MTS Marco Polo, then Aquamarine, Odysseus & Lucky Star
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With Reuben Goossens
Maritime Historian, CruisenShip Reviewer, Author & Maritime Lecturer
Please Note: All ssMaritime and other related maritime/cruise sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any shipping or cruise companies or any travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! Although the author has been in the passenger shipping industry since 1960, although is now retired but having completed over 700 Classic Liners and Cargo-Passengers Ships features I trust these will continue to provide classic ship enthusiasts the information the are seeking, but above all a great deal of pleasure! Reuben Goossens.
delightful MTS Odysseus, which had served in
Please Note: All photographs are from the authors private collection, unless mentioned otherwise!
Photograph by & © Chris Taylor
The Commercial Bank of Greece attempted to sell
the ship, but each attempt failed, thus they decided to take
bring the MTS Aquamarine home to Greece departing Hong Kong on
July 1981, and upon arrival she was laid up at Eleusis Bay near
Piraeus and there she remained until 1988. Thus this superb
cruise ship remained idle for seven long years!
The Commercial Bank of Greece attempted to sell the ship, but each attempt failed, thus they decided to take bring the MTS Aquamarine home to Greece departing Hong Kong on July 1981, and upon arrival she was laid up at Eleusis Bay near Piraeus and there she remained until 1988. Thus this superb cruise ship remained idle for seven long years!
The Aquamarine was finally purchased in 1988 by the famous Greek Shipping company that commenced in 1850, being the famed Epirotiki Steamship Co, later known as Epirotiki Cruises and they renamed her MTS Odysseus.
They took her to Perama where she was comprehensively refitted, which included the extension of her aft superstructure up to the stern, as well as brand new cabins being added between the radar mast and the funnel.
Her interiors were greatly modernised with her décor being designed by the famed and a man who was considered as being a genius Mr. Arminio Lozzi. Her accommodation was slightly increased to 454 passengers based on a twin bedded basis or 496 using all berths. Her cabins where delightfully modern, bright and airy and well furnished offering every possible comfort of a modern cruise ship. Upon completion, she was officially listed as 12,000 GRT (Gross Registered Tons). She passengers were looked after by an able crew of 200.
Left: the Main Lounge - Right: the Restaurant
Typical twin bedded cabins
Left: the Swimming Pool - Right: One of the many Cocktail Bars
Decks of the Odysseus taken during a cruise in August to
Photograph by & © Don Ravey
Quite some time ago I received an email from
Mr. Chris Taylor, who was kind enough to supply a number of fine
photographs of the Epirotiki cruise ship, MTS Odysseus as he
sailed on her from 1990 to 1991 around South Africa, Comoros,
Seychelles, Madagascar, Mozambique, worked as part of the ships
Entertainment crew with such duties as a DJ, Comedian, but also
as one of the children Entertainers.
Quite some time ago I received an email from Mr. Chris Taylor, who was kind enough to supply a number of fine photographs of the Epirotiki cruise ship, MTS Odysseus as he sailed on her from 1990 to 1991 around South Africa, Comoros, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mozambique, worked as part of the ships Entertainment crew with such duties as a DJ, Comedian, but also as one of the children Entertainers.
He visited ports such as; Athens, Suez Canal, Post Said, Seychelles, Male, Fregate, Praslin, Aldabra Atoll, Comoros, Grand Comore, Anjouan, Madagascar, Nosy Be, Mozambique, Maputo & South Africas, Durban. I will be presenting his excellent photographs on Page Three!
MTS Odysseus seen in 1995
Photograph by & © Mike Godden
On December 1, 1995, a merger took place
between Epirotiki and Sun Line, giving birth to a new company
named Royal Olympic Cruises (ROC), and the Odysseus was
considered within the high range in the new overall fleet, and
thus the Odysseus became the flagship of ROC. Her exteriors once
again took on a new look as her hull and funnel were painted dark
blue. She returned to her previous cruise program. Later she
undertook a number of
After the Epirotiki and Sun Line merger, Odysseus hull was painted in the new Royal Olympic livery
MTS Odysseus with her new dark blue hull certainly looked very attractive indeed as it seemed to give her a more balanced profile showing off her classic lines. Her passengers loved her vast deck spaces, be it under cover or open air for the sun lovers. She had two spacious teak-decked Promenades, ideal as walking areas, which includes a covered jogging track below the promenade.
