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Festival Cruise Line
 
 
These pages are devoted to postcards and photographs of the Festival Cruise Line fleet. Festival started with the ex-Chandris ship The Azur in 1992. In May 2000, it was announced that Festival Cruises would be bought by P&O, bringing two of their former ships, The Azur and Flamenco, back into P&O ownership. The Festival brand name would be maintained under P&O ownership. Subsequently, the two companies decided to abandon the merger, due to the low share values of cruise lines in mid-2000.
 
A new series of cards was issued in 2001, including the new European Vision, and these are all included under the relevant titles (Bolero was on charter in 2001 and did not have a card released). Festival collapsed at the end of 2003, and the ships were sold off at auction. The newest ships European Stars and European Vision became the MSC Sinfonia and MSC Armonia of MSC Crociere. The Azur was sold for $10.5 million to an unknown operator, being renamed the Eloise. However, in 2005 she is sailing for Mano Cruises of Israel as the Royal Iris. The Bolero became the Orient Queen of Orient Queen Shipping, passing to Louis Cruise Lines in 2006. Flamenco was sold for $12.25 million to Cruise Elysia, being renamed the New Flamenco. Mistral was sold to Iberojet, becoming the Grand Mistral.
 
The table below gives links to complete postcard career histories of the various ships. Below the table I have added the Festival Cruises cards that I have collected so far.
 
 
Ships On This Page:-
The Azur (1994- )
Bolero (1994- )
European Vision (2001- )
European Stars (2001- )
Flamenco (1998- )
Mistral (1999- )
 
Festival Advertising Postcards
 
Associated Pages:-
Chandris Lines
MSC Crociere
Norwegian Caribbean Line
Paquet
Princess Cruises
Cruise Ship Postcards
Ocean Liner Postcards
Simplon Postcards Home Page
Simplon Facebook Page - Simplon Postcards facebook page

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Table of Ship Histories
Name  Other Names  Built  Acquired
 The Azur  Eagle, Azur, Eloise, Royal Iris  1971  1992
 Bolero  Starward, Orient Queen  1968  1994
 European Stars  MSC Sinfonia  2001  2001
 European Vision  MSC Armonia  2001  2001
 Flamenco  Spirit of London, Sea Princess, New Flamenco  1972  1997
 Mistral    1999  1999






Festival Cruises Fleet List
 
 
The Azur
(Festival: 1994-2003)
 
The Azur originally entered service as Eagle for a new cruise ferry service from Southampton-Lisbon-Tangier. Southern Ferries were part of the General Steam Navigation Co, who became part of P&O. In 1975, Eagle was sold to Nouvelle Cie. de Paquebots, Marseille (Paquet) and renamed Azur for ferry work and cruising in the Mediterranean. In 1981 Azur was rebuilt as a fulltime cruise ship, with cabins added in the car decks. In 1987 she was sold to Chandris Lines, and re-named The Azur, followed by a further sale to Festival Cruises in 1994, with name remaining as The Azur. Following the collapse of Festival Cruises, The Azur was sold for $10.5 million to an unknown operator, being renamed the Eloise. However, in 2005 she is sailing for Mano Cruises of Israel as the Royal Iris.
 
A complete history of this ship is available on this link.
 
 
Festival Cruises official card of The Azur.
 
 
Festival Cruises official card of The Azur.
 
 
Festival Cruises official card of The Azur (and Bolero).
 
 
A more recent Festival official card of Azur.
 
 
CT Postcards Serial 055 of The Azur in Festival Cruises colours.
 
 
2001 issued Festival official card of The Azur.
 
 
 
 
 
Bolero
(Festival: 1994-2003)
 
Bolero was completed in 1968 by AG Weser of Bremerhaven, as the Starward for the Kloster subsidiary NCL (Norwegian Caribbean Line, later Norwegian Cruise Line). She operated out of Miami, on seven day cruises to the Caribbean islands. She originally had a stern car door and garage space to take trailers, particularly to Jamaica. This space was later converted to cabins. She is a sister to Skyward (later Leisure World).
 
Starward was sold to Festival Cruises in 1994, their second ship, becoming the Bolero. In 2000, Bolero is chartered to First Choice Cruises, although it has been announced that the charter will not be renewed for 2001. Following the collapse of Festival Cruises, Bolero became the Orient Queen of Orient Queen Shipping.
 
