What Happened to the NCL Sunward?

What Ever Happened To........???
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#1
24 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
We cruised from Miami to the Bahamas on the Sunward, but I can't even put a year to it. It was our first cruise, a short one, but we enjoyed it. Didn't get back into cruising until years later when we became empty-nesters instead of a family of 8. Now we are addicted to cruising! Does anyone know what years the Sunward sailed to the Bahamas, and what ever happend to her? Thanks for any help.
#2
Long Island, NY, USA
3,779 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
This is somewhat of a complex question, only because there have been three SUNWARDs - or, more precisely, two SUNWARDs and one SUNWARD II.

We start with the first SUNWARD. She was built in 1966 under that name for Klosters Sunward Ferries, as a cruise ferry for Southampton-Vigo-Lisbon-Gibraltar service. This was, however, unsuccessful and in December 1966 she moved to Miami and entered into service for Norwegian Caribbean Lines, a joint-venture between Knut Kloster and Ted Arison. (Later, in 1974, Arison would leave NCL and form Carnival.) She continued with NCL - carrying cars and trailers as well as cruise passengers - until 1972, when she was sold to the French state-owned Compagnie Generale Trasmediterranee (CGTM), formerly the Mediterranean arm of Compagnie Generale Transatlantique (CGT, better known as the French Line), who used her on service from Toulon to Sardinia. In 1976, CGTM became the Societe Nationale Corse Mediterranee (SNCM), but later that year, she was sold, renamed GRAND FLOTEL, and used as a floating hotel at Sharjah. In 1979, she was sold to Amar Line, a joint venture between the Monaco-based Vlasov Group and the Saudi entrepreneur Gaith Pharaon. She was renamed SAUDI MOON I and entered service between Jeddah and Suez. She continued as such until 1988 when she was chartered to an American company called Ocean Quest Cruises who renamed her OCEAN QUEST. She was refurbished at Sembawang Shipyard in Singapore and began operating cruises from New Orleans for diving enthusiasts. This lasted until 1990 when she was sold to International Shipping Partners who renamed her SCANDINAVIAN SONG and gave her to their subsidiary SeaEscape. In 1994, ISP chartered her to a Cuban company owned by the Cosulich family of Italy. She was renamed SANTIAGO DE CUBA and began operating cruises from Havana, but this was not successful and she was soon chartered to Singaporean interests who used her on short cruises from Port Klang. She ended her career laid-up at Singapore in November 2002. She was sold for scrap in 2003 and left Singapore in April 2004.

Our second ship, SUNWARD II, was originally ordered for Overseas National Airways (then a large American charter airline) along with a sister ship. The ships were sold while under construction to Cunard, and "our" ship entered service in 1971 as CUNARD ADVENTURER, Cunard's first purpose-built cruise ship. Cunard soon made plans to replace her and her sister CUNARD AMBASSADOR with larger ships, and in 1977 she was sold to NCL who renamed her SUNWARD II. She continued to serve NCL until 1991, when she was sold to the then-dominant Greek cruise line Epirotiki Lines, who renamed her TRITON. In 1995, Epirotiki merged with Sun Line into Royal Olympic Cruises, and TRITON became part of the new fleet. ROC lasted until 2004, when they went bankrupt. TRITON was auctioned to the Greek Cypriot-owned Louis Cruise Lines, who allocated her to Louis Hellenic Cruises, a Greek subsidiary which took over ROC's routes in the Greek Isles. She was renamed CORAL and entered service from Piraeus in 2005.

