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Marco Polo.

Marco Polo.

Passing Carrickfergus Castle on her way out of Belfast Lough, next stop St.Johns for a twenty eight day cruise around Canada.

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Name: Aleksandr Pushkin (1965 - 1991)
Marco Polo (1991–onwards)
Owner: 1965–1985: Baltic Shipping Company
1985–1991: Far Eastern Shipping Company
1991–2008: Orient Lines
2007: Story Cruise Ltd.
Operator: 1965–1980?: Baltic Shipping Company
1979 ? –1984: Transocean Tours
1985: Far Eastern Shipping Company
1985–19??:CTC Cruises
1990–1993: laid up/rebuilt
1993–2008: Orient Lines
2008–2010: Transocean Tours
2010 onwards: Cruise & Maritime Voyages
Port of registry: 1965–1991: Leningrad, Soviet Union
1991 onwards: Nassau, Bahamas
Builder: VEB Mathias-Thesen Werft, Wismar, East Germany
Yard number:126
Launched: 26 April 1964
Acquired: 14 August 1965
In service: August 1965 Identification:
Call sign: C6JZ7
IMO number: 6417097
MMSI number: 308693000
Status: In service
General characteristics (as built)
Class and type: Ivan Franko-class passenger ship → Ocean liner
Tonnage: 19,860GRT
22,080GT
5,180DWT
Length: 176.28m (578.35ft)
Beam: 23.55m (77.26ft)
Draught: 8.20m (26.90ft)
Depth: 13.50m (44.29ft)
Ice class: 1C passenger ship
Installed power: 2 x Sulzer-Cegielski 7RD76
15,447kW (combined)
Propulsion: Two shafts; fixed pitch propellers
Speed: 20.5knots (38.0km/h; 23.6mph)
Capacity: 650 passengers with berths (different sources give different figures) + 500 deck passengers
Crew: 220
General characteristics (currently)
Type: Cruise Ship
Tonnage: 22,080GT
Speed: 19.5knots (36.1km/h; 22.4mph)
Capacity: 820 passengers
Previously listed as 915 passengers
Crew: 356
Notes: Otherwise same as built
 

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Built before computers and accountants took over the design of cruise ships ? Hard to believe she started life in 1963 as a wee sheet of steel,
Crawford.
 

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Crawford

Great shot as always. She was built as a liner. Entering service in 1965 with the Baltic Shipping Company, I think she plied a trans-Atlantic liner service for a while from Leningrad to Canada before becoming a full time cruise ship like many former liners all so pleasing to look at due to their design in comparison to many purpose built cruise ships.
 

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Still going strong in her 52nd season in service! In the 1970's a bow thruster was added and a pair of stabilizer fins as well, strangely not added at delivery! The change of shipping company within the Morflot (Ministry of the Merchant Fleet of the USSR, the local shipping companies like FESCO and Baltic Shipping Company did not OWN the ships, but operated them on behalf of the Moscow based Morflot, which could switch ships within the shipping companies as they wished centrally) took place already in 1984 (not 1985 as mentioned above and as all litterature sources also mention it as well, as a repetitive error, so understandable it is mentioned everywhere!).

In 1984 the ALEKSANDR PUSHKIN was the passenger ship in the world fleet which had visited most countries, 114! I guess they have added even more new nations and flags to her impressive port and guest list. The Baltic Shipping Company was secure feeling they had the youngest sistership still in fleet, the MIHAIL LERMONTOV, but sank due to a maritime pilot failure already in 1986 in New Zealand, and from then the famous Leningrad Baltic Shipping Company (Baltijskoje Morskoje Parochodstvo, BMP) would never again operate own ocean liners. The former ALEKSANDR PUSHKIN was unique in the five long sistership class - she was the only ship out of the five sisters never having being painted in an all-white hull (the lead ship m/s IVAN FRANKO was so, rarely seen, at sea trials). We hope the world traveller MARCO POLO sill sail safely on the seven seas still for many years on!
 

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As a cruise ship she spent several seasons of cruises to the South Pacific from Sydney. The service on board was moderate and attracted and were popular with the younger pasengers. I cost a lot less to cruise on her than other cruise liners at the time out of Sydney. She was registared at Vladevostok. During the summer months several of her sister cruise ships cruised from Sydney after the with draw of Leonid Sobinov and Fedor Shalyapin.
 

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