07 July 2012

Columbus 2 in Helsinki, 27 June 2012

Continuing with the R week, we come to the most recent entry to the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet, the Columbus 2. Previously featured were the Ocean Princess, Azamara Journey and Nautica. If I can find my 2007 photos of it, Blue Moon will be the next one to be featured.

Columbus 2

IMO 9156462
Former names: R One, Insignia
Built 1998, Chantiers de l'Atlantique St. Nazaire, France
Tonnage 30 277 GT
Length 180,45 m
Width 25,73 m
Draugth 5,80 m
698 passengers (lower berths), 824 passengers (maximum)
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 13 500 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 18,5 knots

The Columbus 2 was of course, originally, the very first ship of Renaissance Cruises R-class, the R One of 1998. Like all the other Renaissance Cruises ships, she was arrested and laid up at Gibraltar on October 2001. In December of the same year the ship's ownership passed to Cruiseinvest One and like the six other R-class ships in Europe she was moved to a further lay-up at Marseille. The R One spent a fairly long time laid up, activated for further cruising only in June 2003 when she was chartered to Oceania Cruises who renamed the ship Insignia, taking over the name from her sister, the ex-R Two, that had previously been named Insignia but now changed into Regatta.

In December 2006 the (second) Insignia was purchased by Oceania Cruises and remained in service for several years, until spring 2012 when she was withdrawn from service by Oceania (following the entry of service of the new Marina and in preparation for the upcoming arrival of the Riviera) and chartered to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises as the Columbus 2, replacing the earlier Columbus which passed on to Plantours as the Hamburg.

The photographs below show the Columbus 2 departing from her maiden visit to Helsinki (under that name) on 27 June 2012. In the city on the same day was her fleetmate Europa, but unfortunately there was no change of getting both ships in the same photograph. Click on the images to see in larger size.

The weather was not very good at all, so (almost) all these images have been heavily treated, with the ship and the background treated separately to get the ship to stand out from the white background (notice the difference in the bightness between the Columbus 2 and the JT Line ferry Amiraali behind it).
As you can perhaps notice, the Hapag-Lloyd hull stripes have been done by simply adding an orange stripe below the Oceania Cruises blue one - compare with the previous entry on Nautica. It improves the looks in my opinion, though I can't help thinking the stripes would be even better if they were maybe one deck or hlaf a deck lower on the hull.
And speaking of improvements in the looks of the ship compared to the other ships in the class, notice how much better the orange funnel looks compared to the other sister's white ones.
This is the only photo from the entire session that looked alright without treating the background and ship separately.
Unusual to see a Hapag-Lloyd ship with Majuro in the Marshall Islands as the port of registry (or homeport as it should be called, but the cruise industry has hijacked the term for a different use).
An upright photo for a change. This one turned out particularly well. Notice how the colour of the background changes from, the right side to the left side of the photo.

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