05 October 2013

Azamara Quest in Helsinki, 17 June 2013

Azamara Quest

IMO 9210218
Name history: R Seven, Delphin Renaissance, Blue Moon
Built 2000, Chantiers de l'Atlantique St. Nazaire, France
Tonnage 30 277 GT
Length 181,00 m
Width 25,46 m
Draugth 5,80 m
777 passengers (maximum)
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 13 500 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 18 knots

Some of you might remember how last year I looked at the liveries of different R-class ships operating for different owners in The R Week. Maybe someone in a decision-making position was reading it, as since then Azamara Club Cruises have alreated their livery to a dark-hulled one that stands out better from the general crowd of white-hulled ships (although they did ignore my main advice about funnel colours). Okay, so maybe they didn't change their livery because I wrote about it. But change their livery they did, which of course gives new, interesting photo opportunities.

The Azamara Quest has been featured in this blog previously as the Blue Moon, but let's look at her history for a bit anyway:

Originally the Azamara Quest was Renaissance Cruises' R Seven, penultimate ship of the R class. When Renaissance Cruises went under in 2001, the R Seven was arrested in Tilbury in September, a month before the rest of the Renaissance fleet was arrested and the company declared bankrupt. In December of the same year the ship was sold to Cruiseinvest Eight and moved to lay-up in Marseilles, alongside her sisters R One, R Two, R Five, R Six and R Eight. The R Seven was reactivated in May 2003 when she was chartered to Germany's Delphin Seereisen as the Delphin Renaissance.

After three years the Delphin Renaissance left the Delphin Seereisen fleet in May 2006 when she was sold to Pullmantur Cruises of Spain. Pullmantur was at the time a notable operator of the R-class ships, having used the R Five/Nautica under the marketing name "Blue Dream" in 2002-2005 and at the time still used the ex-R Six (that had been marketed as the "Blue Star") under the name Blue Dream. The Delphin Renaissance was renamed Blue Moon and repainted in the black-hulled livery used by Pullmantur on their R-class ships (essentially the same livery as the ships had had with Renaissance Cruises), having been white-hulled as the Delphin Renaissance. Interestingly, the rest of the Pullmantur fleet were white-hulled at time.

In 2007 Pullmantur Cruises' new owner Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. transferred the Blue Dream and Blue Moon to the new Azamara Cruises brand (originally they had been slated to transfer to Celebrity Cruises instead). The Blue Dream became the Azamara Journey in May 2007, while the Blue Moon followed six months later as the Azamara Quest. Since then the Azamara Quest has remained in service with Azamara Cruises. The company was rebranded Azamara Club Cruises in 2010. In 2013 the originally white-hulled Azamara ships were repainted with dark hulls, essentially identical to their original Renaissance Cruises livery.

The photographs below show the Azamara Quest departing Helsinki on the afternoon of 17 June 2013. The weather, as you can see, was atrocious. but as this was the Azamara Quest's first visit to Helsinki in the new livery I was there anyway.

At the cruise quay on Katajanokka. It wasn'r raining yet, but the clouds sure are threathening...
Two Helsinki landmarks in the background: Helsinki Cathedral (left) and Uspensky Cathedral (right), lutheran and orthodox respectively.
At Suomenlinna when the ship was departing. By this point the rain was pouring down heavily, as you can see from the full-size image.
More rainy Quest.
Notice the near-horizontal raindrops. Fred. Olsen's Boudicca was also in port on this day, but as the rain showed no sign of abating I decided not to stay out to photograph her.

Next time: Carnival Legend.

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