Linea "C" - Costa Cruises S.S. Frederico C 1958–1983, to become the S.S. StarShip Royale - 1983–1988 & S.S. SeaBreeze - 1988–2000
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Please Note: Postcards, photographs & other images are from the author’s private collection, unless stated otherwise.
A special thank you to
This feature covers a Costa Line Flagship, the wonderful S.S. Frederico C a liner that became a greatly loved cruise ship that sailed on for 42 years, but having been sold she has a several name changes. This is her story and I trust that will enjoy the journey with her!
A new shipping company was founded in 1854 by
Giacomo Costa as “Giacomo Costa fu
Linea “C” first true passenger
ship was the 11,736
In 1959, Linea “C” gradually
commenced offering some pleasure cruises, with voyages being offered in
the Mediterranean as well as the
In 1986, Linea “C” changed its name to “Costa Cruises” and became a full time Cruise Company.
“C” first brand new built ship, the
Even though there was an anticipation of a
decline in passenger and migrant services to South America due to the ever
increasing air travel Linea “C” decided they needed a brand new
superior, high quality ship in order to strengthen their share in both First
and Tourist Class passenger service to and from
The Italian shipyard chosen was “Ansaldo G. & Co” or “
Her keel was laid down on June 9, 1956 as Hull
N° 1516, and she was ready for her launching it was a huge affair for post-war
below: The launching of the
Photographs by “Ansaldo G. & Co” Shipyard
Once she entered the water she was towed to Ansado’s fit-out quay where her interiors and exteriors were completed, with some of the finest interior decorators used to install her fine lounges as well as her staterooms and cabins.
One completed she undertook her deep sea and speed trials from 21 to 23 February 1958 and she reached a respectable top speed of 22.3 knots. Once she had successfully completed her trials, she returned to the fit-out berth, then back into dry-dock for her final paint touch up’s, before being delivered to her owners.
On March 14, 1958, the
An aerial postcard
Note her three aft stylish swimming pools
The elegant looking Linea C’s new flagship; S.S. Federico C was built to be a stylish three class liner First, Cabin and Tourist Class, and she was Costa’s very first ship to be especially constructed for them. When people saw her for the very first time they were amazed at her style, as she was a shapely and a beautiful looking liner!
A fine photograph
She had an all white livery with a blue ribbon
surrounding her hull and a shapely modern yellow funnel with the Companies blue
“C” logo and blue top. She certainly was an attractive ship and she
became famed for her luxurious interiors. She was fully air-conditioned, and
the very first liner on the
Costa Line had selected the very best Architect and interior designer ‘Nino Zoncada’ who ensured that this ship would be truly magnificent in every possible respect! He took great care with her décor as her Public Rooms and Accommodations, which were based on typical contemporary Italian style, and featured a restrained use of colours. First Class was magnificent; however Second Class contained very much the same luxuries as found in First Class.
She offered her passengers eight decks, commencing topside with decks named as follows; Bridge, Sun, Lounge, Promenade, Restaurant, Main, A and B Decks.
Commencing forward was the Bridge, followed by officer’s quarters, and aft was the Radio Room and Children’s Play Room on the starboard side. This was followed by a spacious sports deck.
Offered a range of First Class cabins commencing forward and along the starboard side, whilst aft of the superstructure was the delightful Pool Lounge. The latter was followed by yet another spacious deck with and attractive and a shapely Pool. Both Restaurants are identical, as it is the same venue, but is separated by a partition to suit any variation.
Forward we find the spacious First Class Ballroom, followed by the Lobby and grand stairwell and two lifts. As we head aft we find the relaxing Main Lounge and Library and Reading Room. Out side on both sides and is the First Class Promenade Deck that goes half way of the length of this deck, for aft was Cabin Class, which was as good as First Class.
The First Class Ballroom
Main Lounge, the
sculpture of the bronze Flute Player was by
First Class Lounge and Bar
Amidships is the Cabin Class Lobby which was followed by the huge Venezia Lounge. Aft there was another Pool lounge and the Cabin Class pool. Of course along the sides is the continuation of the Promenade that goes to far aft.
The Cabin Class’ Venezia Lounge
From forward to amidships, were the First Class Staterooms and Cabins with a fine lobby.
First Class Stateroom
A First Class Twin bedded Cabin
Aft were both Cabin Class and some Tourist Class Cabins with the Tourist Class Poolside Lounge at the stern of the superstructure, and another specious deck outside with the Tourist Class Pool.
A Cabin Class outside Twin Bedded Cabin
This Deck contains a Cinema far forward, followed by some cabins, the Main Lobby with the Pursers Office, followed by one huge Restaurant. This venue is divided, the forward section being First Class and the aft part was Cabin Class. Public spaces for both classes were very much the same, offering much the same style and décor. In fact Cabin Class would be like First Class on other liners, if they were lucky!
First Class Restaurant
The Cabin Class Restaurant
Aft was the aft Lobby and followed by further
Cabins. Many cabins on the
Forward there were more Tourist Class Cabins, as well as several public venues that included the Orvieto Lounge and their Restaurant.
The Tourist Class delightful Orvieto Lounge and Bar
However far aft there were further Cabin Class accommodations, as well as the Firenze Lounge.
The delightful Cabin Class Firenze Lounge
These decks contained both Cabin and Tourist Class accommodations, as well as some other facilities, such as the Doctors Surgery, etc.
A Two Berth Cabin Class Cabin on A & B Decks
A Tourist Class Four Berth Cabin and as can be seen it was of an excellent standard
A fine postcard of
Photo by Provided
Here we see both the
The 1966 Sailing Schedule below shows that the
S.S. Federico C continued on the new service as well as winter cruises, but it was decided that ten years after her maiden voyage it was time to give her a comprehensive refit as she needed new and upgraded facilities, meeting the demand of demanding passengers, as her standards had to be very high!
Thus she was sent to the Mariotti Shipyards in Genoa, where work commenced in May 1968 and her refit saw the Frederico C change dramatically externally as was about to become a part time liner and a cruise ship during the northern hemisphere winter.
Her Promenade Deck was glazed in as far as the ships last two lifeboats up on Boat Deck. In addition her superstructure was stretched forward to build some new more spacious cabins. Her new passenger configuration was now 186 in First Class and 1,450 in the new Tourist Class, although during cruises she would carry just 1,259 passengers. The refit also saw the removal of hold N°3 and the relevant cargo derricks.
The new look
Photograph © by
Upon completion she looked like a brand new
ship and although her schedule remained very much the same, but Caribbean
cruises were added between her regular liner voyages. However during cruises,
this two-class ship would become a One Class cruise ship for 1,259 passengers.
In 1972 the
Photo by Provided
Above & below: An 1977/1978 cruise brochure
During the winter of 1976 & 1977 there were further upgrades to her interiors, then in September 1980 she was fully refurbished, making a beautiful ship even more luxurious.
However with the newer ships in the fleet
Costa had made their decision, and when she returned to
On November 29, 1983
Premier Cruise Line logo
However in 1985, she was again renamed this time; “StarShip Royale”.
Here we see her as the “StarShip Royale”
Having obtained quite a sizable fleet of ships, Premier decided to sell the “StarShip Royale” and a Greek Company Dolphin Cruise Line obtained her, and she was delivered to them on January 2, 1989, and she was renamed “SeaBreeze I”.
She received another refit with her hull being painted white again, but with three ugly racing stripes stupidly pointed down to the waterline at her bow. Her funnel now had a blue jumping Dolphin logo.
On completion, she was based in
However, somehow in 1997 the ship was returned to Premier as they had taken possession of SeaBreeze I when they acquired Dolphin Cruise Line. She once again had her hull repainted, as she would now have a new, handsome livery, a dark blue hull with gold accents, being an improvement on that red hull, that with those silly stripes.
Photograph © by
The SeaBreeze I was 21,900 GRT and was
registered in the
In 1999 Premier Cruise Line released a new
The final Premier
brochure for the
Below, the final photographs of the SeaBreeze interiors
Left to right: A Suite, Ocean View Stateroom and an Inside Twin Bedded Cabin
Sadly Premier went out of business in
September 2000, and the ship was ordered to cease operations whilst she was
One of the last photographs taken, whilst she was in Lay-up
On September 14, 2000, the ship was placed
under arrest as she was berthed in
On December 1, 2000, the creditor’s bank purchased her at auction; Then on December 15, 2000, she sailed from Halifax bound for Charleston; however she went down on December 17, during a storm around 200 miles East of “Cape Charles.” It was claimed that the boiler allegedly broke off and damaged the ship, but there is really a very big is that true? Thankfully her 34 crewmembers were rescued by U.S. Coast Guard helicopters and of course there were no passengers onboard.
The SeaBreeze I seen here about to sink
The investigation in regard the sinking
of SeaBreeze I caused huge international concern, this was based upon
a number of suspicious incidents, including the fact that the SeaBreeze I would
only have fetched between US$5 and $6 million for scrap, but her
owners had placed a massive US$20 million insurance policy on her. The
ship's captain had very quickly radioed a distress call stating that he was
down to one engine & was taking on water. She sank in international waters,
and was flying the Panamanian flag at that time, thus making
The ship's captain told the United States Coast Guard rescuers that his ship was in imminent danger of sinking as a result of its engine room being flooded in high winds and 25-foot (7.6 m) seas. At the time, the Coast Guard rescuers believed that it was highly unlikely for a large 21.000 ton ship to sink that fast, and they were astonished when the Greek captain demanded that all hands be extracted from the ship as soon as possible, rather then requesting salvage tugs and tow her to shore for recovery.
The truth is that
Please Note: Page Two (Index below) contains her various Deck Plans as well as a complete list of the Ships Specifications and General Details.
the magnificent -
A fine artist’s impression of the magnificent Linea “C” - S.S. Federico C
Deck Plans & General Specifications.
“Blue Water Liners sailing to the distant shores.
I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.”
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