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Royal Olympic Cruises (1997-2003)
Royal Olympia Cruises (2003-2004)
These pages are devoted to postcards and photographs of the Royal Olympic Cruise Line fleet (ROC). The table below will give links to complete career histories and photographs of individual ships. Below the table is a fleet list in alphabetical order.
The table below gives links to complete postcard career histories of the various ships, including ships sold by the constituents before the amalgamation. Below the table I have added Royal Olympic Cruises cards in the current livery.
Royal Olympic, formed in 1997, is an amalgamation of Epirotiki Lines and Sun Lines. A substantial interest in Royal Olympic has recently been bought by Louis Cruise Lines. It will be interesting to see the effects of this. Royal Olympic are currently awaiting delivery of a fast cruise ship (28 knots), the Olympic Voyager. A builders card of this has been available for some time, which may not accurately show the vessel as completed. In 2003 the title of the company was changed to Royal Olympia Cruises. The company subsequently failed, and the ships sold off to other operators.
Ships Shown on this Page:-
Apollon - ex-Empress of Canada, Mardi Gras
Odysseus - ex-Princesa Isabel
Olympic - ex-Empress of Britain, Carnivale
Olympic Countess
Olympic Voyager
Orpheus - ex-Munster
Stella Maris
Stella Oceanis
Stella Solaris - ex-Cambodge
Triton - ex-Cunard Adventurer, Sunward II
World Renaissance - ex-Renaissance
Associated Pages:-
Epirotiki Line
Louis Cruise Lines
Cruise Ship Postcards
Ocean Liner Postcards
Simplon Postcards Home Page
Liners & Cruise Ships Volumes 1,2 & 3: Anthony Cooke (Carmania Press 1996, 2000 & 2003)
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Table of Ship Histories
 Other Names  Built
 Empress of Canada, Mardi Gras  1961
 Sunflower 7, Minoan Prince  1973
 Apollon XI
 Irish Coast, Orpheus (2), Semiramis II, Achilleus
 Odysseus (1)
 Leinster, Ulster Prince
 Odysseus (2)
 Princesa Isabel, Marco Polo, Aquamarine, Joywave
 Empress of Britain, Carnivale, Topaz
 Olympia Countess
 Cunard Countess, Olympic Countess, Lili Marleen
 Olympic Countess
 Cunard Countess, Olympia Countess, Lili Marleen
 Orpheus (2)
 Munster  1948
 Pallas Athena
 Flandre, Princess Carla, Carla C, Carla Costa
 Sundancer, Pegasus, Ionian Express, Svea Corona
 Cunard Adventurer, Sunward II, Coral
 World Renaissance
 Renaissance, Awani Dream, Grand Victoria

ROC Fleet List
Apollon (1997- )
Apollon was built as the Empress of Canada of Canadian Pacific. Following the successful introductions of Empress of Britain in 1956 and sister ship Empress of England in 1957, Canadian Pacific began negotiations began for a third ship. An order was signed with Vickers-Armstrong's of Newcastle in 1958, and the keel was laid in January 1959, on the same berth as Empress of England had been started four years earlier. Empress of Canada made her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Canada on 24th April 1961, by which time the service had already become summer only. She ran her first winter Caribbean cruise from New York in December 1961. Empress of Canada cruised out of New York during the winter, and the number of Atlantic crossings reduced over the years, so that only seven crossings were made in 1969. In 1968 she received the latest CP funnel design, which was adapted as the Carnival symbol when sold to them in February 1972, after completing her 121st and last Atlantic crossing in November 1971. Empress of Canada had been intended to join Shaw Savill, teaming with their Ocean Monarch as the Dominion Monarch, but this plan was shelved following the prolonged conversion of Ocean Monarch.
As the Mardi Gras, she became Carnival's first ship. Despite extensive internal changes, her external profile remained largely unchanged through Carnival and subsequent owners. In 1975 she was joined by another ex-Canadian Pacific liner, the Greek Line's Queen Anna Maria, ex-Empress of Britain, which became the Carnivale.
Apollon was chartered to Direct Cruises in 1998-99, but still carried the Royal Olympic funnel logo. This is a Direct Cruises official card of Apollon, originally Empress of Canada. The ship was marketed as Apollo, but still carries the name Apollon. The 2000 cruise programme was cancelled, and Apollon returned to Greece for lay-up, unexpectedly returning to service in 2001, on 4-day and 3-day cruises out of Piraeus, due to delays in the delivery of the Olympic Explorer. She operated in duplicate with Olympic Countess. Apollon was sold for breaking up in India in 2003.
Direct Cruises postcard of Apollon.
Simplon Postcards release sc2128 of Apollon, issued July 1998.
She is photographed on the River Tyne, by Hilton Davis, in June 1998.
Direct Cruises postcard of Apollon at La Coruna.
Ramsey Postcards 106, of Apollo/Apollon.
A series of Mike Tedstone photographs of Apollon during a 4-day Aegean cruise in June 2001.
Apollon now has a blue hull. No cards were available on board.
Photo: © Mike Tedstone.
Photo: © Mike Tedstone.
Photo: © Mike Tedstone.
Photo: © Mike Tedstone.
Photo: © Mike Tedstone.
Photo: © Mike Tedstone.
Photo: © Mike Tedstone.
Apollon laid up in Eleusis Bay in July 2003.
She was sold for breaking up in India in 2003.
Photo: © Captain G.A.Grekos.

