Built as a cruise vessel under yard No 108 by Bremer Vulkan, Vegesack, Germany for Costa Cruises.
16 September 1995 keel laid down.
09 October 1996 floated out as COSTA OLYMPIA.
Tonnage 77,104 grt, 45,407 net, 8.800 dwt, dim. 258.6 x 36.0 x 11.2m. draught 8,01m.
Powered diesel electric by three MAN-B&W 7L58/64 diesel and three MAN-B&W 6L58/64 diesel engines, 50.700 kW, twin screws, speed 20 knots.
Passenger accommodation 2002 maximum 2450, crew 766.
When the vessel for around 40% was completed the builder was declared bankrupt and work on the ship ceased and the COSTA OLYMPIA laid up.
November 1997 sold to Norwegian Cruise Line, Nassau, Bahamas.
08 March 1998 towed to Lloyd Werft, Bremerhaven for completing as a cruise vessel.
17 June 1999 trials.
28 July 1999 delivered to owners. Under Bahamas flag and registry.
NORWEGIAN SKY is a Sky-class cruise ship owned and operated by Norwegian Cruise Line. She was originally ordered by Costa Cruises as COSTA OLYMPIA from the Bremer Vulkan shipyard in Germany, but she was completed in 1999 by the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany for the Norwegian Cruise Line under the name NORWEGIAN SKY. Between 2004 and 2008 she sailed as PRIDE OF ALOHA for NCL America.
The ship that eventually became known as NORWEGIAN SKY was originally ordered in December 1993 by Costa Cruises from the Bremer Vulkan shipyard in Bremen, Germany as the second in a pair of sister ships. The first sister, COSTA VICTORIA, was delivered in July 1996. Construction of the second sister, COSTA OLYMPIA, had started several months before, but by July 1996 Bremer Vulkan was experiencing severe financial difficulties, and work on COSTA OLYMPIA was suspended when only 35% of the ship was completed. On 1996-10-06 the incomplete hull was floated out of drydock and subsequently laid up.
Costa Cruises decided not to purchase the unfinished ship, and COSTA OLYMPIA remained laid up at Bremer Vulkan until December 1997, when Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) purchased her. COSTA OLYMPIA was redesigned as Norwegian Sky by Tillberg Design (who had also been responsible for her original planned design as COSTA OLYMPIA On 1998-03-08 the ship was towed to Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven, Germany where her construction was completed In 1998 NCL ordered two additional ships of Norwegian Sky design. The first of these was delivered in 2001 as NORWEGIAN SUN while the order for the second one was cancelled NORWEGIAN SKY underwent her sea trials on 1999-06-17, and was delivered to NCL on 1999-06-28.
NORWEGIAN SKY entered service for Norwegian Cruise Line on August 9, 1999, with a cruise from Dover, United Kingdom to Norway. The ship's crew acted as her godparents at her christening. After a period of financial difficulties, she was the first new ship to enter service with NCL in six years.
After four years of service NCL announced she would be moved to its new NCL America division as PRIDE OF ALOHA in October 2004. Originally she was planned to be preceded by the purpose-built PRIDE OF AMERICA in NCL America service, but a rogue storm damaged PRIDE OF AMERICA during construction at Lloyd Werft and PRIDE OF ALOHA had to be rushed into service instead. In May 2004, NORWEGIAN SKY entered drydock in San Francisco, re-emerging as PRIDE OF ALOHA on July 4, 2004. PRIDE OF ALOHA was re-christened by Mrs. Margaret Awamura Inouye, the wife of Hawaiian senator Daniel K. Inouye.
Being a U.S.-flagged vessel, PRIDE OF ALOHA required a crew of U.S. citizens. This made for a difficult launch as there was no established labor market to tap into. The first few months of sailings were plagued by poor service, crewmembers quitting and walking off the ship while in port, and an enormous number of customer complaints. NCL initiated a new and aggressive training program to better prepare newly hired employees for life aboard a cruise vessel. Subsequently the training for all employees took place at the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education, a Maritime School in Piney Point, Maryland. Passenger satisfaction improved substantially since the introduction of the new training program.
