08 July 2012

Blue Moon in Helsinki, 29 July 2007

As the final image entry of The R Week (there will be a further more text-heavy entry next week), I give to you my earliest images of an R-class ship, the Blue Moon. Previously featured in this series were the Ocean Princess, Azamara Journey, Nautica and Columbus 2.

Blue Moon

IMO 9210218
Name history: R Seven, Delphin Renaissance, Blue Moon, Azamara Quest
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
702 passengers (lower berths), 777 passengers (maximum)
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 13 500 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 18 knots

Originally this ship was Renaissance Cruises' R Seven, penultimate ship of the R class. According to Fakta om Fartyg, the R Seven was arrested in Tilbury in September 2001, 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. I do not know if she sailed alongside or in place of Delphin Seereisen's older Delphin.

After three years the Delphin Renaissance left the Delphin Seereisen fleet in May 2006 when she was sold to Pullmantur Cruises of Spain. Pullmantur had of course by this time a tradition of featuring R-class ships, having used the R Five/Nautica under the marketing name "Blue Dream" in 2002-2005 and still used the ex-R Six (that had previously 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. Of course, the rest of the Pullmantur fleet were white-hulled...

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 (and, if I may add, seem to have a very appealing onboard product).

The photographs below show the Blue Moon in Helsinki South Harbour, departing the port in the evening og 29 July 2007. There were taken with my old Olympus μ760 pocket camera. It's a sign that my current Canon EOS 350D is about to break down that the photos taken with the μ760 (which I thought took irritatingly unsharp images) are actually sharper than the ones taken with the 350D (before editing). Click on the images to see them in larger size.

Not very informative on how the ship looks, but just look at that lighting!
Back in the mid-00s Pullmantur Cruises had delightfully mismatched liveries: most of the ships had a white hull and blue funnel, but the Pacific (ex-Pacific Princess) had a white hull and white funnel and the R-class ships were all painted as seen here, with Renaissance Cruises' black hull and white funnel, but with Pullmantur logos.

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