In her last season with Norwegian Cruise Line in 2008, the Norwegian Dream was put back on her old Boston to Bermuda run for one last season.
Having first sailed the ship in the Baltic in 2000, I decided to go back one more time, to experience the ship before what was intended to be her sale- together with fleet mate, Norwegian Majesty- to Louis Cruises.
Sailing over mid summer week, the Norwegian Dream was scheduled to spend three nights’ docked in the old, historic capital of St. Georges’ -very much my favourite part of that wonderful island. But, as we approached the entrance to the channel, high winds kicked in. Captain Aage Hoddevik decided to take the ship around to Hamilton instead.
We would spend our three days here, and it was fun all around.
The shots in here are not ‘glamour’ pictures; they simply portray every day life aboard a cruise ship, making a weekly circuit in the summer season. For a number of reasons, the sale to Louis Cruises fell through, and the Norwegian Dream endured five years of soul destroying lay up in the Greek Islands.
Finally rescued by Star Cruises, the 50,000 ton ship was extensively refitted, and resumed service as the Superstar Gemini in 2013, on short, port intensive cruises in the Far East. So; here we are. A look back at a ship that was a favourite of many passengers- the Norwegian Dream.
She was originally built as the Dreamward in the shipyard that is now STX France, back in late 1982, and christened by Diana Ross. A few months later, she was followed by a nearly identical sister, the Windward.
As Norwegian changed direction, both ships were sent back to Germany in 1998 to be cut in half and lengthened with a substantial mid section. They were then restyled as Norwegian Dream and Norwegian Wind, respectively.
For her first season of Baltic cruises in 1999, the Norwegian Dream was fitted with a set of hinges to the top of her funnel that allowed it to be flipped sideways, a necessity for passing under the relatively low bridges of the Kiel Canal.
It was in that year that she rammed a container ship, the Ever Decent, in thick fog in the English Channel, at the end of a Baltic cruise. Her bow crumpled like wet cardboard, and had to be entirely rebuilt at massive expense. Luckily, there were no fatalities on either ship.
Later, in December 2007, the Norwegian Dream was involved in another, luckily far less damaging collision with another container ship in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Now sailing successfully for Star Cruises, she has been reunited with her sister ship, Norwegian Wind, now operating for that company as the Superstar Aquarius.