, when World Renaissance was chartered yet again, this time to TFC Tours, with her completing a single voyage for them. In 1985 Epirotiki began to World Renaissance for Caribbean and Amazon river cruises. She continued this service for 10 uneventful years until 1995, when she was purchased by Awani Cruises. [2]

Awani Cruises

A 1995-96 refit saw her renamed Awani Dream. However she barely saw a year and a half of service due to the collapse of Awani Cruises. She was sold to the reformed and renamed Epirokiti company Royal Olympic Cruise Line.

Royal Olympic Cruise Line

In 1998 she entered service with Royal Olympic, really a renamed, merged version of her old owners Epirokiti. She was again renamed World Renaissance, operating 3 and 4 night Aegean cruises out of Piraeus, Greece. All went well until 2001, when the September 11th terrorist attacks caused a slump in the tourist and cruise industries. Royal Olympic managed to survive until the fall of 2004, when they filled for bankruptcy due to the high operational costs of operating the old ships in their fleet and fierce competition from other cruise lines. After being laid up for several months World Renaissance was sold for over $3 million dollars to Pelorus Maritime Inc.

Last Years of Service

She was renamed Grand Victoria after Pelorus placed her under the management of Elysian Cruise Lines. She was chartered by them to Metropolis Tur until the end of 2006. In 2007 she was chartered to Blue Monarch Shipping Inc and renamed Blue Monarch. Under their ownership she carried out 3, 4 and 7 night cruises to Greek islands. Blue Monarch Shipping attempted to purchase her in 2008, but could not come up with the $8 million dollars required. Her charter continued until she ended service in early 2009, when it was realized that she did not meet SOLAS 2010 standards. [3]


Blue Monarch was promptly laid up. One company attempted to buy her for use as a hotel ship for the 2010 Winter Olympics, but this plan fell through. In February 2010 Blue Monarch was sold for $1.8 million dollars to Indian scrap merchants. [4] She was renamed Maestro for her voyage to Alang. When scrap merchants attempted to sell her for further use she was anchored off of Port Said. No one was interested, so Maestro continued on to reach her final destination [5]

Possibility of further trading

Although the attempt to sell her in Port Said had failed, Maestro is currently laid up in Bombay, for scrappers are once again attempting to sell her, as this would be more profitable due to the current rates of steel costs. It has been confirmed she has been bought by Dubai based company ARGO Systems for further possible service, though this is very unlikely considering that she did not comply to SOLAS 2010 mechanically. ARGO Systems has been known to buy and transport ships to recycling yards in India, China, and Bangladesh. They have transported many liners to Alang scrapyards, including the Eugenio C.[6] As of June 20th ARGO still has her off Mumbai, and express interest in using her as an accommodation ship. [7]