Ocean Majesty cruise ship retires from service

   August 10, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

The 1966-built passenger liner MS Ocean Majesty, a venerable vessel with a rich history in the cruise industry, concluded (what is likely) its final voyage on August 7th, 2023, in Hamburg Hafen (Germany). Local media reports indicate that this classic ship is being retired from active service, at least for the foreseeable future.

For the past decade, Ocean Majesty was operated under charter by Hansa Touristik.

On Monday evening, Ocean Majesty bid a poignant farewell to Port Hamburg, and her future shrouded in uncertainty, following her earlier disembarkation of passengers from a voyage to Iceland and Greenland. Notably, contracts for the ship's ~220 crew/staff were unexpectedly terminated just prior to the debarkation.

The Bild newspaper has conjectured that Ocean Majesty may find a new purpose as a floating refuge for displaced individuals, stationed in Amsterdam. However, despite numerous inquiries, both Hansa Touristik and the Greek shipowner Majesty International Cruises, have chosen not to issue official statements or confirm the vessel's departure from its role as a cruise ship, nor its potential transformation into a refuge.

Ocean Majesty garnered attention in June 2022 when she was temporarily detained by Swedish authorities due to significant safety deficiencies, leading to the cancellation of a scheduled cruise. These issues were largely attributed to the ship's extended period of inactivity from March 2020 to April 2022.

Following a hiatus enforced by the COVID crisis and a subsequent shipyard overhaul in Greece, Ocean Majesty returned to service on May 8th, 2022, under the Hansa Touristik banner, departing from her homeport of Bremerhaven Germany.

Originally constructed in 1966 (as Juan March) in Valencia Spain, Ocean Majesty initially served as a ro-pax ferry, shuttling passengers and cargo between mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands. Her journey later led her to operate as a liner crisscrossing the eastern Mediterranean under various names such as Sol Christina and Kypros Star until 1989. Greece's Majestic International Cruises acquired the vessel that year and transformed her into a 535-passenger cruise ship, christening it with her current name, Ocean Majesty, as she embarked on a new chapter under the Majesty International Cruises banner.

Having navigated the seas for more than five decades, Ocean Majesty holds a significant place in maritime history. Her potential rebirth as a sanctuary for refugees underscores the evolving roles that storied vessels can assume beyond their original design. Ocean Majesty's voyage from her inaugural sailings to her potential new mission stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of maritime exploration and adaptation.