THE world’s oldest cruise ship has survived pirate siege but was scrapped after 75 years in service.
MV Astoria with an incredible and rich history put its glory days behind as it was set to sail on its last voyage.
MV Astoria departing Portsmouth England UK[/caption]
From transporting German Communist Party to serving as barracks for asylum seekers, this magnificent floating palace had seen several owners change throughout the decades.
Launched in 1946 for the Swedish America Line, the ship was designed to carry 395 passengers and 3,000 tons of cargo.
The passenger ferry had set on its first journey in 1948, crossing the transatlantic route to New York.
Ten years later, the cruise would get an upgrade with a newly installed outdoor pool and a cinema.
But soon after, the ship collided with another liner in what was to become one of the history’s most notorious maritime disasters.
In 1956, the vessel crashed into the Italian liner Andrea Dorea.
Cruise ships which have been left to rot
THE world is full of the wrecks of huge ocean liners, often left to rot in their watery graves, others simply abandoned in their old age.
The MS Astor
Before its demise, this huge cruise ship was the height of luxury and travelled across the world with its state-of-the-art facilities.
Now, it has been left to crumble and haunting pictures show the inside of the creepy, but impressive abandoned ship.
Nestled deep in the jungle on an Idyllic island in Bali sits a floating abandoned hotel with a dark and tragic past.
The Galaxy Hotel is a refurbished seven-storey cruise ship that was suddenly and mysteriously shut down and left to rot.
Aliağa shipyard (pictured above) is where vessels are torn apart, stripped of all their worth and left to rot.
A ship once considered the ‘Jewel of Germany’ was left to decay for decades until one brave man decided to save it.
Christopher Willson bought the cruise ship – complete with 85 cabins – over 14 years ago on Craigslist – and the pain-staking renovations are only half complete.
The vessel also enjoyed a brief career in Hollywood after being a filming location for the 1963 James Bond movie ‘From Russia with Love’.
Although MV Astoria survived the wreck, the other ship had suffered a more devastating fate – having capsized and sunk the following morning.
The wreckage had earned it the nickname of “La nave della morte” which translates to the ship of death.
Luckily, the loss of lives could be averted thanks to the nearby ships that offered a timely assistance.
Despite having a crippled bow, Astoria ended up rescuing and carrying 327 passengers and 245 crew members from the other cruise liner.
But the incredible journey of Astoria continued – having witnessed the establishment of the Berlin wall and being passed to the hands of the German Communist party.
The liner was also caught in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis while it was en route to Havana and had to be closely monitored by US military planes.
After yet another change of ownership, the ship was converted into a shelter for asylum seekers in Oslo in 1985.
But the liner’s fascinating story didn’t end there – with Astoria surviving yet another dramatic turn of events.
In 2008, the cruise survived a pirate siege in the notorious Gulf of Aden surrounded by 29 boats and came out unscathed.
The crew defended the ship by firing high-pressure water cannons at the attackers before continuing its voyage.
The long and incredible historic journey of Astoria came to conclusion in 2020 when the owner company went bankrupt due to the halt of operations during the pandemic.
When rumours of a cryptocurrency billionaire acquiring Astoria began circulating, there was a glimpse of hope that the ship would return to its former glory.
But those dreams were short-lived and the liner remains laid up in the decks of Netherlands as of today.