27 October 2023






2 mins

One of the Finnish built cruise liners still trading is the 1981 built liner CELESTYAL OLYMPIA.

She was built at Wartsila Hietalahti Shipyard at Helsinki, Finland with yard number 431 for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) as SONG OF AMERICA at the cost of $ 140 million. She was laid down on 17th February, 1981, launched 9 months later on 9th November 1982 and with RCCL 2 days later of which maiden voyage was done in December 1982.

During May 1998, she was sold to Sun Cruises (owned by Airtours) for $94.5 million (recognized gain on the sale was $31.0 million).  Unlike with earlier ships the RCCL sold, the ‘sky lounge’ around the ship’s funnel was not removed before she was handed over to the new owners. She was renamed as SUNBIRD rebuilt with additional suites and used for cruising around Europe, mainly in the Mediterranean. Later during her Sun Cruises service the ship received MyTravel colours.

In 2004, Airtours decided to withdraw from the cruise industry of which the liner was sold to Louis Cruise Lines, who chartered her back to Sun Cruises until May 2004.

Following the end of her charter to Sun Cruises, Louis Cruise Lines chartered the SUNBIRD to Thomson Cruises, who renamed her THOMSON DESTINY.

During April 2012 she returned to Louis Cruises and started operating as LOUIS OLYMPIA. She wass used on Aegean cruises, to the Aegean Island and the Turkish coast.

She was used as a floating hotel during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia

In late 2014 as part of Louis Cruise Lines re-branding ,  the ship was renamed as CELESTYAL OLYMPIA with a fresh new  livery, to reflect the new corporate identity.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic Disease all cruises from 16th March 2020, to 6th March 2021, were suspended. Cruises were resumed service on 28th June 2021, cruising the Greek Isles.


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