A warm and pleasing Mediterranean décor is featured throughout the ship. In addition Odysseus also features an excellent collection of art. Most lounges are located on Promenade Deck. Two decks down the popular Marine Club and covered deck is located just aft of the Dinning Room.
This is the very large Main Lounge and at night the Showroom and one of the dance venues
Photograph by & © Michael Hipler
This is the delightful Naiades Cocktail Lounge
Photograph by & © Michael Hipler
The Library was very cosy indeed
The elegant Restaurant
Looking along the starboard side of Apollo Deck to aft
Photographer unknown *Please read the Photo notes at the bottom of the page!
Odysseus was a delightful smaller cruise ship that offered a traditional environment. The minute passengers stepped onboard her, they knew that they had arrived in a unique world that only a true ocean-going liner could provide, for she simply oozed a maritime atmosphere, with her covered promenades and those delightful interiors. But sadly the days of ships such as this are being lost and replaced by huge hideous square boxes that look more like building and Condos (Apartments bocks) that ships! Inside they are more like hotels or Island Resorts, or huge shopping malls, simply hideous, but all that is so very American, they love all that rubbish! They do not have our history of traditional shipping, except for a few ships of note!
The ever reliable and beautiful MTS Odysseus
However, Royal Olympic Cruises was forced to change their name by the Olympic Council and they became Royal Olympia Cruises, but soon enough due to a woeful management, they were heading for financial troubles. The Odysseus that was still mint, she as well as several other ships of the Epirotiki fleet were all laid up in 2003. Then, MTS Odysseus re-entered service for a short time, but she was soon laid up again. In 2004 the company was wound up and went into liquidation.
Odysseus is seen laid up at
She was sold by auction and was purchased once
again very cheaply by Mantovana Holdings Ltd, a V-Ships
subsidiary company, and was leased to Everis Capital
Holdings to be operated as a casino cruise ship to operate
out of Singapore. Below is a photograph of her, which was taken
during her refit into a casino ship in
Star being refitted as a Casino cruise ship in
Photograph used with thanks - www.faktaomfartyg.com
At completion, she headed for
For me personally, it is always so sad to see such a delightful cruise ship to end up as a lousy casino ship, for the truth is that frequently casino ships are generally poorly maintained and managed. However, many feel that her days were numbered and that she would be sold to be broken up in the near future!
Why did I and other maritime experts think this? Mainly because of the new SOLAS regulations that were due to come in, but personally I felt that she would go even sooner. Well, that is I felt at the time, unless someone decided to obtain her and use her as a hotel ship, but of course this never happened! But all too soon she was laid up at anchor and was on the market.
The Lucky Star still looking beautiful, is seen in lay-up and for sale
Photographer unknown - *Please read the Photo notes at the bottom of the page!
In April 2008 the sad news arrived that the Lucky Star had been sold to Indian Breakers and that she had already arrived in India and been beached at Alang. Apparently for her final voyage to Alang she was renamed Lucky, being a strange name for a ship that was doomed!
Regardless of her various guises, one of the most poplar versions will always be as the MTS Marco Polo 1969 to 1978.
Wonderful Memories of the MTS Marco Polo seen in 1977
Page One Princesa Isabel - Later: MTS Marco Polo, Aquamarine & Lucky Star.
Page Two Odysseus - Later: Lucky Star & Lucky.
Page Three Odysseus Photo Page & Deck Plan.
Page Four Princesa Leopoldina. Later: MV Coral Princess & Millennium Queen & Millennium.
Water Liners sailing to the distant shores.
I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.
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Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are either by the author or from the authors private collection. In addition there are some images and photographs that have been provided by Shipping Companies or private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors, however, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer or owner concerned. Therefore, I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email address can be found at the bottom of the page on www.ssmaritime.com), in order that due credit may be given.
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