Bolero details: 12949 Gross Tons, Length: 450ft, Passengers 850, Crew 240, Speed 16 knots, Engines 2 x MAN 12792 Kw
 
A complete history of this ship is available on this link.
 
 
Festival official card of Bolero.
 
 
A later Festival official card of Bolero.
 
 
In year 2000, Festival chartered the Bolero to UK Operator First Choice during the summer.
This is an official First Choice card of Bolero. The charter is not to be repeated in 2001.
 
 
Ramsey Postcards (serial no. 90) of Bolero.
 
 
RMGS postcard of Bolero on charter to SCL (Spanish Cruise Line).
Photo: © RMGS.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Flamenco
(Festival: 1998-2003)
 
Flamenco was to have been a sistership to Norwegian Caribbean Line's Southward, to be named Seaward. Norwegian Caribbean Line pulled out of the deal after price rises following the Italian builders' nationalization, and the hull was sold to P&O. The new ship was named Spirit of London, and she was eventually completed in the autumn of 1972. When P&O later acquired Princess Cruises in 1974, Spirit of London was transferred to that fleet, becoming the Sun Princess. Sun Princess was sold to Premier Cruises in 1988, becoming StarShip Majestic, one of their "big red boats", and she retained the red hull when bought by CTC Lines in 1994 as Southern Cross. In 1998, she became the third ship in the Festival Cruises fleet as Flamenco. Following the collapse of Festival Cruises, Flamenco was sold for $12.25 million to Cruise Elysia, being renamed the New Flamenco. In 2007 she was sold to Club Cruise for 26 million and renamed Flamenco I. In November 2008, Club Cruise defaulted on their payments and she was sold at auction for just $3.4 million.
 
Flamenco details: 17042 Gross Tons, Length: 450ft, 700 Passengers, Crew 300, Speed 20.5 knots, Engines 4 x FIAT 133248 Kw
 
A complete postcard history of this ship is available on this link.
 
 
Festival official card of Flamenco.
 
 
A more recent Festival official card of Flamenco.
 
 
2001 issued Festival official cards of Flamenco.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mistral
(Festival: 1999-2003)
 
The Mistral was completed in 1999 by Chantiers Atlantique for Festival Cruise Line. Her first cruise started 17th July 1999, from Venice to the Greek islands. Winter cruises will be in the Caribbean. Mistral briefly visited Southampton, in poor weather, on Sunday 27th June 1999. Following the collapse of Festival Cruises, Mistral was sold to Iberojet, retaining her name.
 
Mistral details: 47900 Gross Tons, Length: 216m, 1200 Passengers, Crew 450, Speed 19 knots, Engines 4 x Wartsila 31680 Kw
 
A complete history of Mistral is available on this link.
 
 
Two official Festival Cruises art postcards of Mistral.
 
 
 
 
A commercial postcard of Mistral, issued by Editions d'Art Jos le Doare, showing the naming ceremony of Mistral at St Nazaire.
 
 
The first photographic Festival Cruises postcard of Mistral.
 
 
A more recent Festival official card of Mistral.
 
 
Simplon Postcards serial no. sc2154 of Mistral, released May 2000.
Photo by Mike Louagie at Santorini.
 
 
2001 issued Festival official card of Mistral.
 
 
 
 
Festival official card of Mistral.
 
 
 
 
 
 
European Vision
(Festival: 2001-2003)
 
The European Vision was completed in 2001 by Chantiers Atlantique for Festival Cruise Line. She is a sistership of European Stars and an enlarged version of the Mistral in 1999.
 
European Vision details: 58600 Gross Tons, Length: 251.2m, 1566 Passengers (2163 max), Crew 763
 
A complete history of European Vision is available on this link.
 
 
Festival official card of European Vision.
 
 
Festival official card of European Vision.
 
 
 
 
 
 
European Stars
(Festival: 2001-2003)
 
The European Stars was completed in 2001 by Chantiers Atlantique for Festival Cruise Line. She is a sistership of European Vision and an enlarged version of the Mistral in 1999.
 
European Stars details: 58600 Gross Tons, Length: 251.2m, 1566 Passengers (2163 max), Crew 763
 
A complete history of European Stars is available on this link.
 
 
Festival official card of European Stars.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Festival Advertising Cards
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chandris Lines - Norwegian Caribbean Line - Paquet - Princess Cruises
Cruise Ship Postcards - Ocean Liner Postcards
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