World’s Oldest Cruise Ship Bids Adieu After 75 Years Of Service
Over the next few days, we will bid farewell to an incredible piece of history, the world’s oldest cruise ship, the 16,144 gt Astoria currently docked in Rotterdam. Its penultimate voyage will be to a European Union shipyard.
The vessel has a long service history of 75 years – from being the cruise ship for the German Communist Party to a transatlantic passenger ship and then a place for asylum seekers. It has seen it all.
It started its journey with the name Stockholm under the Swedish-American Line in 1944, which ended in 1948. It started its transatlantic passenger ship journey in February 1948, plying luxury travellers between Sweden and the US.
In its early years, it collided with Andrea Dorea and sank the cruise ship. This gave it the name “the ship of death” or “la nave della morte”.
It was renamed to Fridtjof Nansen and used for sheltering asylum seekers by the Norwegian government. Ultimately, its Italian owner converted it into a cruise ship named Sorrento in 1989. After several changes of names, it finally became Astoria in 2015, joining the fleet of Cruise and Maritime Voyages, but the company declared bankruptcy in 2020, ending Astoria’s long run.
Last year, news of a cryptocurrency billionaire wanting to restore it surfaced, but that never materialized.
The Puerto Rican company Roundtable LLC has sold this vessel for recycling for an undisclosed amount. The ship will likely be scrapped in Turkey’s Aliaga Ship Recycling Facility.
References: The Points Guy, Cruise Hive