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Louis Aura

Former names: Orient Queen, Bolero, Starward

Louis Aura Review and Specifications

Specifications of Louis Aura

Year built1968  /  Age : 51
Flag state Malta
BuilderAG Weser Werk Seebeck Shipyard (Bremerhaven, Germany)
Building costUSD 15 million
OwnerTeal Shipping SA
OperatorCelestyal Cruises
Speed20 kn / 37 kph / 23 mph
Length (LOA)160 m / 525 ft
Beam (width)22 m / 72 ft
Gross Tonnage15781 gt
Passengers828 - 895
Passengers-to-space ratio17
Decks with cabins8
Last Refurbishment2013
Former namesOrient Queen, Bolero, Starward

Review of Louis Aura

Louis Aura cruise ship is operated by the Cyprus-based company Celestyal Cruises. The vessel was built in 1968 in Bremerhaven Germany.

History - construction & ownership

The 15,781-ton, 912-passenger cruise ship Orient Queen (Louis Aura) was operated by Norwegian Cruise Lines as Starward from 1968 until 1995, and was their first purpose-built vessel, along with her near-identical sister, Skyward (mv Leisure World).

Louis Aura cruise ship

After 1995, the ship was operated as Bolero by Greek line Festival Cruises until the collapse of the company in 2004 when she was bought for US$9.5 mill by Abou Merhi Lines and received a US$10–$15 mill renovation. In November 2005 the vessel was repositioned in Dubai to start what was an unsuccessful Persian Gulf program, providing the first luxury cruise service between Dubai and Gulf Cooperation Council countries. 

In July 2006, Louis Aura was used to help evacuate US citizens from Lebanon because of the conflict with Israel. The ship was escorted by USS Gonzalez (DDG-66), US Navy guided missile destroyer, and USS Barry (DDG-52). In August 2006, Louis Aura was purchased by Louis Cruise Lines and started operating under the name Orient Queen.

Cruise itinerary program

In 2012 and 2013 Louis Aura operated Greek Isles cruises from Limassol and Piraeus. For the summer of 2014, the ship offered 3-7-day cruises to Greek Islands leaving from Limassol, Cyprus. Currently, Louis Aura operates in the eastern Mediterranean leaving out of Turkey on round-trip itineraries from Izmir and Kusadasi.


Louis Aura (Orient Queen) cruise ship has 364 staterooms (with 56 Suites), all of which are spacious, cozy and modern, especially good for couples. The cabins feature understated modern feel with matching drapery and bedspreads, chrome bed stands (with a shelf but no drawers), linen upholstered daybed and chair, ample closets, LCD TV, telephone, fridge and safe. The spacious bathroom has marble-like tiled floors, walls and counters, a bathtub with a shower plus a hairdryer.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

Louis Aura offers the main dining room that operates in 2 sittings for dinner, plus an outdoor buffet that is aft facing and serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Most of the ship's public rooms are set along the length of one passenger deck, from the forward facing showroom to the lounges, and the main restaurant situated at the stern. This has a nice wall of glass windows looking out over ship’s wake.

Louis Aura cruise ship

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

Louis Aura (Orient Queen) has 10 passenger decks. Deck 10, which is Panoramic, has the Venus Bar - level 2, and Deck 9 (Compass), the Venus Bar - level 1 plus a mini-golf course. Deck 8 (Sun), is for the major swimming pool, fitness center, and sauna; Deck 7 (Boat), for the Horizon Buffet Dining venue, small swimming pool, beauty salon, massage and spa center, hospital and jogging zone; Deck 6 (Merry), for the Mermaid Restaurant, Reflections Lounge and Bar, the Stars Show Lounge and Bar, library, video game arcade and business/internet facilities; Deck 5 (Phoenician), for the reception and shore vacations desks, duty-free arcade, photo gallery plus a heliport; Decks 3 (Fortune), shelters the casino and slot machines.

Louis Aura - user reviews and comments

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Louis Aura Wiki

The cruise ship debuted as "mv Starward" in 1968. Initially, it was part of the NCL Norwegian Cruise Lines fleet where it stayed until 1995. Then it was transferred to the fleet of Festival Cruises and renamed to "mv Bolero" (until 2004).

Louis Aura joined Louis Cruises (since 2014 rebranded to Celestyal Cruises) in 2006 and started operations as "Orient Queen". The ship received its current name after a full refit in 2013. Fleetmates are the ships Celestyal Crystal, Celestyal Olympia and Celestyal Nefeli.

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