Farewell Black Prince!

Kolby
17th October 2008, 18:37
It was announced yesterday that Fred Olsen will retire its long time Black Prince in October 2009. The ship was built by lender Werft back in Lubeck in 1966. When the ship first entered service, she was equipped to carry automobiles as well as passengers.

Fred Olsen's managind director Mike Rodwell said: “This is a very sad announcement for the company to make as Black Prince is one of the best loved ships that caters to the UK market, and many passengers have cruised on her so often that even they have lost track of the number of holidays they have taken. We know that there will be thousands of passengers who have sailed on her who will be very sad on that final day.”

The farewell season for the ship will begin on September 9th, 2009. The ship is one of the few passenger vessels that still operate out of historic Southampton. Up until her last days, the Black Prince will uphold this tradition and sail to Southampton for the last time, arriving on October 16th, 2009.

It is a sad ending to a fine ship! The ship will hopefully find a future in the hands of another owner. Although this could happen, it is somewhat unlikely. Because of the dreaded SOLAS 2010 deadline fastly approaching, ships as old (and older than) Black Prince will have a hard time finding a future because of the extensive cost it would take to comply with the regulations.

I wish her the best and hopefully you will too! As being one of my favorite ships, I would appreciate if you could share photos or stories of any times you have spent aboard the vessel.

Thanks, as always,
Kolby Hurt(Thumb)

Pompeyfan
17th October 2008, 19:56
There is something slightly wrong here. Black Prince does not operate out of Southampton, Black Watch does. I do not recall Black Prince ever coming to Southampton. She normally operates out of Liverpool and sometimes Greenock. She was built for Fred Olsen as a car ferry under the name Venus in summer months, with winter cruises from Rotterdam to the Canary Islands. In 1986, she was converted by Wartsila Marine into a cruise ship with 125 new cabins and revamped public rooms. Her names were Black Prince, Venus, Black Prince and as far as I am aware, was never a liner.

David

Kolby
22nd October 2008, 18:09
She may not normally operate out of Southampton, but on the Fred Olsen website (http://www.fredolsencruises.com/news/fred-olsens-black-prince-to-be-retired-from-service), it states that the ship will, in her final season, sail to and from Southampton, among other UK ports.

Thanks,
Kolby Hurt

Monket
22nd October 2008, 18:51
In 1998 I sailed on her from Dover.

fred henderson
22nd October 2008, 19:54
I do not really understand the statement “The ship is one of the few passenger vessels that still operate out of historic Southampton.”

Southampton is operated by Associated British Ports. Their website states: -

“The UK’s premier cruise port, the Port of Southampton, is witnessing a new heyday of cruise shipping. Its newly refurbished and extended City Cruise Terminal can accommodate the new generation of very large cruise ships that navigate the world today. ABP has recently announced that a new fourth cruise terminal will be built at Southampton to cater for the rapid growth in cruise travel worldwide.”

I fully agree that a large number of the older ships in the passenger fleet will be unable to meet the higher safety standards imposed by SOLAS 2010. Surely higher safety standards are commendable and not dreaded?

Best regards

Fred

plasma
22nd October 2008, 21:12
I remember the Black Prince sailing to and from the West India dock in London and bringing fruit and from the Canary Islands. I received a Saga catalogue today for the final cruises of Saga Rose, she is going to be retired in 2009.

Pompeyfan
22nd October 2008, 23:12
Having sailed with Fred Olsen this year I have their 2009/2010 brochure and there is nothing there to say Black Prince will visit Southampton. Boudicca is cruising from Portsmouth for the first time ever next October for five cruises and five cruises from Southampton earlier. Black Watch is doing 18 cruises from Southampton during 2009/2010, but the other Fred Olsen ships are not using Southampton according to the brochure unless of course it has changed.

There are also plans for a new cruise ship terminal at Portsmouth according to the Portsmouth News.

David

James_C
22nd October 2008, 23:15
[QUOTE=fred henderson;257287

I fully agree that a large number of the older ships in the passenger fleet will be unable to meet the higher safety standards imposed by SOLAS 2010. Surely higher safety standards are commendable and not dreaded?

Best regards

Fred[/QUOTE]

Higher standards are commendable, however what I suppose many have issue with is that from many quarters there is an opinion that those which won't make the 2010 Regs are somehow 'unsafe'.
If they were unsafe then the IMO would have banned them outright as soon as they decided to implement the SOLAS 2008/2010 amendments way back in 2000. It would be more realistic to say that the new amendments merely enhance what are already pretty sound regulations. In any event most of those ships about to be made redundant are pretty much at the end/beyond their designed working life anyway. If SOLAS 2010 didn't spell their end, the simple matter of the Dollar sign and profit/loss account would probably have signed their death warrant in the next few years anyway.
For those of us who sail on real ships, it always amuses that most of the new SOLAS regs implemented over the years tend to apply to all passenger ships in service/under construction on point of introduction, whereas with Cargo ships it tends to be a watered down version and normally with the stipulation that they only apply to ships built after a certain date.
However, regardless of all our opinions on the good and bad points of 'classic' passenger ships, I think it's pretty remarkable that some of these ships have survived to the ages they have - a tribute to the Naval Architects and yards which built them.
How many of today's modern ships will equal the 43 years of Black Prince, 42 years of QE2, 52 years of Ausonia or indeed the astounding 60 or so years of the old Dunottar Castle?
Not many I should think.

