Star Legend sailing past Velsen-Noord at the 30th of august 2015, just after her first visit to Amsterdam. She was the last ship of the original Seabourn trio to be placed in the fleet of Windstar, only starting her services as such in the summer of 2015.
You'd think Star Legend is just one of those sisters from the sisterhood that made up the first trio of ships of the Seabourn Cruise Line. But she already has a quite interesting history. When in 1986 the new company Signet Cruise Line was started, a trio of ultra-luxury small ships was ordered for them. Later, even before the first ship was launched, the company had to re-name itself due to a courtcase started by Signet Oil, who were not to keen on the use of this name. That's why the line started eventually as Seabourn Cruise Line and the first of its ships entered service as Seabourn Pride in 1988. One year later, the second ship was launched under the name of Seabourn Spirit, but because it seemed impossible to also add the thirth ship due to overcapacity for the line, the order was sold to Kloster Cruise, the owner of three companies at the time (Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Cruise Line and Royal Viking Line). That companies brand Royal Viking Line was in desperate need for luxury tonnage, as the original ships (that were built in the early 1970's), were not capable of keeping up the high expectations. Kloster had already added one new ship to replace those, the Royal Viking Sun in 1988. But when the possibility was there to add another ship, Kloster took over the contract from Seabourn and launched the thirth ship in the class as Royal Viking Queen in 1992.
Royal Viking Queen was laid down at the Schichau Seebeckwerft in Bremerhaven, Germany in 1990 and launched in may 1991. The ship measured 9961 tons and she had a lenght of 135 meters, a width of 19,60 meters and a draft of 5,20 meters. She had a capacity for 208 passengers and 164 crewmembers, clealy stating her amount of luxury in those numbers. Her normal speed was 16 knots in service, although she is capable of a maximum of 19,6 knots. Not really a speed-queen, although her speed has been an important part of her life as we can see later on. The ship was handed over to Kloster Cruise for the use within the fleet of Royal Viking Line in february 1992 and her maiden voyage started at the 11th of that month. For Royal Viking Line, she operated worldwide cruises in extreme luxury.
But not all was well, as Kloster Cruise entered troubled times. The company faced severe financial difficulties during the mid 1990's and had to close it's Royal Viking Line brand to keep the other two brands operating. So Royal Viking Queen was replaced in the fleet of Royal Cruise Line in 1995. The Royal Viking Sun and the Royal Viking Line name were sold to Cunard Line and they operated the ship untill 1999, when the line was drasticly reformed and the Royal Viking name laid to rest.
For Royal Cruise Line, Royal Viking Queen was renamed Queen Odyssey, in the naming tradition of that line. But this was only for one year, when Klosters also had to end this company to keep its main line, Norwegian Cruise Line, afloat. This company was eventually also sold by Kloster, to the Malaysian company Star Cruises, a fast-growing line under the ownwership of the Genting Group. After this move, Kloster ended being a cruiseship operator and rebranded itself as VARD, concentrating on shipbuilding services. Sad, as they were the pioneering trendsetter in the Caribbean when they started sailing the Sunward in december 1966, an event that is often named the start of the Caribbean cruiseboom. In this restructuring, Queen Odyssey was sold to Seabourn Cruise Line in 1996, recieving the name Seabourn Legend. Here, she of course met her earlier sisterships and the trio was finally complete.
In the summer of 1997, Seabourn Legend had her most important milestone in her life, when she was hijacked by a former employee. He broke her steering mechanism so the ship crashed into a huge tanker with the name Eindhoven Lion and afterwards ended her cruise in the middle of a Caribbean town when she crashed into the pier and several buildings. Luckily, this all was just for a movie with the name Speed 2, directed by Jan de Bont and the ship wasn't really damaged. For filmgeeks nice to know is that the name for the tanker originated from the birthtown of the director, that was Eindhoven in the south of The Netherlands. The main star in the movie was of course Sandra Bullock, but despite her, the movie wasn't recieved that well...
So still complete and well, the ship sailed on for Seabourn untill that company was restructured by its new owners, Carnival Corporation. During the mid 1990's, the company had been a part of Cunard Line, recieving three extra ships in 1999. To Seabourn came Sea Goddess 1, Sea Goddess 2 and Royal Viking Sun, and they were all renamed. This was only for a short while, as all of those had been leaving the fleet again before 2002. In that year, Seabourn was placed in the portfolio of the Holland America Line and they were back to the original trio of ships for a couple of years. But investments in new ships were desperately needed as Seabourn was becoming outdated by other luxury companies. So in 2009, around 20 years after the first ships for the line were introduced, Seabourn finally took delivery of a new ship, the Seabourn Odyssey. This ship was followed by three more sisters and in february of 2013, Seabourn announced that the first trio of sisters was sold to Windstar Cruises for delivery within 2014 and 2015. Seabourn Pride became Star Pride, Seabourn Spirit became Star Breeze and finally Seabourn Legend became Star Legend. For Windstar, the ships were updated and refreshed and although they all are between 25 and 30 years old at the time, it seems that they now have a true new lease of life in them.