MS Prinsendam (1988)

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Prinsendam departing Tallinn 24 August 2013.JPG
MS Prinsendam in Tallinn, Estonia
  • 1988–1999  Royal Viking Sun
  • 1999–2002  Seabourn Sun
  • 2002–2019 Prinsendam
  • 2019–onwards Amera
Port of registry:
Builder: Wärtsilä Marine Perno Shipyard, Turku, Finland[1]
Yard number: 1296
Launched: May 1988[1]
Christened: 8 January 1989[1]
Acquired: 26 November 1988[1]
In service: 1988–
Nickname(s): 2002–  Elegant Explorer
Status: In service
General characteristics (as built)
Class and type: Cruise ship
Tonnage: 38,848 GT
Length: 674.2 ft (205.5 m)
Beam: 91.8 ft (28.0 m)
Draught: 23.6 ft (7.2 m)
Decks: 9 passenger decks
  • 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph) (max)
  • 18.5 knots (34.3 km/h; 21.3 mph) (service)
Capacity: 740 passengers
Crew: 460
General characteristics (2002-present)
Capacity: 835 passengers
Crew: 443

MS Prinsendam (formerly Seabourn Sun and Royal Viking Sun) is a cruise ship for Holland America Line and is nicknamed the Elegant Explorer. She was launched in 1988 as Royal Viking Sun for the Royal Viking Line, and was renamed "Seabourn Sun" when Seabourn Cruise Line acquired the ship in 1999. Shortly after, in 2002, Seabourn wished to concentrate on smaller vessels.[2] So, in 2002, they transferred the ship to Holland America Line, where she was renamed the Prinsendam.

Early career[edit]

Launched in 1988 as Royal Viking Sun for the Royal Viking Line this vessel quickly became renowned for her exquisite service and loyal passenger following. She became a popular addition to the fleet of Global Cruisers employed in Royal Viking service.

Cunard Line career[edit]

Prinsendam as the Royal Viking Sun, after the takeover by Cunard, with her funnel painted in Cunard colors and the Cunard name on her side.

Cunard purchased Royal Viking Sun (and the Royal Viking brand) as the failing Royal Viking Line ceased operations in the mid-1990s. Opting to keep the ship's name as is, they placed her into the newly formed Cunard Royal Viking division and painted her funnel in Cunard colors. This 5-plus star ship was rated the finest vessel afloat for most of her life with Cunard.[3]

Lido and Sports decks. The "astro turf" ground coverings have since been replaced with teak decks.

Royal Viking Sun undertook World Voyages as Cunard's Global Roamer, and was a popular and highly sought after ship for passengers and crew alike.[4]

In 1999 Cunard and Seabourn were merged by parent company Carnival Corporation. It was decided to move Royal Viking Sun to Seabourn, and after an extensive refit she emerged as the Seabourn Sun. In 2002 she undertook her last cruise for Seabourn, a circumnavigation of South America.

Holland America Line career[edit]

MS Prinsendam

After another extensive refit in 2002, Seabourn Sun was renamed Prinsendam for Holland America Line - another division of the Carnival Corporation.

On 1 February 2007, Prinsendam was hit by two 12-metre (39 ft) tall rogue waves near Cape Horn. There were around 40 injuries, with some requiring hospitalisation.[5]

Prinsendam is one of two Holland America Line ships that have undertaken cruises to Antarctica and due to her low height above the waterline is one of only a handful of cruise ships that can transit the Kiel Canal.

On 22 March 2012 Prinsendam, was en route to Portimao, Portugal, when she received a distress call from the Portuguese fishing boat Dario, which was sinking with eight people aboard. When the ship arrived, the Dario's crew was entering a life raft. The Portuguese Coast Guard directed Prinsendam to pick up the fishermen and stand by for a helicopter to take the eight men to shore.[6]

In summer 2018, the company announced that it had sold Prinsendam to Phoenix Reisen. However, the ship is being chartered back to HAL, and she'll operate scheduled cruises through July 1, 2019.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d (in Swedish) Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Royal Viking Sun (1989), retrieved Dec 7, 2007.
  2. ^ "Seabourn Sun To HAL". 2009-06-02. Archived from the original on 2008-05-22. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
  3. ^ "Royal Viking Sun on Unofficial Cunard Archives". 2009-09-23. Archived from the original on 2010-04-06. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
  4. ^ Cunard Line Website for Royal Viking Sun[dead link]
  5. ^ Liu, Paul C. (2007). "A Chronology of Freaque Wave Encounters" (PDF). Geofizika. 24 (1): 57–70. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  6. ^ Prinsendam Engages in Successful Rescue Operation Archived March 31, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Holland America Cruise Ship Leaving the Fleet in 2019". Retrieved 2018-07-02.

External links[edit]