Posted February 1st, 2008, 07:22 PM
Last edited by dougnewmanatsea; February 1st, 2008 at 07:25 PM
First, let me make something clear... ATHENA will
sail beyond 2010. She is already 100% compliant with the regulations that will come in force at that time.
This is, in essence, a ship that was built in 1994. The only thing that she has in common with the STOCKHOLM is the bare hull.
There is really no good reason to do what was done to this ship - the only reason it happened is that it was heavily subsidized by the Italian state. The Italians came up with the idea of subsidizing cruise lines to have 'new' ships built off existing hulls in Italian shipyards that didn't have the facilities to build their own hulls. This ship was the result, along with some others, like COSTA MARINA, which was built off a container ship hull.
As I recall, the ITALIA PRIMA (now ATHENA) conversion cost something like $100 million. The state paid for something like half of it - a nice little incentive to build off an existing hull rather than a totally new ship!
From a SOLAS standpoint, she is no different from any other ship built in 1994. There is a rule in SOLAS - it's called something like 'substantial change' (those aren't the exact words) - that if a ship undergoes a big enough refit, it is considered a new ship not, and has to comply with all of those rules. ITALIA PRIMA's conversion was more than big enough to fit into that category, and as a result, as far as SOLAS is concerned, she comes under the rules of a ship whose keel was laid whenever work on her refit started (sometime around 1992).
are a lot of nice photos of her, inside and out. The only giveaway that she is not a new ship is the pronounced sheer and that nice double row of portholes in the dining room, which is an interesting original feature that was preserved.