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Artania 

Artania gets underway as seen from the IJmuiden piers at the 12th of may of 2012.

What the early steam paddlers were for transoceanic passengerliners, was the Artania of Phoenix Reisen when she was born as Royal Princess for modern cruiseships that sail today. She was not the biggest or the longest ship when she was launched at the  Wärtsilä Yard in Helsinki, Finland in 1984, but her looks were ahead of her time. The yardnumber was 464 when she was built, and with a tonnage of 44.588 she was the biggest P&O cruiseship in servive, after the much loved Canberra of course. The Royal Princess was at the time the most luxurious ship that sailed for P&O and she was also the first that looked like a true modern cruiseship. The first ship also, where the public rooms were below and passenger accommodation was on the upper decks, so all passengers could enjoy great views. Also, Royal Princess does not have any inside cabins, something that is now only seen at the most highrated cruiseships in service! The ship was also the most expensive British cruiseship built untill then and the largest built somewhere else then in Great Britain.

The ship was built for 1260 passengers who could be served and pampered by 518 crewmembers. She has a length of 230,61 meters, she is 30,21 meters wide and her draft is 7,80 meters. Her servicespeed lies somewhere around 20 knots and out of a total of 12 decks, 9 can be used by her passengers. The ship was flying the British flag when she was introduced. Royal Princess was the first big cruiseliner that was built in the 'all-outside cabin' concept. All these cabins have windows, instead of portholes mostly found on older ships and it was also the first ship that offered two decks of cabins with balconies, namely the Lido deck and the Aloha deck. Her appearance was mostly appealing. Her clipperbow, massive but good proportioned superstructure and her funnel well aft, creating a vast open lido in the center of the ship, something that is greatly loved by Britisch passengers. Her main public rooms are found on the Riviera deck, in her Princess days these included the Princess Theater, Princess Court, the International Lounge, the Riviera Club and the casino. The main dining room, the Continental Dining Room was to be found one deck below, on the Plaza Deck. Wrapped around her funnel was a lounge also, called the Horizon Lounge, that gave spectacular views 360 degrees around. When she was built, the placement of her public rooms was almost an exact copy as the layout of the Island Princess and Pacific Princess. When you compare the Riviera deck on both of these sisters from the early seventies to the Riviera deck on Royal Princess you will find them practicly the same, only on Royal Princess the rooms are somewhat bigger of course. This was done because passengers from the older ships would feel immidiately at home on the new megaliner.

Royal Princess sailing the Northsea Canal close to Spaarnwoude at the 1st of september 2004 during her last season for Princess Cruises.
 
Royal Princess floated out of her building dock at the 18th of february, 1984. She was one of the first cruiseliners that wasn't traditionally launched. On the 15th of november of that same year, just after she had been delivered to P&O, she was named by HRH the Princess Of Wales before she set sail on her maiden voyage departing at the 19th of November 1984 from Southampton and got here across the North Atlantic to Miami fully booked. This was a voyage where she wasn't designed for and she rolled and pitched in the rough seas.
Most of her cruises for Princess took her and her passengers to Alaska and the Caribbean, but later in het carreer she also went to Europe and made worldwide cruises. 
The ship was christened by the late Princess Diana in 1984, and in 2005 Diana gave her own name to the ship when Royal Princess became Artemis for P&O Cruises. Artemis being the Greek name for the Roman god Diana, so this name is well chosen for the ship although it is not a traditional P&O name. The ship was given her new name by Prunella Scales, the English actress who played the part of Basil Fawlty's suffering wife Sybill in the series Fawlty Towers. As Artemis, the ship made her first cruise for P&O on the 17th of June 2005 from Southampton to the Baltic. Within the time she sailed for P&O Cruises, she had another first, not only for P&O Cruises, but a first for any British cruiseship when Sarah Breton was named Master of the Ship as the first female cruiseship captain. The service of Artemis with P&O ended at the 26th of april of 2011, when she arrived at Southampton for the last time, before she is being chartered to Phoenix Reisen, the German operator who is now really modernizing its chartered fleet of cruiseships. Several people had shed a tear when P&O waved the ship goodbye, because as Royal Princess and Artemis, the ship was very popular, a true modern classic by the opinion of many. She was sailing for P&O for 27 years. She sailed her first European summerseason as Artania for Phoenix Reisen dedicated to the German market from the middle of 2011 onwards. That Phoenix Reisen is planning of giving her a  smooth and longlasting future, was made clear when the ship was totally updated during a 71-day drydock at Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven during the end of 2014. The ship's engines were replaced by less expensive, modern Wärtsilä designed engines. Next to the engine, more of the ships systems were updated like the swichboard, the automatic system, coolingsystems and the ships freshwater production. Next to those mechanical updates, the ship also recieved an interiour update of the staterooms and 152 new balconies. These new ones mostly replaced older ones. We now can be certain that the ship will at least be around for a long while to come.

Artania leaving Amsterdam at the 30th of may 2011 as seen from the decks of Costa Magica. This is during one of her first cruises for Phoenix Reisen.

Between all modern cruiseships this great ship is still going strong and her looks are still amazing. In the cruiseworld today she is one of the most gorgeous looking ships and she is a great example of a modern cruiseship that still has the grace from the old ocean liners, in the opinion of many.

Below, Royal Princess is seen leaving Amsterdam on a beautifull summerevening on the 5th of september of 2003 

 

 

 
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