On February 11, 2008, NCL announced that PRIDE OF ALOHA would be withdrawn from the Hawaiian market as of May 5, 2008. Initially it was reported that she would be transferred to the fleet of Star Cruises. During April 2008 Lloyd's List reported that NCL was looking to sell her to the Spain-based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. subsidiary Pullmantur Cruises instead, but Pullmantur Cruises later withdrew their offer. In May 2008 NCL reported that instead of transferring to Star Cruises, the ship would return to Norwegian Cruise Line and be re-flagged to the Bahamas while reverting to her original name NORWEGIAN SKY with the first sailing July 14, 2008.
In January 2009, NORWEGIAN SKY was sold to Ample Avenue, a subsidiary of Genting Hong Kong, and chartered back to NCL on a bareboat charter. In July 2010, the charter agreement was extended. The new agreement included options for NCL to extend the charter period further and an option for NCL to purchase the ship during the charter period. On June 1, 2012, NCL announced the signing of a memorandum of agreement to exercise its option to purchase NORWEGIAN SKY. The purchase price was approximately $260 million, with financing being provided by the seller.
As originally planned, COSTA OLYMPIA would have had an exterior and interior design identical to COSTA VICTORIA. Following the acquisition by Norwegian Cruise Line she was radically redesigned. Design changes included two decks of balcony cabins (opposed to no balcony cabins in the original plans), three additional restaurants, entirely altered decor and moving the bridge down by one deck to accommodate an observation lounge/spa complex on the topmost deck. Both the original and revised plans were the work of Tillberg Design.
Initially NORWEGIAN SKY utilized a standard dining program with set meal seating times for passengers. One year after she entered service, NCL introduced their "Freestyle Cruising" (a 'dine where you want, when you want') program. As a result, the ship had to be retrofitted with additional restaurants.
When the ship was refitted for service as PRIDE OF ALOHA, a Hawaiian theme was adapted for the decorations of all public areas and cabins. At the same time she received hull art consisting of colorful Hawaiian leis.
Prior to being rechristened, the Pride of Aloha was not allowed to have a casino given the fact that it was mainly in US waters. Instead of a casino, the ship had the Kumu Cultural Center. This focused on three main themes - Everyday life in Ancient Hawai`i, the Hawaiian Kingdom and Contemporary Hawai'i.
NORWEGIAN SKY is currently sailing three- and four-night cruises to the Bahamas with stops at Freeport, Great Stirrup Cay, and Nassau.
While doing her inaugural cruise along the Eastern coast of USA and Canada up to Québec City, NORWEGIAN SKY got into trouble. The vessel left Québec, on September 24th 1999 to Halifax, Nova Scotia with 2712 persons on board, including 1923 passengers, and two pilots. Norwegian Cruise Line estimates that there were some 50 different nationalities aboard and that the average age of the passengers was 63 years.
The trip included a cruise of the Saguenay River. On its return to the mouth of the Saguenay, at about 11:30 local time, whales were observed in the St. Lawrence River. To prolong the whale-watching activity, the vessel was turned around but ran aground on the Bancs de l'île Rouge (Rouge Island Banks) before completing its maneuver. The vessel's stern made bottom contact with the shoal. The vessel slowed and the stern came to rest on the Bancs de l'île Rouge. At 1206, the vessel was aground, listing 5.2º to port.
As the vessel was unstable on the reef, the master requested...
Built as a wooden hulled seal catcher by the yard of Erik Linstøls Båtbyggeri at Risor, Norway for Andr. Ingebrigtsen, Høvik near Oslo.
Launched under the name FOCA I (fishery No. K-13-K)
Tonnage 204 ton gross, 126 net, dim. 111.4 x 24.9 x 14ft. (draught)
Powered by 2-cyl. steam engines of 17nhp.
March 1921 sold to Sir Ernest Shackleton after he made a short visit to Norway, she was renamed QUEST.
Shackleton would use the vessel for his expedition to the Antarctic, but she was not so suitable for the voyage, small and straight stemmed, with an awkward square rig on her mainmast. He engines were too weak, and her boilers found at sea cracked. In all ports of call she needed repairs.
17 September 1921 she sailed from the St Katharine’s Dock in London under command of Capt. Worsley.
The QUEST made calls at Lisbon, Madeira, Cape Verde and Rio de Janeiro, at Rio de Janeiro Shackleton did have a heart attack, but when the ships doctor Macklin want to make an examination, he refused, but the doctor could see that he had a heart problem.
