MV Empress of the Seas – Past and Present

MV Empress of the Seas

ex Empress, Empress of the Seas, Nordic Empress

© Cees Bustraan

© Cees Bustraan

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1990 by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, St. Nazaire, France (Yard No G29) as a Passenger (Cruise) ship for Admiral Cruises

Technical Data

  • Original Cost: $170 million
  • Length: 210.81 m (692.2 ft)(overall) 177.21m (581.43 ft) (registered)
  • Breadth of hull: 30.70m (100.7 ft)
  • Depth: 9.40m (30.84 ft)
  • Draught: 7.30m (24.8 ft)
  • Tonnage: 48,563 gross/26,281 net/5,344 deadweight
  • Engines: Two 8-cylinder Atlas Copco Crepelle 8 R 32 diesels
  • Propulsion/Propellers: 16,200 kW/2
  • Speed: 19.5 knots
  • Capacity: 805 passengers
  • Crew: 686
  • Passenger Decks: 9
  • Call Sign: ELJV7 (Nordic Empress), 9HJE9 (Empress), C6CM8
  • IMO Number: 8716899
  • MMSI Number: 311000515
  • Registry: Monrovia/Liberia, Nassau/Bahamas, Valletta/Malta, Nassau/Bahamas

Current Location

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November 30th 1988: Keel laid.

August 25th 1989: Launched as NORDIC EMPRESS.

Chantry Classic Postcard

Chantry Classic Postcard

May 1st 1990: Completed.

May 31st 1990: Delivered to Royal Caribbean Cruises, Monrovia, Liberia.

© Robert J Smith  © Don Hazeldine

© Robert J Smith (left) and © Don Hazeldine (right)

June 25th 1990: Began cruising from Miami to the Caribbean.

2002: Registry transferred to Bahamas, home port Nassau.

May 15th 2004: Renamed EMPRESS OF THE SEAS.

© Cees Bustraan

© Cees Bustraan

March 2008: Taken over by Pullmantur, Valletta, Malta and renamed EMPRESS.


© Aleksi Lindström

November 2012: Was the first of the fleet to receive a brand new logo as well as new hull colour scheme, it is not known at the moment when the rest of the fleet will receive the new re-branding.

© Jens Boldt  © Jens Boldt

  © Jens Boldt

© Nigel Scutt  © Nigel Scutt

© Nigel Scutt  © Nigel Scutt

Arriving at Dover on the 19/05/15 © Nigel Scutt (Dover-Marina)

October 2015: It was announced that Pullmantur would be transferring the Empress back to Royal Caribbean International.

February 1st 2016: Renamed EMPRESS OF THE SEAS, registered in Nassau, Bahamas. The Royal Caribbean “Crown and Anchor” logo was reinstalled onto her funnel. The vessel underwent a $50 million refurbishment programme to make her ready for service from Miami.

March 18th 2016: Royal Caribbean announced that the reintroduction of Empress of the Seas into its fleet would be delayed until April 25th 2016.

April 20th 2016: Royal Caribbean announced a further delay to May 28th 2016 to give them time to completely rebuild the ships galleys.

May 25th 2016: Arrived in Miami, Florida to commence service.

May 28th 2016: First cruise following her extensive refurbishment sailing to Royal Caribbean’s private island CocoCay, Bahamas and Nassau, Bahamas. After this the ship would offer 4 and 5-night getaways from Miami to Nassau, The Bahamas; Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; Grand Cayman and Key West, Florida.

April 19th 2017: Commenced 5-night cruises from Florida to Cuba.

May 2018: Registered Owner; Nordic Empress Ltd, Manager; Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Jens Boldt, Don Hazeldine, Aleksi Lindström, Nigel Scutt (Dover-Marina) and Robert J Smith for their assistance in producing this feature. All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for errors and omissions.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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