MS Athena – One of the Oldest Cruise Ships

In operation since 65-years, the Athena cruise ship bears a rich legacy of cruising history. Originally built to operate in the Northern Atlantic cruise route as the MS Stockholm, MS Athena has provided faultless cruising service to its other owners, in the years since and is not one of the oldest cruise ships in the world.

MS Athena cruise vessel is under the ownership of the Classic International Cruise Line, which acquired the vessel around 2005.

A moderately sized cruise ship, the Athena has undergone several renovations in the past six decades of its operation so as to make it more suitable to the present-day needs of cruising requirements. Originally intended to accommodate less than 400 cruisers, at the time of her original construction in 1948, the vessel can presently spaciously accommodate over 550 voyagers.

ms athena
Image for representation purpose only

The cruise vessel has often been termed to provide the best services for cruisers wanting to enjoy a great cruising experience in the most budgeted manner possible. MS Athena, unlike her more luxurious counterparts, offers exceptionally brilliant servicing which has resulted in the vessel gaining further popularity and appeal.

MS Athena: Fact-Sheet

Although the Athena cruise ship isn’t one of the biggest cruise ships in operation today, its technical dimensions and constructional value is still rated among the best of all times. The following details about the same can be pinpointed as follows:

  • Lengthwise proportions of 160 metres with a width of 21 metres and a draft of over 7.5 metres
  • Operational speeds of about 16 knots, with a GRT of slightly over 16,100 tonnes
  • State-of-the-art entertainment facilities, highly relaxing coffee bars and lounges and exceptionally high-end spas and gymnasiums

Presently registered under the Portuguese flag, the MS Athena was originally was flagged as a Swedish vessel. Though the vessel’s claim to fame is quite well-known in the international cruise industry, it has also made the news for some less favorable reasons.

Most recently, the ship was impounded by the French naval authorities for lack of payment of fueling costs though the vessel was allowed to resume its routine course of operations thereafter. Around five years ago, the vessel was also subject to a pirating attack near the Gulf of Aden, though safe passage was finally acquired for the vessel and its crew.

But the most infamous incident in the MS Athena’s operational history is that of its accident with the cruise vessel Andrea Doria in the year 1960. Operating as the Stockholm then, the cruise ship did suffer some serious damages to its hull. However, the vessel was one of the first to aid in the rescuing operations by taking aboard many of the survivors of the ill-fated Andrea Doria to the New York (city) harbor.


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