The third (or second, to be technically correct) and final SUNWARD began life in 1973 as ROYAL VIKING SKY, the third of a series of three ships ordered by Royal Viking Line, a new company created by three Norwegian shipping firms to enter the top end of the American cruise business. RVL was such a success that they decided to "stretch" their ships; in 1982 ROYAL VIKING SKY received a new 28-meter midsection, enlarging her by more than 6,000 GT. In 1987, the original owners sold RVL to Kloster Cruise, the owners of NCL. In 1991, with RVL having taken delivery of the new ROYAL VIKING SUN, Klosters transferred ROYAL VIKING SKY to NCL and renamed her SUNWARD, replacing SUNWARD II. In 1992, the cash-straped Klosters sold her to the Finnish-owned Birka Line AB, who renamed her BIRKA QUEEN and used her on short cruises from Stockholm. This was not a success and later that year she was chartered back to NCL, who once again renamed her SUNWARD and resumed her old schedules from Miami. This continued for just a year until 1993 when NCL sub-chartered her to Princess, who renamed her GOLDEN PRINCESS. In 1996, her charter to NCL and sub-charter to Princess ended, and Birka Line sold her to the then rapidly-growing Singapore-based Star Cruises (ironically, today the owners of NCL). They sent her to Asia and renamed her SUPERSTAR CAPRICORN. This didn't last long though: in 1998, she was sub-chartered to Hyundai who renamed her HYUNDAI KUMGANG and used her for short cruises from South Korea to Mount Kumgang in the North; part of the Hyundai-influenced "Sunshine Policy" toward North Korea. This venture lasted until 2001, when she was re-delivered to Star Cruises who again renamed her SUPERSTAR CAPRICORN and returned her to service. This nomadic vessel was then sold again in 2004 to the Spanish tour operator Iberojet who put her into service on cruises from Barcelona for the Spanish market. Yet earlier this year (2005), they sold her again to the Norwegian-owned, British-market Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, who already own the former ROYAL VIKING SUN, now BLACK WATCH. Fred. Olsen will take delivery of GRAND LATINO next month (October 2005), rename her BOUDICCA, and give her a major refit before she enters their service in February 2006.

So there we have it - the history of the three SUNWARDs, or two SUNWARDs and one SUNWARD II. Sorry I can't help you as to which one you sailed in!
#3
24 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Host Doug, thank you for all the information . I should be able to do a little more sleuthing of my own with the dates you have given for each Sunward. I appreciate your time and thorough explanations. We did sail on one of them, our very first cruise ever, and loved every minute. Thank you for giving us the "Rest of the Story."
#4
Northampton, MA
36 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Did you deliberately omit the period with Danish Cruise Line out of San Juan, just before the SANTIAGO DE CUBA phase, or was DCL also a subsidiary of Cosulich?

Originally posted by Host Doug
This is somewhat of a complex question, only because there have been three SUNWARDs - or, more precisely, two SUNWARDs and one SUNWARD II.

We start with the first SUNWARD. [...] This lasted until 1990 when she was sold to International Shipping Partners who renamed her SCANDINAVIAN SONG and gave her to their subsidiary SeaEscape. In 1994, ISP chartered her to a Cuban company owned by the Cosulich family of Italy. She was renamed SANTIAGO DE CUBA [...]
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Trinovante39 gmail
QE(67), Uruguay Star(67-69), Black Prince(69), Southern Cross(70), Golfito(71), Song of Norway(71), Sunward/Starward(72), Fairstar(72), New Bahama Star(74), Bolero/Boheme(74-78), VeracruzI(79), Stardancer(87), Star Clipper(93), Carousel(95), plus various SeaEscape ships and the like.
#5
Missouri
473 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Thank you, thank you. Our first cruise was on the Sunward II in 1976. Like the OP we didn't sail again for quite some time, but have now done over 20. We still talk about the Sunward II and wondered what happened to her. Great memories.
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#6
Tampa, Florida
1,099 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
I must add my thanks as well. I sailed the Sunward II in 1984 and that started my passion for cruising. I sailed the Sunward in 1992 and had a wonderful time on that ship as well. I often wondered what happened to those two ships, and was delighted to see the links you provided. Thanks again!
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#7
Long Island, NY, USA
3,779 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
Originally posted by nauditor
Did you deliberately omit the period with Danish Cruise Line out of San Juan, just before the SANTIAGO DE CUBA phase, or was DCL also a subsidiary of Cosulich?
Don't know how I missed your post when it was new... Anyhow, Danish Cruise Line was a subsidiary of International Shipping Partners/SeaEscape, not Cosulich.
#9
Northampton, MA
36 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by Host Doug
Don't know how I missed your post when it was new... Anyhow, Danish Cruise Line was a subsidiary of International Shipping Partners/SeaEscape, not Cosulich.
I was never quite sure exactly what the relationship was between ISP and DCL, but I was present when ISP 'repossessed' the Scan Song from DCL, so it rapidly turned sour. (I was too engrossed in writing dBase code to pay much attention to the bullets whizzing over my head )
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Trinovante39 gmail
QE(67), Uruguay Star(67-69), Black Prince(69), Southern Cross(70), Golfito(71), Song of Norway(71), Sunward/Starward(72), Fairstar(72), New Bahama Star(74), Bolero/Boheme(74-78), VeracruzI(79), Stardancer(87), Star Clipper(93), Carousel(95), plus various SeaEscape ships and the like.
#10
Kentucky
1,188 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
In a way, the Sunward II got me hooked on cruising. My mother and farther sailed during the earlier 80's and the stories they would tell. From my mother's addiction to dime slots to the buffets. I would listen as they told the tells and look (no, study) the daily cruise newsletters. I had planned what I would do way before my first cruise.

