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Amera

The cruise ship Amera sails for Phoenix Seereisen at this moment, but this is a ship with a pretty wild history, let's look at it from the beginning.


We start our history tour at the Royal Viking Line, after the initial 3 ships were built in the early 1970's and stretched later on, there was a need for another new ship. The proposed ship was eventually built in 1988 and named Royal Viking Sun, at a modest size of 205.5 meters long and a 38.848 tonnes, this ship was built for luxury cruising. Sadly the story didn't last and the Royal Viking Line was eventually dissolved by its owners in 1994 and the ships transferred to other lines.


Below are 2 postcards of the ship, note that the first one is of the ship in her original colors and the second one is when Cunard painted the funnel red but kept the Royal Viking logo.

The Royal Viking Sun came under Cunard management after both the brand and the ship were sold to Cunard Line ltd. Cunard continued to operate her under her original name until 1999 as a special part of the company. By that time Cunard was also managing Seabourn cruise line as Cunard was now part of the Carnival group, the Royal Viking Sun was transferred to the Seabourn brand and therefore the Royal Viking brand ceased to exist completely. The ship was renamed Seabourn Sun where her former fleetmate, the Royal Viking Queen was now sailing as Seabourn Legend. It was in this livery that I first saw the ship when she was visiting Antwerp in Belgium, it was one of the first trips I did especially to photograph a passenger ship and one the first iconic photos in my career, by then I was still using color slides as the digital photography wasn't yet fully available to me, mostly because high quality digital cameras by then were rare and expensive, so the sample photos below are of course scanned versions of the original color slides.

In 2002, the ship was handed over to fellow Carnival brand, Holland America Line and received a major refit with a pretty extensive rebuild at the stern decks, altering her appearance slightly. She got a new name, "Prinsendam" and sailed pretty much around the world for Holland America Line during her 17 years of service with the line. In this livery her hull, previously always completely white was changed to the well known HAL dark blue color and I managed to photograph her a few times in Antwerp as Prinsendam.


By 2019 Holland America had taken delivery of their new bigger ships and started to sell off their older fleet, Prinsendam was taken up by Phoenix Seereisen from Germany, in July 2019 she went in drydock for a major refit in Hamburg, about 6 weeks later in mid August she was finally christened Amera and started her maiden voyage, one of the first stops was Antwerp where I managed to photograph her with the camera and the drone.



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