MV Gemini

Former names: Celestyal Nefeli, Vision Star, Superstar Gemini, Cunard Crown Jewel

MV Gemini current position

MV Gemini current location is at Marmara Sea (coordinates 41.00939 N / 29.00754 E) cruising en route to TR HAY. The AIS position was reported 1 minute ago.

Current Position

Specifications of MV Gemini

Year of build1992  /  Age: 31
Flag state Bahamas
BuilderUnion Naval de Levante SA (Valencia, Spain)
Ferry route / homeportsPiraeus-Cesme
Building costUSD 45 million
Engines (power)Wartsila (13.1 MW / 17567 hp)
Speed19 kn / 35 km/h / 22 mph
Length (LOA)164 m / 538 ft
Beam (width)23 m / 75 ft
Gross Tonnage19093 gt
Passengers800 - 1074
Crew340
Passengers-to-space ratio21
Decks8
Cabins400
Decks with cabins5
Last Refurbishment2023
Sister-shipsMS Braemar
Former namesCelestyal Nefeli, Vision Star, Superstar Gemini, Cunard Crown Jewel
OwnerJewel Owner Ltd
OperatorMiray Gemicilik ─░sletme ve Personel Tic Ltd

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The 1992-built MS Gemini cruise ship (fka "Celestyal Nefeli", and previously as "Gemini" for the now-defunct Quail Travel Group) was launched as "Crown Jewel" for Crown Cruise Line (1984-founded/2001-defunct). The luxurious passenger liner features a unique yacht-like design, stylish lounges, cozy dining venues, open promenades. The boat was previously operated by Louis Cruises (rebranded in 2014 to Celestyal Cruises).

The vessel (IMO number 9000687) is currently Bahamas-flagged (MMSI 311000160) and registered in Nassau.

The boat was last refurbished by Celestyal in 2016. During the drydock in 2022 (by Miray International) the hull's color was changed from white to blue.

IMPORTANT: On June 29, 2023, Miray Cruises announced that its new travel brand's ("Life at Sea Cruises") 3-year-long World Voyage (roundtrip from Istanbul Turkey leaving on November 1st/2023) would be on AIDAaura (renamed MV Lara) instead of the initially scheduled MV Gemini. Eventually (in November 2023), the entire project was canceled.

History - construction and ownership

Crown Jewel/Gemini is the largest cruise ship ever built in Spain (at Union Navale de Levante shipyard in Valencia). Crown Cruise Line used the vessel for cruises from the USA (NYC) to the Caribbean, Bermuda and Canada. In 1993, after being chartered to Cunard Line, the ship was renamed "Cunard Crown Jewel". In 1995, it was sold to Star Cruises, renamed "SuperStar Gemini" and homeported in Singapore.

Celestyal Nefeli cruise ship (MV Gemini)

Delivered to Crown Cruise Line in July and inaugurated in September 1992, Crown Jewel operated on roundtrips from the USA (homeport NYC New York) visiting port cities in New England and Canada. During the inaugural 1992 season, the boat also offered Panama Canal voyages (October-November) followed by the Caribbean winter deployment based on homeporting in West Palm Beach (Florida). The 7-night itineraries visited destinations in Martinique and Saint Bartholemy.

Fun fact is that during the "Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games" (July 25-Aug 9) and the "2012 Summer Paralympics" (Aug 29-Sept 9) the liner was chartered as a floating hotel.

In September 2007, Star Cruises announced that SuperStar Gemini had been sold and in December 2008 left the fleet. Reportedly the new shipowner was Jewel Owner Ltd (part of the Bahamas-based Clipper Group of Denmark), which in 2009 chartered the vessel to a new operator. In 2008, Clipper Group announced that it would rename the vessel "Vision Star" and lease it to Vision Cruceros (Spanish brand/defunct since March 2009).

In early-2009, Mediterranean Classic Cruises was booking voyages in the Aegean Sea aboard Vision Star. However, these sailings were canceled due to the non-availability of Vision Star (from Vision Cruceros). Instead, SuperStar Gemini was renamed Gemini, and until 2011 had a Spanish operator, Quail Travel Group. Since the bankruptcy of Quail Travel in 2011, the cruise ship Gemini was laid up at Tilbury Docks (Essex England) awaiting charter or sale.

In July 2020, Miray International started its own brand ("Miray Cruises") by a multi-year chartering of MV Gemini (inaugural cruise for Miray was scheduled for August 31st).

Prior to the Life at Sea Cruises service, MV Gemini was scheduled for an extensive drydock refurbishment. The drydocking project included the addition of a Business Center (2x meeting rooms and 14x offices/available for rent), Library, Relaxation Lounge, Cafe Bar. The Business Center is fitted with large LED screens, modern audio-video equipment, printers, Wi-Fi Internet, and is served by dedicated assistance staff.

Decks and Cabins

Celestyal Nefeli/Gemini ship has a total of 400 staterooms (max capacity 1074 passengers) and 8 decks (5 with cabins). Of all Celestyal Nefeli cabins, 10 are Suite-grade accommodations each with a private balcony. The ship has a total of 277 oceanview staterooms (including the 10 suites) and 123 interior cabins.

Of all outside accommodations, 12 are Executive Suites and 31 are Junior Suites. Most Executive Suites have private step-out balconies. Junior Suites are with extra storage space.

