The Super 8: R Class Vessels of Renaissance Cruises

Originally launched by Renaissance Cruises, the R Class ships are a fleet of eight vessels that were launched between the late 90s to the early 2000s. The fleet was initially operated by the cruise company until its collapse in the cruise industry, post which, these vessels were sold to other cruise companies for further usage.

All eight vessels of the R Class fleet were designed with similar dimensions and passenger carrying capacity, making them singular and unique while being a part of a fleet.

R One:  The very first R Class ship to be launched was the R One – in the year 1998. The vessel was built in the French shipyard of St. Nazaire. The vessel’s name was subsequently changed from R One to Insignia after it was engaged by the cruise company Oceania.

The cruise ship was renamed the Columbus 2 when it began operations under a Hapag-Lloyd lease for a period of two years starting in 2012.

R Two:  R Two, or as it’s now known, MS Regatta, was also launched by the cruise company in 1998 in November. Having a passenger capacity of 684 and a crew capacity of 386, the vessel was originally called Insignia when it was offered on a charter to the cruise company Oceania. Later on, the ship underwent a change of name as the name Insignia was transferred to the R One.

R Three:  The third vessel, R Three, was built in 1999. After the financial collapse of the Renaissance cruise company, the conglomerate Princess Cruises chartered the vessel and changed its name to its current one – Pacific Princess. In 2004, Oceania Cruise Company bought the vessel after its charter contract was officially completed.

On 21st January 2021, Carnival Cruises announced that it was sold to another buyer which came to be Azamara Cruises. So, it was renamed MS Azamara Onward and is currently owned and operated by Azamara Cruises.

R Four:  It was launched in 1999 and, like her sister cruise vessel R Three, was chartered by the cruise company Princess Cruises. Post the completion of the charter time period, the company purchased the vessel and officially changed its name to the Tahitian Princess. Its operational route includes French Polynesia, the Cook Islands and Hawaii. In the year 2009, to present the vessel from a more global standpoint, its name was once again changed to the Ocean Princess. She was sold to Oceania Cruises in 2016, and her name was changed to MS Sirena.

R Five:  The fifth of the R Class ships, the R Five, was built in 2000. It was chartered by the cruise company Pullmantur after the financial ruin of her original owners and operators. In 2005, she was bought by the cruise conglomerate Oceania who eventually changed her name to Nautica.

R Six:   This was the sixth vessel to be put into operation under the R Class category.

The cruise company Pullmantur held the operations of the vessel, accordingly renaming her as Blue Dream in 2005. At present, the vessel is operated by the cruise company Azamara under the name Azamara Journey.

R Seven:  Azamara Quest, or as it was previously known, is the seventh R Class vessel. Post the debacle of the Renaissance Company; the vessel changed operators twice before finally sailing under the operational control of the cruise company Azamara.

R Eight:  The final vessel under the R Class cruise ships is the R Eight. In 2017, Azamara acquired the vessel and renamed it Azamara Pursuit in 2018. It was refitted and set sail as an Azamara cruise ship in August 2018.

The R Class cruise ships were a marvel of their time. If not for the unexpected shutting of the enterprise of the vessels’ original operators, these vessels would have still graced the marine world in all their original splendour and regality.

4 Comments

  1. i joined the R Two as young chef, and i was just 21 years that time in the year 1999.
    i was in the opening team for R Four and R SEVEN in St.Nazaire at Chantiers De Atlantique.
    Great memories, happy moments of my young age spent in the corridors of these ships still linger around.
    And the crew parties !!!!!!! Wow !!!
    Long live the R ships wherever they are.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *