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With Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer & Author


MV Sapphire


Page Two

The MV Sapphire 1995 to 2012


Here we see a very early Louise Cruise lines postcard revealing the new stretched forward superstructure

From the Author’s private collection


If you have reached this page via a browser, you can visit Page One featuring the ships origins, the MV Italia and Ocean Princess

Sea Prince:

With the Ocean Princess having been declared a “Constructive Total Loss,” she had been sold by the insurers to Ellice Marine of Athens. in 1993 with the underwater damage having been patched up she departed Belem undertow heading for Keratsini near Piraeus where she would be repaired. Once she had been repaired, the ship was renamed Sea Prince under the ownership of Equinox Enterprises S.A., which was part of the Greek group Tranos A.M. Bartsokas J.N.

Here we see the MV Sea Prince still being made ready to sail at Keratsini ship yards near Piraeus 1994

Sent in by John Breeman – but photographer is unknown – Please see photo notes at bottom of page!

It was announced on May 2, 1995 that the Sea Prince would enter service for the newly created Sunshine Cruise Line operating seven-day Aegean cruises. However, on May 26, that same year she caught fire causing an unknown amount of damage. After an inspection her owners decided to place her on the market.

A forlorn looking Sea Prince where the last of the fire damage can still be seen as she is berthed in Greece

Author’s private collection

In September 2005, she was sold to Louis Cruise Lines of Cyprus, who renamed her at first, MV Princesa Oceanica.

The MV Italia returns to her glory days as the MV Sapphire:

Here we see the beautiful MV Sapphire departing a port

Photographer unknown – Please see photo notes at bottom of page!

Thus the Sea Prince was a complete failure and she was sold in September 1995 to the ever growing, Louis Cruise Lines, who at first renamed her Princesa Oceanica. But in 1996, Louis gave her an extensive rebuilding programme and refit having received a lucrative agreement with the British Holiday Company Thompson Cruises and renamed her MV Sapphire. Although she did suffer an engine breakdown and had to be taken out of service for a short time, she has given countless thousands of British vacationers a simply wonderful cruise experience over the years.

MV Sapphire seen under the Louis Cruises banner

Note the forward extensions topped by the two new tenders

Photograph by & © 2006 Philipo Cantiere


The Louis Cruise Line MV Sapphire is seen at Split in Croatia in 2008

Photographer unknown – Please see photo notes at bottom of page!

She also sailed for a period with Paquet Cruises and she continued as a popular cruise ship also sailing for Louis Cruises. Considering she was launched forty-two years ago (2007) this fine ship could well be considered to be a classic, yet look at her and she is modern as tomorrow, an enigma!

The Louis Cruise Lines MV Sapphire is seen arriving at the Greek Island of Kos in 2009

Photograph by & © Hans-Jürgen Amberg


MV Sapphire Photo Album and Deck Plan

Public Venues


A combination of images of the Sapphires many fine facilities


The spacious Marco Polo Lounge


Haffles Bar and Night Club


The Four Seasons Restaurant


The Lido Swimming Pool




A spacious outside twin bedded stateroom


An outside twin bedded cabin


Here we see an inside single or can be sold as a two berth cabin


A spacious inside twin bedded cabin


And here is another twin inside cabin


Deck Plan



MV Sapphire Sold and Beached at Alang India!

Earlier in 2012 the MV Sapphire was sold by Louis Cruise Line, and she was renamed “Aspire” and reregistered in St Kitts & Nevis being a port of convenience. Also her registration now showed her being a “Cargo Ship” and no longer a “passenger ship,” meaning that Louis Cruise Line had in reality sold her to Indian breakers, without placing her on the open market! It was very sad for ship lovers for although she had a many ups and the odd problem during her lifetime, but she remained in perfect condition to the very end!

Remembering the Wonderful MV Italia as built

Launched on April 28, 1965


She was elegant, beautiful and extremely advanced for her time!


Return to Page One featuring the MV Italia and Ocean Princess



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Commenced in the Passenger Shipping Industry in May 1960 &

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Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are by the author or from the author’s private collection. In addition there are some images that have been provided by Shipping Companies and private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer/owner concerned. I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email address may be found on only), in order that due credit may be given.

This notice covers all pages, although, and I have done my best to ensure that all photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displaced on each page, that is, when a page is updated!

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