Tuesday, August 07, 2012

m/s EXPLORER of Semester at Sea in Lisbon

The passenger ship EXPLORER arrived in Lisbon this morning (6 August 2012) on the first on the first of several calls with university students associated to the Semester at Sea learning programs in 2012-2013.
The current voyage started in Freeport, Bahamas, and called at Barcelona, Civitavecchia, Naples, Dubrovnik, Piraeus, Istambul and Casablanca. After Lisbon, the ship crosses the North Atlantic for Boston where she arrives on 18 August. 
EXPLORER berthed at Rocha passenger ship terminal for a four-day call and sails for osston on 9 August at 8 PM.

The EXPLORER is one of the more interesting passenger ships currently in service. She was built in Hamburg at the Blohm & Voss shipyard for Royal Olympic Cruises of Piraeus, Greece and launched on 19 May 2000 as the OLYMPIC EXPLORER. However she was renamed OLYMPIA EXPLORER in April 2001 after running sea trials and remained in Hamburg lay up until 25 April 2002 when she left for Piraeus and the maiden cruise from there on 4 May 2002. Her career under Royal Olympic Cruises was a short one,  the company had financial problems mainly due to the high cost of the Blohm & Voss twins (OLYMPIC VOYAGER now sailing as COSTA VOYAGER and the present EXPLORER) and the OLYMPIA EXPLORER was arrested in December 2003 in Long Beach and repossessed by a German bank. She became the EXPLORER in June 2004 after a 15 year bareboat charter by the Institute for Shipboard Education run by the University of Pittsburgh, USA, under the Bahamas flag, and has been operating two world voyages per year plus a series of smaller educational cruises which are open to independent passengers.

Semester at Sea started in October 1963 when the Chapman College of California chartered  the Dutch budget passenger ship SEVEN SEAS. This first ship was replaced in 1966 by the RYNDAM (1951-1972) of Holland America Line and later by the UNIVERSE CHAPMAN ex-ATLANTIC of American Export Lines hich called in Lisbon with students in 1975. 
The present visit of the m/s EXPLORER is the first call to Lisbon since 1975. The ships is scheduled to call in Lisbon again in September 2012 and May 2013. Her sister ship OLYMPIC VOYAGER sails now under Costa Cruises management as the COSTA VOYAGER. Thecnical management of the EXPLORER is undertaken by V Ships of Monaco.

Texto e imagens /Text and images copyright L.M.Correia. Favor não piratear. Respeite o meu trabalho / No piracy, please. For other posts and images, check our archive at the right column of the main page. Click on the photos to see them enlarged. Thanks for your visit and comments. Luís Miguel Correia
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