Built 1999, Chantiers de l'Atlantique, St. Nazaire, France
Tonnage 48 200 GT
Length 216 m
Width 28,80 m
Draft 6,90 m
1 715 passengers
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 31 680 kW
2 bow thrusters
Speed 22,5 knots
Originally named Mistral, this ship was the first newbuilding delivered to Festival Cruises, which was the first company attempting to offer a pan-European cruise experience. Two enlargened versions of the Mistral were built for Festival in 2001-2002 (European Vision and European Stars), while MSC Cruises had further two ship of a derived design built for them in 2003-2004 (MSC Lirica and MSC Opera). Following the bankruptcy of Festival Cruises in 2004 the Mistral was sold to a French invesor group, who chartered her to Iberojet Cruceros under the name Grand Mistral. In 2007 Iberojet Cruceros closed down when a new joint venture with the Carnival Corporation was founded under the name Iberocruceros. Apart from changes to the Grand Mistral's livery, this had little effect on her service.
Grand Mistral departing Helsinki West Harbour on the evening of 10 July 2010, after getting a fresh load of passengers. Photographed from Vattuniemi. Click on the images to view full size.