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Boudicca

Boudicca sailing past Spaarnwoude at the Northsea Canal from Amsterdam on a beautifull evening at the 10th of july, 2006.

As the second of the Royal Viking Line trio of luxurious cruiseliners, the Royal Viking Sky was launched from the Wärtsilä wharf at Helsinki, Finland at the 25th of may, 1972. She followed her sisters Royal Viking Star and came just before Royal Viking Sea and started worldwide cruises for the company at the 5th of june 1973. The ship measured 21.891 tons, had a lenght of 177,70 meters, she was 25,20 meters wide and her draft was 7,55 meters. With just 536 passengers served by 324 crew, she was one of the most luxurious vessels afloat, getting even with her sisters and the two splendid Norwegian America Liners Sagafjord and Vistafjord. The ship was reigstered at Oslo, Norway and the Royal Viking Line easily placed itself just where they wanted to be. For Royal Viking Line, the ship sailed worldwide, varied cruises from short, few-days trips to 100-day worldcruises. The ships of the line became very popular worldwide, because of their splendid service and also because of these different cruises. In the beginning of the 1980's, Royal Viking Line decided to try and get more out of the ships instead of adding a forth ship and they lenghtened the original trio by a midsection of 28 meters. 

This lenghtening was done at the Seebeckwerft at Bremerhaven, and it increased the ships tonnage to 28.078 and her lenght to 205,47 meters. Of course, also her passengercapacity increased to 812, almost double of her original capacity. At the 27th of november 1982, the ship emerged as a different one, having started her rebuilt from the 10th of september of that year. But her loyal passengers were not that keen on the increase of passengers, the line really fared well on repeaters, but the extra crouds on the ships did not please them. Secondly, several other companies were starting from the middle of the 1980's onwards with small luxury vessels, like a company named Sea Goddess Cruises with both splendid Sea Goddess yaughts, clearly more luxurious then the Royal Viking Line ships. Next to that, the 1980's were a very difficult decade in finances and the Royal Viking Line had to try and find a partner to stay afloat. The found the former Norwegian America Line and they planned to merge under the Royal Viking Line name. But nothing of this came to pass and instead, the company was bought by the Norwegian company Kloster's in 1984. Kloster's main company was Norwegian Caribbean Lines, founded in 1964 by Knut Kloster and Ted Arison, but Kloster decided to keep the Royal Viking Line as a seperate branch and also the ships kept their own names so nothing really changed. 

But also Kloster's got in difficulties. They had built another ship for the Royal Viking Line in 1988 and this ship entered service as the Royal Viking SunBeing far more modern then the original trio, she made them look less luxurious. When in 1991 also the Royal Viking Queen was added, even more luxurious, Kloster started replacing the original trio of ships in other parts of the fleet. Royal Viking Sky was placed within the fleet of Norwegian Caribbean Lines and recieved the name Sunward, the second time the name was used. In fact, the first Sunward had been the very first ship of the company. She was briefly chartered to Birka Line as a ferry for the Stockholm, St.-Peterburg to Riga line, renamed Birka Queen in 1992. She came back with NCL in october of that same year, but again was chartered out the next year from june onwards to Princess Cruises as their first Golden Princess. For this charter, she was rebuilt and now could sail with 804 passengers. Her first Princess cruise started at the 13th of june 1993 from San Fransisco to Alaska. After three years, the ship was sold to Star Cruises of Maleysia for whom she was renamed Superstar Capricorn. Again, her passengercapacity was increased now to 1022. She sailed Asian cruises for the company, before being placed in a casino-service from the port of New York from may 1998 onwards. This was a big failure and because of gigantic losses, her casinocruises were discontinued just four months later. From september 1998, the ship was chartered to Hyundai Merchant Marine as their Hyundai Kumgang. For this venture, she sailed Asian cruisesfrom the 18th of november 1998 onwards. Hyundai was again nog successfull and the company was declared bankrupt in 2001, so the ship returned to Star Cruises but was laid-up at Port Klang under then name Superstar Capricorn. She now was almost 40 years old, so she could easily be scrapped, but luckily she wasn't and instead she joined the fleet of the Spanish company Iberojet as their Grand Latino in 2004. For them, she was returned to service and sailed mostly Mediterranean cruises. One year later, she was bought by a company from her former homecountry, the Norway-based Fred. Olsen Lines. She was rebuilt extensively for them, but retained her classic profile. On the 25th of february 2006, she sailed her first Fred. Olsen cruise. Her normal scedule is European cruises in summer and Caribbean cruises in winter. Within the classic fleet of Fred. Olsen Lines, she also met her former Royal Viking Line fleetmate Royal Viking Star, that had been in the fleet of the company from 1996 onwards and as sailing as their thirth Black Watch. Initially, Fred. Olsen was to name the former Royal Viking Sky as Boadicea, but because this name (of an old Celtic queen) was considered to be a little too uneasy to remember, it was changed to the more internationally written form Boudicca.

On the 25th of january 2015, the ship suffered an engineroom fire when sailing close to Casablanca, Morocco. Because the fire was only copntained to the engineroom, there was never any danger to the passengers or crew. The ship proceeded on a slower speed to the Canaries and her itinerary was changed a little for unsceduled repairs.  

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