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Holiday Dream.jpg
MS Holiday Dream photographed April 2007.
Career
Name: 1981-1999: Europa
1999-2000: SuperStar Europe
2000-2004: SuperStar Aries
2004-2008: Holiday Dream
2008 onwards: Bleu de France
Owner: 1981-1998: Hapag-Lloyd
1998-2004: Star Cruises
2004-2008: Club Vacaciones[1]
2008 onwards: CDF Croisières de France
Operator: 1981-1999: Hapag-Lloyd
1999-2004; Star Cruises
2004-2008: Pullmantur Cruises
2008 onwards: CDF Croisières de France[1]
Port of registry: 1981-1990: Bremen,  West Germany[1]
1990-1999: Bremen,  Germany
1999-2006?: Nassau,  Bahamas[1][2]
2007? onwards: Valletta,  Malta[3]
Builder: Bremer Vulkan, Bremen, Germany
Cost: $120 million[2]
Yard number: 1001[1]
Launched: December 22, 1980[1]
Completed: 1981
Acquired: December 5, 1981[1]
Maiden voyage: January 8, 1982[1]
In service: January 8, 1982[1]-present
Status: In active service as of 2010
General characteristics (as built)[1]
Type: cruise ship
Tonnage: 33,819 GRT
Displacement: 6,506 DWT
Length: 199.63 m (654.95 ft)
Beam: 28.55 m (93.67 ft)
Draught: 8.30 m (27.23 ft)
Decks: 12[4]
Installed power: 2 × 7-cylinder MAN-Bremer Vulkan diesels
combined 21270 kW
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h)
Capacity: 600 passengers
General characteristics (as Bleu de France)[4]
Type: cruise ship
Tonnage: 37,301 GRT
Decks: 12 (10 passenger accessible)
Speed: 19 kn (35 km/h)
Capacity: 752 passengers (lower berths)
1158 (all berths)[2]
Crew: 406

MS Bleu de France is a cruise ship owned and operated by the French cruise line, CDF Croisières de France. It was originally built in 1981 by Bremer Vulkan, Germany for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises as MS Europa. In 1999 the Europa was sold to Star Cruises and it was renamed MS SuperStar Europe and year later MS Superstar Aries. In 2004 she was sold to Pullmantur Cruises and renamed MS Holiday Dream. In May 2008 she was tranferred to the fleet of CDF Croisières de France and was renamed Bleu de France.[1]

Contents

Concept and construction

Since its formation in 1970, Hapag-Lloyd has operated the former North German Lloyd liner Europa (originally Swedish American Line's Kungsholm) as the flagship of their cruise services.[5] By the late 1970s the decision was made to replace the then-current Europa with a new state-of-the-art ship tailored specifically for the German cruise market, also to be called Europa. The new Europa would be the third ship to bear the name in the North German Lloyd/Hapag-Lloyd fleet. Designed before the advent of the mega cruise ship, at 33,000 gross register tons the new Europa was to be amongst the largest passenger ships in the world at the time, surpassed only by the ocean liner RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 and the cruise ship SS Norway (also originally an ocean liner).

The order for the new Europa was placed with the Bremer Vulkan shipyard in Bremen, the home city of North German Lloyd. The ship was launched on 22 December 1980, and delivered to her owners on 5 December 1981.[1]

During her subsequent career the former Europa has undergone two notable rebuildings. First in 1999, in preparation for entering service with Star Cruises as SuperStar Europe, the ship was docked at Sembawang shipyard in Singapore for a $15 million refit. The most notable external change was the addition of new balconies to the suites under the bridge wings.[1][2] In 2004 she was rebuilt again, this time in preparation for entering service with Pullmantur Cruises as Holiday Dream, but then the rebuilding was mostly limited to redecorations of the public spaces.[2][4] She has recently gone through a 30 million € refit in Barcelona during the spring of 2008 to prepare for her transfer to the fleet of CDF Croisières de France.[6]

Service history

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With Hapag-Lloyd

The Europa left on her maiden voyage from Genoa on 8 January 1982, to destinations in Africa. Subsequently she was used for luxury cruising all over the world, including on the Amazon River.[1][7]

On 30 April 1992 the Europa collided with the Greece-registered container ship Inchon Glory outside Hong Kong. No passengers onboard the Europa were injured. Initially she was towed to Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where passengers were evacuated. Subsequently the ship was towed to Singapore for repairs. After lengthy repairs the Europa re-entered service on 7 July 1992.[1]

In the mid-1990s Hapag-Lloyd decided to order a replacement for the Europa (again, also named Europa).[8] In preparation for delivery of the new Europa, the 1981 Europa was sold to Star Cruises on 5 April 1998, but chartered back to Hapag-Lloyd until 30 June 1999.[1]

With Star Cruises

Star Cruises took over the Europa in Hamburg on 1 July 1999. On the same date she was renamed SuperStar Europe, and five days later left Hamburg for Singapore, where she arrived on 31 July 1999. After rebuilding at Sembawang shipyard, the SuperStar Europe entered service for Star Cruises in October 1999, initially with Laem Chabang as her port of departure. After just five months of service as SuperStar Europe, the ship was renamed Superstar Aries in February 2000.[1]

In March 2001 Star Cruises announced that the SuperStar Aries would be transferred to the fleet of their subsidiary Orient Lines in 2002 as the Ocean Voyager. However, the plans were shelved following the drop in passenger numbers caused by the September 11, 2001 attacks.[9] As a result the SuperStar Aries was transferred to cruising from Thailand and China.[2] She stayed in Star Cruises fleet until March 2004, when she was sold to the Spain-based Pullmantur Cruises.[1]

With Pullmantur Cruises

Pullmantur Cruises renamed the ship Holiday Dream, and she was used for cruises aimed at a Spanish-speaking clientele.[1][2] She regularly operated cruises in the Caribbean.