(Royal Olympic: 1997-2005)
In 1961, Soc. Espanola de Construccion Naval, Bilbao, constructed two coastal passenger ships for the Brazilian shipping Company, Cia. Nacional de Nav. Costeira. These two ships were named Princesa Isabel and Princesa Leopoldina. The 9.696 GRT Princesa Isabel was launched on January 18th 1961, and was delivered to her owners in August 1962. During speed trials, she attained 17.5 knots. Her accommodation consisted of:- First Class: 200 passengers (29 double and 46 three-berth cabins), Tourist Class: 250 passengers (mostly four berth cabins).
Due to poor loadings, Princesa Isabel was laid up in Rio de Janeiro in early 1968, and placed on the market. During this time, machinery parts were removed, being used on her sister Princesa Leopoldina. After an 18-month lay-up, Dominion Far East Line purchased her in 1969. She was towed from Rio de Janeiro to the River Clyde were she received a seven month refit. Upon completion, her passenger capacity had reduced to 375. She departed the Clyde under a British flag, renamed Marco Polo, and was delivered to Melbourne Australia in June 1970. Upon arrival, she commenced her cruise programme of the South Pacific and Asia. After an eight years service, Dominion Line announced the sale of the Marco Polo in May 1978.
Marco Polo had been purchased by a Greek owned Hong Kong Company, known as Aquamarine International. On her final Asian cruise, Marco Polo was caught in the grip of a typhoon and suffered a battering for five days, resulting in a number of injuries amongst her 192 passengers. After an extensive refit in Greece, which included her forward superstructure extended, she was renamed Aquamarine, for a series of 14-day Asian cruises out of Hong Kong. Her new cruise schedule competed directly with her sister ship, Coral Princess, ex-Princesa Leopoldina, which had been obtained by the Hong Kong based Swire Group China Navigation in 1970. However, Aquamarine's loadings were poor and she was laid up in Hong Kong after her first season. On April 27, 1980, she was arrested, and bought by the Commercial Bank of Greece at auction. She moved to Piraeus in 1981, where she was laid up until 1988, when she was sold to the Epirotiki, and renamed Odysseus (2). She entered service in 1989 after a further refit, when her aft superstructure was extended toward the stern. Odysseus (2) has mainly operated cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean, with occasional charters further afield.
Odysseus (2) passed to Royal Olympic Cruises in 1997 continuing to work on similar cruises. Odysseus (2) returned to her home continent in the winter of 1997-98 when chartered to cruise out of Buenos Aires. In the spring of 2000 it was announced that she would be long-term chartered to Legend Cruises for a series of 3- and 4-day cruises as the Joywave from Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. There was a purchase option after three years. The deal fell through before cruises started and Odysseus returned to work on 7-day cruises from Heraklion through that summer. Following the collapse of Royal Olympia, Odysseus passed to Hansa Kreuzfahrten, who in 2005 owned three small cruise ships which are chartered out to travel agencies. She may have been renamed Odysseys.
Official Royal Olympic postcard of Odysseus (2).
Official Royal Olympic postcard of Odysseus (2).
Rare official postcard of Odysseus (2) as Joywave.
Retouched image of the Royal Olympic card.
Scan: Rogerio Gouveia
Chantry Classics card CC/S271 of Odysseus, published by Harold Jordan.
Ramsey Postcards serial number 127 of Odysseus.

