Golden Iris cruise ship (former Cunard Princess) beached at Aliaga (Turkey) for scrapping

   July 23, 2022 ,   Cruise Industry

The cruise ship Golden Iris, formerly known as Cunard Princess, after 45+ years in service, was beached at the Aliaga Ship Breaking Yard (Turkey) to be dismantled and sold for scrap.

The 537-ft liner was built by BWSC/Burmeister & Wain Shipyard in Copenhagen Denmark, along with another ship commissioned by the MGM hotel chain which wanted to take advantage of the expanding cruise industry. However, MGM pulled out, and both vessels were sold to Cunard Line before completion.

Cunard transferred the newbuild after construction to another yard in Italy for outfitting. and Cunard Princess entered service in 1977 with a voyage from NYC (New York USA) to Bermuda. Her deployment expanded to Alaska, Florida, and the Mexican Riviera. The ship was briefly chartered to the Italian shipping company Lauro (now MSC) for Mediterranean voyages. A stint with the US government followed, using Cunard Princess as a recreation center in the Persian Gulf (1990-1991).

Golden Iris cruise ship

The vessel was then sold to StarLauro (the predecessor of MSC Cruises) and renamed Rhapsody under new ownership. In 2009, the ship was sold to Mano Maritime (Israel) for seasonal voyages, after which was retired in 2018 and put up for sale. After four years of delay in Greece, Golden Iris arrived in Aliaga Turkey on July 11th, to be dismantled for scrap.