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5 February 2020

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CARLA C was an ocean liner that took passengers on transatlantic voyages and on Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises from 1952 to 1994.

Built in 1951 as FLANDRE she was the French Line’s first new ocean liner following World War II. Her maiden voyage of 23rd July 1952 was considered a complete disaster, as she experienced mechanical difficulties throughout the voyage. The first sign of trouble was when her fuel line filters became clogged with impurities in the oil that she was carrying. This caused her to become disabled essentially for four hours while her fuel filters were cleaned out and her boilers restored to normal operation. In 1967, she was withdrawn and was sold to the Italian firm Costa Cruises, who renamed her CARLA C.

The first assignment for the newly refitted CARLA C  was a charter for Princess Cruises, which marketed her as PRINCESS CARLA (Though the ship was not renamed). It was during this time that a set of producers originated the idea of the popular television series The Love Boat aboard while the first scripts were written on board the ship.

The ship proved problematic at first, after problems were detected with the boilers. In 1974 and 1975, Costa replaced the boilers with Stork Werkspoor diesel engines and CARLA C was returned to service around the Caribbean, where she served until 1992. In 1984, the ship underwent another major refit and in 1986 she was renamed CARLA COSTA.

During 1992 CARLA COSTA was sold to the Greek Epirotiki Line, and renamed her as PALLAS ATHENA, after the Greek goddess Pallas Athene. She ran 7 day cruises from Athens to the Aegean Islands and Turkey.

PALLAS ATHENA berthed at Valletta, Malta during October 1993.


On 23rd March 1994, she was destroyed by fire, which caused the superstructure and funnel to cave in on themselves. She arrived at the Aliaga Company scrapyards on 25th December 1994.

Below is a ship model of CARLA C in Malta yesterday 4th February, 2020.

Photos by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com

Published – Wednesday 5th February 2020

All Photographs with others in archives are AGAINST PAYMENT so feel free to email us with your requirements.

Watermarked Photos are by Capt. Lawrence Dalli otherwise stated. NO PHOTOS can be used or manipulated without our permission.
© All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com