Olympic - Topaz (1997-2001)
The Empress of Britain was built in 1956 by Fairfields of Glasgow, preceding sister Empress of England into service by one year. She was Britain's first fully air-conditioned liner. Initially running on the North Atlantic from Liverpool, she ran her first winter Caribbean cruise from New York in January 1960. As time passed, more of her time was spent cruising as air travel hit the Atlantic market, and her final Atlantic voyage was number 123, completed in October 1963, only seven years after her maiden voyage.
She was sold to the Greek Line, and re-entered service for them as Queen Anna Maria in 1965, running a fortnightly service to New York calling at Naples and Lisbon. Following the collapse of the Greek Line, she was sold to Carnival, joining the the Mardi Gras (ex-Empress of Canada) in 1975 as the Carnivale. Following the numerous new deliveries to Carnival, she was transferred to subsidiary Fiesta Marine Cruises as Fiesta Marina. She was sold again in 1994 to Epirotiki as Olympic, and has recently been on charter to British tour company Thomson as the Topaz, having been bought by Topaz International. In 2002, Topaz received a new colour scheme. She was replaced in the Thomson fleet in the spring of 2003, and was chartered to a Japanese organisation as the Peace Boat.
Royal Olympic official card of Olympic, originally the Empress of Britain.
The ship appeared briefly in these colours before charter as Thomson's Topaz.
She was subsequently sold to Topaz International.

Olympic Countess (1997-2002)
Olympia Countess (2002- )
Launched by Burmeister & Wain in Copenhagen in 1974, Cunard Countess was moved to La Spezia for fitting out, entering service in August 1976. Sister ship was Cunard Princess. She originally had a white funnel like the Cunard Adventurer, which she replaced in service. Cunard Countess was given Cunard funnel colours in 1980. In 1982/83 she was used as a troop ship during the Falklands conflict. Cunard Countess was sold to Royal Olympic in 1997 becoming the Olympic Countess (later Olympia Countess). Following the collapse of Royal Olympia in 2004, Olympia Countess was bought by Majestic International Cruises. She was chartered to Globalia in 2005, and to the German tour opeartor Holiday Kreuzfahrten in 2006, as Lili Marleen. Holiday Kreuzfahrten failed later in 2006.
Complete history of Olympic Countess
Royal Olympic official card of Olympic Countess, originally the Cunard Countess.
Royal Olympic official card of Olympic Countess, from the second bordered series, and now showing a blue hull.
Photograph of Olympia Countess at Rodos.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 23rd August 2003.
Photograph of Olympia Countess at Kusadasi.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24 August 2003.