Ron Stringer
23rd October 2008, 08:50
For those of us who sail on real ships, it always amuses that most of the new SOLAS regs implemented over the years tend to apply to all passenger ships in service/under construction on point of introduction, whereas with Cargo ships it tends to be a watered down version and normally with the stipulation that they only apply to ships built after a certain date.

Regardless of the type of vessel (and don't forget that because of the relative numbers of each vessel-type at sea, the impact is always greater on the non-passenger fleets), the reason for ''grandfathering'' the introduction of new recommendations is that if IMO was not prepared to delay introduction on existing vessels, the various governments would never accept the changes. In order to sweeten the pill, new changes (and especially expensive new changes such as double hull construction) are always set so far into the future that they will have minimal financial impact on existing fleets. Without such arrangements, there would be no changes. IMO recognised that without phased introduction, it would be impossible to persuade governments to sign up to new regulations. Without the acceptance of the member governments, IMO can do nothing.

James_C
23rd October 2008, 10:22
Ron,
I appreciate all that, but the fact of the matter is that cargo ships have always been the poor relation when it comes to new safety legislation. You only have to look at the great strides made in recent years on Tankers and of course on Passenger ships, yet some of the existing SOLAS regulations on cargo ships go back the best part of a century.
You'll always find ancient, clapped out if not down right dangerous Cargo ships sailing around, for the most part having passed the relevant inspections and with the right bit of paper, yet you won't often find that with a Passie Boat.
The Cynic in me (and a lot of other people) would suggest this is more to do with just how many headlines a particular ship can make.
As for IMO sweetening the Pill for the owners, that particular charade has been well overdue a kick up the backside for a long long time. The IMO needs some teeth, and needs men with the organisation willing to set about the task with some gusto.
For just one example, the length of time it's taken to pass some of the bulk carrier amendments was a joke, and most of the reasons for that delay can be traced directly to some of our cousins in the Eastern Mediterranean.
I don't think anyone is any doubt that the delay has cost many lives.
Utterly shameful.

Ron Stringer
23rd October 2008, 12:12
The IMO needs some teeth, and needs men with the organisation willing to set about the task with some gusto.

Don't misunderstand me, James, I am not an IMO apologist. However IMO does not have any teeth and never did. IMO is little more than a set of assembly rooms with secretarial and publishing facilities, providing assistance to governments in the preparation and promulgation of 'regulations' concerning maritime matters. It has no teeth because the member governments do not want it to have any teeth and would always move to prevent any increase in its powers.

The IMO 'regulations' that are adopted with the agreement of the majority of member governments, are no such thing; they are merely recommendations to members, which may or may not be adopted by governments. As you say, the members from the Eastern Mediterranean are strongly reactionary and elicit support from the FOC flag states and the 'less developed' world so as to block proposed changes from more enlightened countries.

If you want change to be implemented, you need to persuade your MPs, Congressmen, Deputies, Senators (and whatever other politicians exist in the flag state in which you live) that it is in their interest to apply pressure. If you can't do that, then no changes will take place other than those originating with other politicians and their paymasters. Levelling accusations at the IMO is akin to blaming the passengers for a train derailment, and a waste of words. You are aiming at the wrong target. IMO does not have the power or the tools to change things, they are the servants of the member governments and nothing more.

Pompeyfan
4th November 2008, 16:07
Kolby was right. Black Prince is cruising from Southampton for her farewell cruises. I have just received a brochure from Fred Olsen.

She leaves Liverpool for the last time on 19th September 2009 for a 3 day re-positioning cruise via Dublin and Falmouth arriving Southampton on 22nd September.

She than does a 10 day cruise from Southampton to Scandinavia and the Baltic.

Her final cruise leaves Southampton on 2nd October 2009 for a 10 day cruise to the Canary Islands.

David

SamGol
8th November 2008, 17:37
For Kolby

Kolby
8th January 2009, 18:19
Thanks!

Kolby

shamrock
16th May 2009, 17:55
Black Prince is to sail on after her long life with Fred, she will be continuing her career in Venezuelan waters with a new stablemate, M/V Amazing Grace, on coastal cruises with SAVECA...

http://www.fredolsencruises.com/news/sale-of-fred-olsens-black-prince-confirmed1

:)

rafanna
2nd November 2009, 02:12
Hi,
I was supposed to have sailed from Cyprus to Malta on the Black Prince in 1961/2,as a toddler! Was there another B P ship operating at that time and if so I would be grateful for any info.
Many thanks
Rafanna

doric
9th November 2009, 10:53
There was also another vessel by the name of Black Prince.

I was fortunate to be selected as 2nd Electrical Engineer Officer aboard T.S.S." Gothic" for the Royal Commonwealth Tour of 1953/54.

Our Escort Cruiser for part of that voyage, especially around New Zealand was
H.M.N.Z.S. Black Prince.

Regards, Terence Williams. R538301.(A)

Alasdair Cook
21st November 2009, 20:05
When we left Southampton on the 18th October aboard Black Watch,Black Prince was indeed in Southampton having been decomisioned 2 days before and as we sailed past farewell greetings were exchanged. She was still there when we returned a week later. Going to Venezuala apparantly. I sailed on her as the VENUS when she was jointly owned by Fred Olsen/Bergen Line as a ferry between Newcastle and Bergen