Shipboard facilities and amenities

With two eating outlets to choose from, cruisers might enjoy the sumptuous Greek and Mediterranean kitchen onboard as well as 24-hour room service. The Aegean Restaurant is the main dining room onboard Celestyal Nefeli. It is complimentary, features Greek cuisine specialties, and also has a dinner a la carte menu. The MDR restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Leda Casual Dining is a buffet-style venue for alfresco dining with an outdoor seating area. Continental Breakfast (7-8:30 am) and Afternoon Tea (4-5 pm) are also served here.

The boat's standout feature is the 5-deck high, glass-walled Atrium with windows overlooking the sea. Onboard facilities include 5 bars, 4 lounges, a swimming pool, an outdoor Jacuzzi/spa pool, Oscar's Beauty Center, Casino Bar & Lounge, Business Center.

Onboard enrichment programming includes guest lectures and various classes.

The ship has a 24-hour Infirmary (on-call hospital) served by professional staff and operated with free medical visits.

Itineraries

Celestyal Nefeli's itinerary program offered Eastern Mediterranean voyages to ports in Greece and Turkey. The 7-day itineraries were out of Piraeus-Athens and Istanbul (overnight stay). From Izmir (Turkey) were offered Greek Islands cruises to Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete (Chania), Santorini and returning to Athens.

Next photo shows the Nefeli ship passing through Corinth Canal.

Celestyal Nefeli cruise ship Gemini (Corinth Canal)

Miray Cruises Turkey specializes in Aegean Sea voyages (short break/3-4-night Greek Isles itineraries) leaving roundtrip from homeports Piraeus-Athens Greece and Cesme Turkey. The itineraries visit some of Greece's most popular islands (Mykonos, Santorini, Syros) plus Turkey (Cesme). Longer voyages additionally visit Rhodes.

Miray Cruises' MV Gemini ship charters are seasonal, in the period March-April through September-October.

During layup periods (winter months) the vessel remains docked at Port Keratsini (suburb of Athens City).

Miray Cruises 2022 program (May 15th thru Oct 20th) was based on Eastern Mediterranean voyages. MV Gemini's schedule included 3-day and 4-day itineraries (all roundtrips from Cesme) visiting the Greek islands Mykonos, Santorini, and Rhodes, and also Piraeus-Athens.

Miray Cruises 2023 program started on March 19th, out of Cesme. Traditionally, the schedule included 3-4-day Greek Islands roundtrips from Cesme and Piraeus. In the period February 19-March 18, the ship served as a hotel providing relief housing for homeless families after the Turkey-Syria 2023 earthquake (Feb 6th).

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For summer 2019 season, Turkey's largest tour agency Etstur chartered Celestyal Nefeli (Gemini) for roundtrips from homeport Izmir (Turkey) to Greece (Syros Island, Mykonos Island, Santorini Island and Piraeus-Athens). The seasonal ship charter offered 3- and 4-day itineraries starting May 31 (with a 2-day mini-cruise) and ending on September 8. Etstur's 3-day cruise prices started from EUR 230 / USD 260 per person (double occupancy).

The vessel (Union Naval Valencia yard/hull number 197) is powered by 4x Wartsila marine diesel engines (model 8R32E) with total power output 13,12 MW.

Note: In 2019, the ship's name (Celestyal Nefeli), MMSI (538003843) and registry/flag-state (Marshall Islands) were changed, respectively, to Gemini-Bahamas-311000160.

Celestyal Nefeli cruise ship (Gemini)

The vessel was launched (floated-out from drydock) on May 30, 1991, delivered (to the Panama-based Commodore Cruise Line) in May 1992 and immediately chartered (as hotel ship) during the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games. On November 11, it left Barcelona for NYC New York. The inaugural cruise (from homeport NYC) departed on October 5.

In 1995, the ship was sold to Star Cruises, renamed "Superstar Gemini" and homeported in Singapore.

On November 19, 2007, the liner was sold to Jewel Owner Ltd but continued the Star Cruises service (under charter) through January 2009, when was renamed "Vision Star". In March, its flagstate was changed to Malta (registered in Valletta). In April, it was renamed "Gemini" and chartered to Quail Travel Group (which bankrupted in August 2011).

In April-July 2012, the ship was chartered (as hotel ship) by Petrofac Ltd (Jersey UK-registered oilfield services provider to the oil and gas industry). In November 2015, the vessel entered drydock at Besiktas Shipyard (Istanbul, Turkey).

In April 2016 through December 2017, the ship was chartered by Celestyal Cruises and renamed "Celestyal Nefeli". In January 2018 was renamed to "Gemini".

In May-October 2018 and 2019, MS Gemini was chartered to Etstur (Turkey-based travel agency and tour operator).

For 2019 was planned a seasonal charter to Blue World Voyages (2017-established, Miami-based wellness cruise line / new) and to be operated as "Blue World One". However, the charter deal was not signed.

In 2020-H1 (first half) the cruise liner was layup in Port Piraeus (Keratsini, Athens). In July 2020, Miray International started its own brand ("Miray Cruises") by a multi-year chartering of MV Gemini (inaugural cruise for Miray on August 31). Miray specialises in short Aegean Sea cruises (3-4-night Greek Isles itineraries) leaving roundtrip from homeports Piraeus and Cesme Turkey. The itineraries visit some of Greece's most popular islands (Mykonos, Santorini, Syros) plus Turkey (Cesme). Longer voyages additionally visit Rhodes. Since 2012, Miray International has been also involved with the Etstur's cruise shipping operations. The list of other Miray-managed cruise vessels also includes Louis Aura, Aegean Paradise, MS Delphin.

Miray Cruises 2021 charter of MV Gemini is planned for the period April through October.

During layup periods (winter months) the vessel remains docked at Port Keratsini (suburb of Athens City).