25 August 2010

Gemini, 25 May 2009

Gemini

IMO 9000687
Built 1992, Union Naval de Levante Valencia, Spain
Tonnage 19 093 GT
Length 163,81 m
Width 22,50 m
Draft 5,40 m
940 passengers
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 12 945 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 17,5 knots

Gemini has the unusual distinction of originally being purpose-built cruise ship built for a Finnish-owned cruise line. She was built for Commodore Cruise Line (owned by the Finnish-Swedish EffJohn) as Crown Jewel for Caribbean cruising. EffJohn was experiencing financial difficulties during the early 90s, and already in 1993 new employment was sought for the Crown Jewel and her sister Crown Dynasty that was completed in 1993. The led to the ships' being chartered to Cunard Line, who now formed a short-lived downmarket Cunard Crown Cruise Line brand.

Already in 1995 the Crown Jewel changed owners. She was sold to Star Cruises and and given the somewhat cubersome name SuperStar Gemini for cruising in southeast Asia. In the beginning of 2009 the SuperStar Gemini was withdrawn from Star Cruises' fleet and sold. After being briefly named Vision Star, she was renamed Gemini and entered service with the Spain-based Quail Cruises in spring 2009.

Externally the Gemini has (in my opinion) a very attractive design, combining a relatively low superstructure with streamlined stylings that create a very sleek overall appearance. There are a multitude of details in the design that appear well-thought and as such the mix together very attractively to create a coherent whole (except for the radar mast, which does look like it sticks out a bit). Internally she appears very attractive as well. Obviously I don't have interior ptohos of her, but Quail Cruises' website has a very neat gallery for those interested. [Dec. 2011 update: of course the link doesn't work anymore now that the company in question has gone bust].

Gemini in Valencia harbour on 25 May 2009, photographed from the gangway of the cruise terminal. Click on the image to view full size.

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