With Croisières de France

In September 2007 Royal Caribbean International, the new owner of Pullmantur Cruises, made public their plans for Croisières de France, a new cruise line aimed at the French market. The Holiday Dream was given a 30 million € refit at Barcelona by the Finnish MML Shipbuilding in spring 2008,[6] with her interiors refurbished to suit French cultural tastes. Following the refit the ship was renamed Bleu de France and has entered service as the first ship of the Croisières de France brand.[10] During the north hemisphere summer season she will operate cruises in the Mediterranean out of Marseille, while for the winter season she will offer cruises on the Caribbean, from La Romana, Dominican Republic.[11]

Design

Exterior

Although Hapag-Lloyd originally considered a traditional two-funnel design for the fourth Europa,[9] they finally opted for a modern, balanced design.[2][7] The superstructure is moderately streamlined, with the boat deck located relatively high. The rear decks are tiered to allow a large amount of outer deck space.

The exterior design of the Europa is very similar to the Astor of Hadag Cruise Line (as of 2008 sailing as Astoria for Transocean Tours), built at the same time as the Europa by HDW Hamburg.[12]

Interior

For the interior of the ship, Hapag-Lloyd decided to adapt a design previously used in cruiseferries such as Svea Corona of 1975 and Finnjet of 1977, with the interiors divided vertically. Cabins are located to the front of the ship, furthest away from engine noise, while public spaces and various storages—where engine noise is not as big of an issue as in cabins—are located at the rear of the ship, above the engines. Most of the public spaces were built with higher than standard ceiling height.[2][7]

The current public spaces include a main dining room spanning the entire width of the ship, a showlounge, a casino (originally a lounge), a buffet restaurant, tapas bar and several bars. There are two outdoor pools, the forward of which can be covered by a glass dome (magrodome) in poor weather. There is an additional indoor swimming pool, originally designed as a crew pool but taken into public use during one of the ship's refits.[2][4][7]

Each cabin on the ship was completely pre-fabricated, with complete furnishing and soundproofing, and individually installed onboard the ship.[7] The ship was originally built with spacious cabins, all of which include illuminated closets, color television and a VCR, with many cabins equipped with a bathtub. The 1999 refit added six suites in the place of former officer's cabins, while six balconies were added to the existing suites under the bridge wings.[2] These are the only cabins with balconies on the ship.

Decks and facilities

Decks and facilities based on Croisières de France deck plans, which include only the decks accessible to passengers.[4]

  1. Unknown
  2. Lagon deck - sauna, beauty salon, spa, swimming pool
  3. Unknown
  4. Indigo deck - medical center, interior and exterior cabins
  5. Marine deck - interior and exterior cabins
  6. Cyan deck - interior and exterior cabins
  7. Saphir deck - interior and exterior cabins, reception, café, le Flamboyant dining room
  8. Cobalt deck - interior and exterior cabins, boutique, bar, le Grand Salon showroom, sundeck
  9. Turquoise deck - suites, exterior cabins, casino, discotheque, tapas bar, promenade deck, sundeck, swimming pool
  10. Horizon deck - bridge, suites, exterior cabins, officer's cabins,[citation needed] buffet restaurant, sundeck
  11. Outremer deck - bars, lido café, sundeck, swimming pool
  12. Azur deck - sundeck, solarium

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Asklander, Micke. "M/S Europa (1981)" (in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. http://www.faktaomfartyg.se/europa_1981.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Ward, Douglas (2006). Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships. Singapore: Berlitz. pp. 347–348. ISBN 981-246-739-4. 
  3. ^ Ton Grootenboer. "Holiday Dream at Martinique 17 January 2007 (photograph)" (in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. http://www.faktaomfartyg.se/holiday_dream_1981_b_3.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Croisières de France 2008 brochure (reprint)" (in French). Simplon Postcards. http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/Croisieres-de-France.html#anchor139855. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  5. ^ Asklander, Micke. "M/S Kungsholm (1953)" (in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. http://www.faktaomfartyg.se/kungsholm_1953.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  6. ^ a b Vehmanen, Jukka (2001-01-24). "MML Shipbuildingille tilaus risteilijän korjaustöistä" (in Finnish). Turun Sanomat. http://www.turunsanomat.fi/talous/?ts=1,3:1004:0:0,4:4:0:1:2008-01-24,104:4:513412,1:0:0:0:0:0:. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Ulrich, Kurt. Monarchs of the Seas. Tauris Parke. pp. 236–237. ISBN 1 86064 3736. 
  8. ^ Asklander, Micke. "M/S Europa (1999)" (in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. http://www.faktaomfartyg.se/europa_1999.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  9. ^ a b Boyle, Ian. "Europa (1981)". Simplon Postcards. http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/Europa1981PCs.html. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  10. ^ Cruise Business Review: Royal Caribbean starts new cruise line dedicated to French market, retrieved 14. 10. 2007
  11. ^ Newman, Doug (2007-09-13). "Royal Caribbean Announces CDF Croisières de France". At Sea with Doug Newman. http://dougnewmanatsea.wordpress.com/2007/09/13/royal-caribbean-announces-cdf-croisieres-de-france/. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  12. ^ Asklander, Micke. "M/S Astor (1981)" (in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. http://www.faktaomfartyg.se/astor_1981.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 

External links

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Bleu de France stands for


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