With Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian


MS Atalante

Built as the French Liner, Tahitien


The French shipping company, Cie. Des Messageries Maritimes, ordered two ships, the Caledonien and the Tahitien. Caledonien was built by A & C de France at Dunkirk and delivered in September 1952, whereas the Tahitien was built by Arsenal de Brest (yard no: ME2) and was delivered in February 1953. Both ships originally operated on the Marseilles to Sydney service via the Panama Canal.

MS Tahitien at 12,614 GRT (gross registered Tons) measured 167.20m (548.5ft) in length, 20.70m (68ft) wide, having a draft of 7.80m (25.5ft). She was powered by Burmeister & Wain diesels giving her a maximum speed of 18 knots.

She accommodated 373 passengers in four classes. First: 71 / Tourist: 84 / Third: 142 / Steerage (Dormitory): 76. First class accommodations were located on first two decks of the superstructure with the public rooms and swimming pool on Promenade Deck. Most were twin / three berths, all had private facilities. Tourist class cabins were for two or four berths all outside but without private facilities. Third and steerage was basic but comfortable.

Tahitien departed on her maiden voyage on May 4, 1953. She remained in service until 1972, when she was sold to Aphrodite Cruises Ltd (later Mediterranean Sun Lines), Limassol. Renamed Atalante, she was given an extensive refit making her ready for a new role cruising the Mediterranean. From that time she never looked back as she became a popular low fare cruise ship. She was rebuilt again in 1978 and 1993. Her facilities and accommodations have constantly improved with each rebuild and refit, making her one of the most popular vintage ships cruising the Mediterranean.

Specifications for MS Atalante, is located at the bottom of this Page


Photo Album

The MS Atalante seen at sea at full speed ahead!

MS Atalante facilities include the Atalante Club & Showroom, Nightclub & Disco, four Bars, Shopping Arcade, Casino, and two Pools. She has seven passenger decks and a traditional glass enclosed Promenade Deck.

 Club Lounge


 Club Lounge



 The Pub


 The Pub



Glass enclosed Promenade Deck







Pursers Office & Lobby 







Stairwell to Lobby


Aft Deck and Pool


 Aft Deck and Pool




 Deluxe Twin


 Standard Outside Twin (Inside the same without window)


 Standard Outside 2/3/4 Berth Cabin







Sadly the Atalante was eventually sold and arrived at Alang India at the end of November 2004 to be broken up, which saw the end of what was once a fine French liner!

Specifications for Atalante


Built: 1953 France

Rebuilt: Piraeus 1972, 1978 & 1993

Tons: 13,562 GRT

Length: 167.3m / 549ft

Width: 20.6m / 67.6ft

Draft: 7.9m / 25.9ft

Engines: Two ten cylinder Creusot B&W diesels;

Screws: Twin screws

Speed: 17 knots

Passengers: 484 twin – 635 all berths

Total Cabins: 430

242 – Outside: 188 – Inside: 54

Crew: 160


View her Deck Plan


Use the Back button on your browser or Close the Page to return to the previous page
or go to our INDEX



Who is the Author of ssMaritime?

Commenced in the passenger Shipping Industry in May 1960 &

Where the ships of the past make history & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story


Also visit my …

Save The Classic Liners Campaign& Classic Ocean Voyages pages


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. I know what it is like, I have seen a multitude of my own photographs on other sites, yet these individuals either refuse to provide credit or remove them when asked, knowing full well that there is no legal comeback when it comes to the net. However, let us show these charlatans up and do the right thing at all times and give credit where credit is due!

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!




ssMaritime is owned and Copyright 2010/12 - by Reuben Goossens - All Rights Reserved





Free Counter
Free Counter