I never sailed that ship but I do wish I had.
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04/04/15 Celebrity Summit -- Southern Caribbean --- 04/01/18 Jewel of the Seas -- Southern Caribbean
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#11
Long Island, NY, USA
3,779 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
Originally posted by nauditor
I was never quite sure exactly what the relationship was between ISP and DCL
Ah, and that is exactly how it was supposed to be .

ISP is a very fascinating company, with many very fascinating relationships. I will leave it at that.
#12
Melbourne, FL
335 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
I used to work for NCL and from time to time we get updates on old friends and old ships. This was from our last newsletter.

"Within 2 days in Rodos they had the Southward (now Perla) Sunward II (Coral) and the Starward (Orient Queen) in. The Southward and Sundward II were docked together - fantastic sight for an old NCLer. Check out his pictures at
www.CrewNewsletter.cc/Newsletter/0510WhiteShips
#14
Melbourne, FL
335 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
We used to joke, but it's true that the hull of the Sunward II could fit in to the engine room of the Norway. Now some of those new ships make the Norway look small. It's crazy!
#15
Fairhaven, MA, usa
4,112 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
[quote=Host Doug]
Our second ship, SUNWARD II, was originally ordered for Overseas National Airways (then a large American charter airline) along with a sister ship. The ships were sold while under construction to Cunard, and "our" ship entered service in 1971 as CUNARD ADVENTURER, Cunard's first purpose-built cruise ship. Cunard soon made plans to replace her and her sister CUNARD AMBASSADOR with larger ships, and in 1977 she was sold to NCL who renamed her SUNWARD II. She continued to serve NCL until 1991, when she was sold to the then-dominant Greek cruise line Epirotiki Lines, who renamed her TRITON. In 1995, Epirotiki merged with Sun Line into Royal Olympic Cruises, and TRITON became part of the new fleet. ROC lasted until 2004, when they went bankrupt. TRITON was auctioned to the Greek Cypriot-owned Louis Cruise Lines, who allocated her to Louis Hellenic Cruises, a Greek subsidiary which took over ROC's routes in the Greek Isles. She was renamed CORAL and entered service from Piraeus in 2005.
Doug,
Do you know what happened to the Epirotiki? We sailed on it out of Boston for our honeymoon in June 1988.
Thanks,
Jackie
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#17
Fairhaven, MA, usa
4,112 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
Originally posted by VegasGreen
Epirotiki was a line with many ships.. do you recall which ship it was you sailed?
Yes, the name of the ship and the line was Epirotiki. At least I never saw any other name on the ship or any of the paperwork we had.
These are some of the ones that were sailing at the time we cruised, but I haven't been able to narrow it down.
Apollon XI (Epirotiki: 1968-81) - ex-Irish Coast
Apollon 11 (Epirotiki: 1968-81) - ex-Irish Coast
Argonaut (Epirotiki: 1964-??) - ex-Orion (built: 1929)
Oceanos (Epirotiki: 1976-91)
Odysseus(2) (Epirotiki:1988- )-ex-Princesa Isabel, Marco Polo, Aquamarine
Orpheus (1) (Epirotiki: 1968-81) - ex-Irish Coast
Orpheus (2) (Epirotiki: 1969-97) - ex-Munster
Pegasus (1) (Epirotiki: 1961-??) - ex-Princess Elizabeth
Pegasus (2) (Epirotiki: 1987-91) - ex-Svea Corona, Sundancer
Thanks for replying.
Jackie
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Gem, Dawn, Majesty, etc. pics
http://community.webshots.com/user/angeljt
GEM review, April 5-12, 2008
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=752993
NCL Canapes, goodies and other food...
http://travel.webshots.com/album/560933191feRHJE
Dawn 11 Day & Majesty 7 day Menus, Bar & Dailies <small></small>
http://community.webshots.com/user/angelj

