MS Golden Princess

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MS Golden Princess 1 - Princess Cruises

Golden Princess was built in Finland in 1973 for Royal Viking Line as their Royal Viking Sky, one of three, acclaimed sister ships built for world wide cruising. Originally 21,891 tons, to add capacity to the fleet, Royal Viking “stretched” all three of its ships, adding 6,000 tons to the center.

After the purchase of Royal Viking Line by Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Viking Sky was transferred to the NCL fleet, becoming their new Sunward for the three and four day Bahamas market. Subsequently, she sailed for the European market as the Birka Queen. She was temporarily transferred to Princess in 1993, sailing as the Golden Princess while Princess added new capacity through its “Grand Class” of ships. 1997 saw Golden Princess sold to Singapore’s Star Cruises, sailing Asian waters as their SuperStar Capricorn. The downturn of the Asian economy forced a restructuring in the Star Fleet, and Golden Princess fell victim. She now sails for Hyundai, in the South Korean market as their Hyundai Kumgang.

Golden Princess was 28,078 tons. 674.1 feet long. 82.6 feet wide with a 24.7 foot draft. She was registered in the Bahamas with Scandinavian Officers and an International Crew. She was propelled by diesel engines. Although sound, her hull was of a design that caused a great deal of salt spray, constantly saturating the promenade. She was also a victim of faulty workmanship during her stretching process. A minor alignment error at the International deck level between the original ship and the ‘inserted” section was compounded with each subsequent deck level. At the lower decks, the difference became quite noticeable with the portholes on the added section being substantially out of kilter with the rest of the ship.

Golden Princess has two virtually identical sister ships, currently all sailing with different cruise lines: The Royal Viking Sea, now sailing for NCL as Norwegian Star; and, the Royal Viking Star now sailing for Fred Olsen Line as the Black Watch.

Copyright © 1998 Mel Litzenberger. All Rights Reserved

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