After sailing from Rio de Janeiro bound for South Georgia, Shackleton mentally changed he seemed unnaturally listless, always the leader and full of ideas, now he had not any plans and it seemed that he had turned to the past.
04 January 1922 she arrived off South Georgia and anchored off the whaling station of Grytviken.
Early in the morning of 5 January Dr. Macklin was called to Shackleton bunk and he found him with an other heart attack, not much he could do and a few minutes later Shackleton died.
(On this expedition Shackleton was appointed an Agent of the Post Master General for this expedition, and provided with one hundred pounds worth of British postage stamps, a circular date stamp and a trio of rectangular hand-stamps of a size to fit over a pair of stamps, for three of the countries they were expected to visit; namely Tristan da Cunha, Cough Island and Enderby Land.) as given in Log Book 1983 Vol 13 page 311.
After Shackleton death, his body was send back to England for burial, but when his wife Emily got the message of his death, she decided that her husband should be buried on South Georgia.
After arrival of Shackleton’s body at Montevideo, it was send back to South Georgia. And there his body was laid to rest on 05 March 1922 in the Norwegian cemetery.
After Shackleton died, the QUEST carried on, under Wild’s command, but he was not a leader and without Shackleton he was lost, he started drinking heavily; he had never done before on sea.
Before the QUEST sailed home in June, Wild took her to Elephant Island.
16 September 1922 she arrived in Portsmouth.
1923 Sold to to W.G Oliffe, Cowes.
March 1924 sold to Schjelderups Sælfangstrederi A/S ( Capt. Thomas Schjelderup), Skånland Bø (fishery No N-94-BN). In use as a seal catcher in the Arctic, and probably as fishing vessel in between catching seasons.
1929 Took part in the search for Amundsen and Major Gilbaud who disappeared in a hydroplane in the Arctic, while searching for General Nobile and the aircrew of the airship ITALIA.
1930/31 Deployed by H.G. Watkins in the British Air Route Expedition, the QUEST surveyed some coastal waters of Greenland
1935 Chosen to transport the Anglo-Danish expedition of Lawrence Wager and Augustine Courtauld, to Greenland, a summer expedition based at Kangerlussuag, Greenland. The QUEST returned from Kangerlussuaq on 29 August 1935, she left 7 expedition members behind who were to continue work.
1936/37 Count Gaston Micard chartered the QUEST, under command of Capt. Ludolf Schelderup, for an expedition to East Greenland; the expedition overwintered at the mouth of Loch Fyne (74N).
During the overwintering the crew of the QUEST caught 162 fox.
End July 1937 the QUEST returned to Europe making calls at Scoresbysund and Ammassalik.
January 1939 sold to Skips-A/S Quest (Ivar Austad, Tromsø) (fishery No T-24-T.
A 4-cyl 2tv Wichmann diesel engine was installed, 350 bhp.
Still used as a seal catcher, and probably in regular fishing in between seasons.
When war broke out in Norway in April 1940 she was catching seals near New Foundland, and she came under Notraship control.
Upon hearing of the German invasion in Norway she proceeded to St John’s.
November 1940 hired by the Royal Navy, as a minesweeper in the West Indies/Caribbean.
July 1941 handed back to Notraship.
March 1942 she was scheduled for convoy SC 76 from Halifax, but she did not sail.
April 1942 requisitioned by Den Konglige Norske Marine (Royal Norwegian Navy). Intended for use in Operation “Fritham 2” at Spitsbergen, Svalbard in May that year, but this was cancelled.
Then she shows up in convoy SC 83 which sails from Halifax in May 1942.
September 1942 returned to Nortraship.
21 June 1943 hired by the Royal Navy as water carrier, till 1945.
10 October 1945 laid up.
19 July 1946 returned to owner.
05 May 1962 while catching seal off the north coast of Labrador, she sprang a leak and sank due to ice.
The crew was rescued by the Norwegian seal catchers NORVARG, POLARFART, POLARSIRKEL and KVITFJELL.
Ascension 1972 4 and 4½p sg 160/1, scott 161/2
South Georgia 1972 20p sg 35, scott 34
Tristan da Cunha 1971 1½p sg 149, scott 153.
Source: Mostly copied from http://www.warsailors.com/freefleet/norfleetpq.html Shackleton by Roland Huntford. Ships of the Royal Navy Vol. II by Colledge. Log Book. Some other web-sites.