MV Moonta

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A postcard of the Casino Le Lydia issued before 1974.
Name: 1931-1955: Moonta
1955-1966: Lydia
1967-Present: Casino Le Lydia
Operator: 1931-1955: Adelaide Steamship Company
1955-1966: Hellenic Mediterranean
1967-1974: SEMETA
1974-1988: Unknown Japanese Group
1988-1997: Alain Ferrand
2000-Present: Partouche Group
Builder: Burmeister & Wain
Launched: June 1931
Completed: November 21, 1931
In service: 1931
Out of service: 1967
General characteristics
Tonnage: 2,693 gross register tons (GRT)
Length: 298 feet
Beam: 44 feet
Draught: 15.10 feet
Propulsion: B&W diesels
Speed: 12.5 knots
Capacity: 155 passengers
Notes: [1]

MV Moonta is a 1931 built Australian coastal passenger ship. Later in life she became the landlocked casino ship and tourist attraction Casino Le Lydia in Leucate, France. 42°49′38.92″N 3°2′28.34″E / 42.8274778°N 3.0412056°E / 42.8274778; 3.0412056

Service Years

The Moonta was launched in June 1931 Burmeister & Wain shipyard in Copenhagen, Denmark for the Adelaide Steamship Company. She began service with a six day itinerary, disembarking in Adelaide and ending in Port Lincoln, usually with four or five calls along the way. Moonta became well known and beloved for her excellent service and relaxing voyages, being called the perfect "romantic holiday" ship. After serving in World War II the ship continued her Australian coastal service until 1955, when Moonta was sold to the Greek Hellenic Mediterranean Lines for cruise service.[2] With this her new owners doubled her passenger capacity and renamed her Lydia. She remained in Greek cruise service until 1966, when Hellenic Mediterranean laid her up.

Leisure Complex Service

In 1967 SEMETA, a company based in the French resort towns of Leucate and Barcarès bought Lydia to be the maritime symbol of a new innovative hotel opening that year. The new Casino Le Lydia was taken to Marseilles, where her propellers and engines were removed. The ship was then landlocked onto a beach in Leucate, the first building in a planned tourism complex. In 1974 a Japanese company bought Casino Le Lydia and added several new features to her. In 1997 the ship ran into trouble when the [3] The complex's features include a casino, restaurant, bar, discotheque, a pool with a waterslide, a spa, as well as an exhibition center.[4]