It was announced this week that at the grand old age of 97, World War II forces’ sweetheart and all-round classy lady Vera Lynn will be releasing a brand new album. This news got us thinking here at Cruise118 – age is irrelevant when you have a timeless charm and an enduring character. In honour of Vera Lynn’s impressive feat of musical endeavour, this blog will discuss some of the magnificent classic ships that have survived decades on the open water, still providing guests with amazing cruise experiences despite voyaging across the globe year after year.
The MS Lofoten was constructed at an Oslo ship yard in 1964 – a whopping 50 years ago! This enduring vessel is the oldest in Hurtigruten’s majestic fleet, with a passenger capacity of 340 and a weight of 2621 tons. Named after the Lofoten Island’s in the Norwegian Arctic Circle, the MS Lofoten has been cruising the coast of Norway and further north towards Svalbard for decades, and although she was refurbished in 2003, the ship still retains her original style and undying elegance.
Completed in 1983 – at 31 years old, Hurtigruten’s MS Vesteralen is the Lofoten’s younger sister, upgraded twice during her career, in 1988 and 1995. She is also cruises the coast of Norway and has been offering her passengers incredible views of the dramatic Norwegian fjords for over 30 years. Holding a total of 510 passengers – as well as plenty of space for cars – the MS Vesteralen is one of Hurtigruten’s largest and oldest vessels, weighing in at an impressive 6261 tons.
Although she only entered service for Fred.Olsen in 2007, the Balmoral was original constructed in 1988 at the Papenburg ship yard in Germany for Royal Cruise Line, and was christened with the name Crown Odyssey. Following Royal Cruise Lines’ sale to Norwegian Cruise Lines, the ship was renamed as the Norwegian Crown. The vessel – which can hold up to 1230 passenger on a single voyage – was eventually acquired by Fred.Olsen, who have been operating the ship ever since.
The Black Watch is currently owned and operated by Fred.Olsen cruises and has been since 1996. However, she was originally constructed over 40 years ago in 1972 by Royal Viking Line in Finland. Originally named the Royal Viking Star, she has sailed for several different cruise lines – as the Westward for Norwegian Cruise Lines and as the Star Odyssey for Royal Cruise Line. Nowadays, sailing for Fred.Olsen, she continues to delight and amaze the droves of passengers who grace her decks every year.
Fred.Olsen’s Boudicca cruise vessel was also constructed in Helsinki, the year after the Black Watch in 1973. After first sailing for the Royal Viking Line, this magnificent vessel has sailed under many different names for many different cruise lines – as the Sunward for Norwegian Cruise Lines, as the Birka Queen for Birka Cruises, as the Golden Princess with Princess Cruises, as the SuperStar Capricorn for Star Cruises and as the Grand Latino with Ibero Cruises. She eventually joined Fred.Olsen as the Boudicca in 2005 and has now enjoyed nearly a decade with the line.
Image Credits: SLQbot – wikipedia.org