6 of the most recycled ships

What do you do with a designer outfit when you can no longer squeeze into it?

Throw it out or sell it on eBay.

Well that’s the question cruise lines need to answer when one of their ships no longer compliments their long terms fleet plans. And in most cases the answer is, sell it.

Recycling vessels is a common practice amongst cruise lines. They purchase the ship, renovate it, rename it and re-launch it.

This is done because it is cheaper than building a new one from scratch.

We did some research to find ten of the most recycled cruise ships:

Golden Princess

She’s a vessel of many names and faces. This ship of disguise has been through ten name changes and nine owners in 42 years.

She was originally launched in 1967 under the name Finlandia. Operated by Finland Steamship Company she served as a connection between Helsinki, Finland to Travemunde, West Germany.

Financial difficulties in 1975 forced the company to give up the ship. She was sold to another Finland company, Finnlines.

For the first three years with her new owners she kept her name and a minor livery change to reflect new ownership.

In 1978 the company decided to convert her interior into cruise ship standards and renamed her to Finnstar. She spent the next two years making journeys to the west coast of Africa, the Mediterranean and Norwegian Fjord before the company decided to sell her.

In 1981 she was sold to Loke Shipping who temporarily renamed her Innstar and rebuilt her into a cruise ship. Following her major transformation, the company renamed her again to Pearl of Scandinavia and was used to sail East and Southeast Asia voyages.

In 1988 she went under further renovation and was renamed Ocean Pearl by Princess Galayani Vadhana of Thailand.

Less than two years later she was sold to Sendumar for two years and sold again in 1992 to Croisières Paquet who dropped the Ocean in her name, leaving her as the Pearl.

In 1995, Costa Cruises absorbed Croisières Paquet and the Pearl. The company sent her for a complete refit and rename to Costa Playa. She was used for cruises in the Caribbean and was the first ship to visit Cuba since the end of the Cold War.

In 1998, Costa Cruises sold the ship to Hong Kong-based Mega Wave International where she was renamed Oriental Pearl.

She was with the company for two years but was renamed again to Joy Wave. However, in 2000 she was once again put on sale, and purchased by Eurasia who refitted her and renamed her Golden Princess. The ship was finally laid to rest in 2009 when her owners sold her to China for scrapping.

Pacific Jewel

We may know her as the Pacific Jewel today, but this lady has been through five name changes and five owners.

She was launched 1990 by a subsidiary of the P&O Group, Astamar. Christened Crown Princess, she sailed as a Princess Cruises vessel for the first 12-years. However, it wasn’t until 1992 when Princess Cruises became the official owners of the vessel.

In 2002, she was transferred to A’Rosa Cruises, a new P&O brand aimed toward the German market. There was renamed A’Rosa Blu, however, financial problems forced P&O to reassign the ship to the AIDA Cruises fleet in 2003. She underwent a major refit, including a capacity increase to 2,014 passengers and was renamed AIDAblu.

She sailed with AIDA Cruises for three years before she was again transferred to Ocean Village. There she received a small refit and was christened Ocean Village Two.

In 2007, Carnival Cruise Lines announced the closure of the Ocean Village brand. The ship was then transferred to the P&O fleet, received a two-week refit included mirror upgrades and facility renovations and was renamed to Pacific Jewel.

She continues to sail under that title and caters to the Australian market.

MS Gemini

The 916-passenger ship has had over five names and four owners.

She was originally launched in 1992 as Crown Jewel under Crown Cruise Line.  In 1993 Cunard Cruise Lines purchased her and renamed her Cunard Crown Jewel.

She operated as an ocean liner for Cunard for two years before Star Cruises stepped in to purchase her in 1995. She was renamed Superstar Gemini and sailed with the line for 14-years.

In 2009, Spanish operator, Quail Travel Group bought the ship and renamed her Vision Star and although she still sails the Caribbean with Quail, in 2009 the company again renamed her to her current title, MS Gemini.

Pacific Pearl

She’s one of the most popular Australian ships, but before she arrived down under she’d gone through four name changes and four owners.

FairMajesty may have been constructed in 1988 under Sitmar Cruises, however, she would never sail under that name. While she was being refitted she was taken over by P&O Cruises and renamed Star Princess to sail under the Princess Cruises brand.

In 1989 she made her first journey with the line. Eight years later, she was transferred to join P&O’s Southampton fleet. As part of the transfer, she was refitted for her new role as the Arcadia.

In 2003, P&O launched a new brand, Ocean Village, which was aimed at younger cruisers and families. The first ship to join the fleet was the Arcadia. However, she was named Ocean Village. In line with the new ownership, she underwent a livery update as well as a complete interior transformation.

Ocean Village had a good seven-year run, however, in 2010 the brand ceased operations. Carnival decided to keep the vessel, but transferred her over to P&O Cruises Australia to join the fleet as Pacific Pearl.

Silver Explorer

When the name of a ship changes, it usually means the vessel is being operated by a new owner.

Except in this case.

In her 25 years of service, Silver Explorer has had nine name changes but only three owners.

She was first christened in 1989 as Delfin Clipper. She sailed under that title for her first two years before she was renamed to Sally Clipper.

In 1992 she was purchased by Society Expeditions are renamed Baltic Clipper for a short period but in that same year was again retitled to Delfin Star.

She said under Delfin Star for five years until she received another name change in 2008 to Dream 21.

In that same year she was purchased by Silversea Cruises who held onto her from 1997 to 2011.

During that period her name went through a number of changes including MS World Discoverer from 2002-2004; World Adventurer from 2003-2008 and Prince Albert II from 2008-2011.

During her time with Silversea Cruises she also underwent a multi-million pound refit.

In 2011 she was sold to a German owner and despite the sale continues to be used by Silversea Cruises today. Following the last purchase, she was renamed to her current title, Silversea Explorer.


Another ship of many names if Fred Olsen’s Boudicca. In 41 years of services she’d had nine names and five owners.

Her journey began in 1973. She was ordered by Kloster Cruise and Royal Viking and was christened Royal Viking Sky. She was operated as a luxury cruise vessel sailing across the world.

In 1982 she was lengthened by 91 metres and then in 1984 Kloster Cruise acquired the entire Royal Viking Line and Royal Viking Sky was transferred to the Norwegian Cruise Line under the title Sunward.

In 1992 she was sold to Birka Cruise, who renamed her Birka Queen. She sailed the Baltic for a short period and in the same year was sold back to Norwegian and reverted back to Sunward.

In 1993 she was chartered to Princess Cruises and renamed the Golden Princess and in 1997 she was sold to Star Cruises who renamed her SuperStar Capricorn.

She sailed as the SuperStar Capricorn until 2004 when she was sold to Iberocruceros who renamed her Grand Latino for a year until she was again sold to Fred Olsen Cruises who renamed her Boudicca.