10.18.09 NCL Dawn again ( :
05.02.09 RC Grandeur of the Seas, girls Bermuda birthday cruise
04.05.08 NCL GEM
11.26.06 NCL Dawn
06.11.06 NCL Majesty
10.09.05 NCL Dawn
12.07.03 NCL Dawn
03.09.01 Celebrity Mercury
04.01.99 HAL Veendam
1991 Fair Princess
1990 RCCL Sovereign of the Seas
06.07.88 Epirotki, MTS Jason
early 80's NCL Seaward

Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right!
#18
2 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
I just found this thread, and this forum. Very interesting. I was trying to find out what happened to the Sunward (the final one) as it was the ship my wife and I had our honeymoon on. We actually sailed on the 'maiden' voyage of the last Sunward in October of 1991. It had just been transferred over to NCL from Royal Viking. It was kind of neat because they had a send off party on the first day for the Sunward II. Sort of a celebration on deck and we watched as Sunward II sailed away to her new owners.

Our cruise was filled with problems though, presumably because it was the maiden voyage. Looking back now, 15 years later we remember the cruise with fondness but at the time, it was really maddening. They had Royal Viking line dishes and glasswear sitting out on deck. The ship was 1/2 full probably because the ship was almost 2 times as big as the Sunward II and was sold for that amount of people. We sat at a table for 8, alone. Which looking back was ok for our honeymoon, but it looked like we smelled or something sitting at a big table with no one around. We also had no hot water in the shower for the entire 4 day cruise. Ah the memories of taking cold showers on your honeymoon! Like I said though, I look back on that cruise now really fondly.

Does anyone have any links to recent pictures of the 3rd Sunward? I would love to see how she looks now and what they did with the interiors.
#19
Orange County NY
317 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Divette - Thanks for posting the link to the pic of the now Orient Queen, former Starward of NCL. I've been wondering what happened to this ship! My hubby and I sailed her for our 1st wedding anniversary in Sept. 1994. Sailed on a Sunday from San Jaun....along with 350 honeymoon couples. (Overload of young hormones!)

In spite of our juvenile tablemates, the line and crew left such a wonderful impression on us that we still measure service against that of Gary, our dining room waiter. We even had the pleasure of sailing with our Starward maitre D' when we sailed the Dreamward (now NCL Dream) three years later.

I also remember fondly the captian and first officer. Both from Norway, the first officer gave the bridge tour and when another passenger and I were still chatting with him, the captian came onto the bridge and offered us coffee. So charming were they.....

I, too, sailed the Norway - which was classically delightful. Because of these experiences, we would jump onto an NCL cruise in a moment, if given the chance.
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#20
MI
240 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
I know this is an old thread but it brings back memories. My wife and I sailed on the Sunward II on our honeymoon in 1979. It was a Monday-Friday cruise. We sailed on her again ten years later for a Friday-Monday cruise. It was a great experience.