Olympic Voyager (Royal Olympic: 2000-2004)
Olympia Voyager (Royal Olympia: 2004)
Olympic Voyager was the first of a pair of high speed cruise ships built for Royal Olympic by Blohm+Voss in 2000. She was intended to run a high speed "Three Continents" itinerary, but unrest in the Middle East prevented this. She was renamed Olympia Voyager after difficulties with the International Olympic Organisation. The alternative itinerary was not economic, and the Royal Olympic subsidiary which owned Olympia Voyager filed for bankruptcy, ultimately bringing down the whole group. She is now owned by the V-Ships group, and is chartered to Iberojet. She has been renamed Voyager, but is marketed by Iberojet as Grand Voyager.
Blohm+Voss official builders' card of Olympic Voyager, issued before work had started.
Official Royal Olympic card of Olympic Voyager, using the same artwork as the card above.
Photograph of Voyager, in Iberojet service.
Photo: © Adolfo Litmanovich (Minerva II - Chief Engineer).
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Photograph of Voyager, in Iberojet service.
Photo: © Adolfo Litmanovich (Minerva II - Chief Engineer).
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Photograph of Grand Voyager, in new Iberojet colours and with full name.
Photo: © Ivo Batricevic, Dubrovnik
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Iberojet's Grand Voyager at Corfu, 10th August 2006
Photo: ©2006 Copyright Ian Boyle
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Orpheus (1997- )
At the end of World War Two, two new sisters Munster (4) and Leinster (4) were built for the Liverpool-Dublin night services of B&I Lines, part of the Coast Lines group at that time. They were very similar to their predecessors Munster (3) and Leinster (3), but differed externally in that the stump main mast was shorter and mounted in front of the well deck. Two derricks were located in the well. The windows below the boat deck had round portholes compared to rectangular on the pre-war sisters. The Leinster (4) and Munster (4) were sold in 1969 to Greek owners. The Leinster was renamed Aphrodite and ran for Mediterranean Sun Lines until she was scrapped in 1988. The Munster (4) initially ran as the Theseus, before serving for many years as the Orpheus for Epirotiki Lines, passing to Royal Olympic in 1997.
Royal Olympic postcard of Orpheus in the new colours.

Stella Maris (1997- )
Royal Olympic official card of Stella Maris.
Simplon Postcards release sc2090 of Stella Maris II, issued September 1996.
She is photographed by Dr Errol Cornish, in 1996.

Stella Oceanis (1997- )
Royal Olympic official card of Stella Oceanis.
A later official Royal Olympic card of Stella Oceanis.

Stella Solaris (1997- )
Royal Olympic official card of Stella Solaris, no longer recognisable as the Cambodge of Messageries Maritimes.
The first example I have found for a revised series of Royal Olympic official cards (Olympic Countess also now added). This uses the Stella Solaris photo from the card above, but corrects the funnel colours and adds a white border. I would be interested to hear of others in the series.
An oversized Royal Olympic official card showing Stella Solaris and Triton.

Triton (1997-2004)
Triton was delivered as the 1971 Cunard Line cruise ship Cunard Adventurer, sold to Norwegian Caribbean Line (NCL) in 1977, becoming the Sunward II. Following the success of Norwegian Caribbean's Starward and Skyward, a second pair of NCL sisters were ordered from Italian builders, to be named Southward and Seaward. The cost of the second ship increased following the nationalisation of the builders, and the order was cancelled. She eventually appeared as P&O's Spirit of London. Norwegian Caribbean waited until 1977 before acquiring more tonnage, when they bought Cunard Line's Cunard Adventurer, which was renamed Sunward II. Sunward (I) had been their pioneer cruise ship, originally built in 1966 for a UK-Spain-Portugal service, which was sold in 1972. She was sold again to Epirotiki Line in 1991, becoming the Triton. Epirotiki Line combined with Sun Line to form Royal Olympic Cruises. Following the collapse of Royal Olympic, Triton was sold to Louis Hellenic Cruises at auction in 2004, and was renamed Coral.
Complete history of Triton
Royal Olympic official card of Triton, originally Cunard Adventurer then Sunward II.
A later official Royal Olympic card of Triton.
Ramsey Postcards 103, of Triton.

World Renaissance (1997- )
World Renaissance was built for the Paquet's subsidiary Cie. Française de Navigation as Renaissance, who used her on routes from Marseille to the Eastern Mediterranean. Ownership passed to Nouvelle Cie. de Paquebots in 1970. She was sold in 1977 to Epirotiki Lines, and was renamed Homeric Renaissance. Costa Lines took her on charter and renamed her World Renaissance. She later operated for Epirotiki themselves as World Renaissance, and also for a charter with Club Awani as Awani Dream. She returned to Epirotiki Lines and passed to Royal Olympic Cruises, again as World Renaissance. Following their collapse in 2004, she was sold at auction, becoming the Grand Victoria.
Complete history of World Renaissance
Royal Olympic card of World Renaissance.
A later official Royal Olympic card of World Renaissance.

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