Cordelia CruisesCruise ShipsPast and PresentPullmanturPullmantur CruisesRoyal Caribbean International (RCI)

MV Empress (Ex Empress of the Seas) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 8716899

MV Empress

Ex Empress of the Seas, Empress, Empress of the Seas, Nordic Empress

© Cees Bustraan

© Cees Bustraan (Willemstad, 20/02/2008)

Steel twin  screw motor vessel built in 1990 by Alstom Marine Chantiers de l’Atlantique, St. Nazaire, France (Yard No G29) as a Passenger Vessel/Cruise Ship

Technical Data

  • Original Cost: $170 million
  • Length: 210.81 m (overall) 176.0 m (between perpendiculars)
    Breadth: 34.40 m
    Depth: 9.40 m
    Draught: 7.317 m
    Tonnage: 48563 gross/28860 net/5344t deadweight
    Engines: 2 x Wärtsilä Duvant Crepelle 12V32E diesels
    Power: 16200 kW/HP
    Speed: 19.5 knots
  • Passenger Decks: 9
    Capacity: 805/2020 passengers
  • Crew: 668
    Call Sign: ELJV7, 9HJE9, 9HLE, C6CM8
    MMSI Number: 311000515
  • IMO Number: 8716899
    Port of Registry:
    Monrova/Liberia 🇱🇷, Nassau/Bahamas 🇧🇸, Valletta/Malta 🇲🇹, Nassau/Bahamas 🇧🇸

Current AIS Location

Please note that this specific vessels AIS position data may be over an hour old and that the vessels position will only be displayed when it is within range of the VesselFinder AIS system. The AIS transponder/ship position data featured on this page is intended for information purposes only and it is in no way related to the 'Safety of Navigation at Sea'. All the AIS ship position data featured within this article is provided by VesselFinder and we are therefore not responsible for its content or its accuracy.


Ordered by Admiral Cruises under the name of FUTURE SEAS.

November 30th 1988: Keel struck.

August 25th 1989: Launched.

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

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

© Robert J Smith

© Robert J Smith (New York, 14/07/2002)

May 15th 2004: Renamed EMPRESS OF THE SEAS.

March 2008: Sold to Pullmantur Cruises Empress Ltd, Valletta, Malta and renamed EMPRESS.

© Cees Bustraan  © Cees Bustraan
© Cees Bustraan (Willemstad, 24/03/2008)

2008: Began cruising for Pullmantur.

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Warnmunde, 01/06/2011)

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 (Hamburg, 09/05/2013)

© Bob Scott

© Bob Scott (Tallinn, 05/09/2015)

© Nigel Scutt  © Nigel Scutt© Nigel Scutt  © Nigel Scutt

© Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping)(Arriving at Dover on the 19/05/15)

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.

Internet Source

Internet Source

July 1st 2020: Called at Dover.

© Nigel Scutt  © Nigel Scutt
© Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping)(Dover 01/07/2020)

September 3rd 2020: Arrived at Souda Anchorage (Greece) and joined her fleet mate MAJESTY OF THE SEAS.

December 28th 2020: Registered Owner: Stella Seaway Ltd. Manager: Campbell Cruise and Yacht Management.

December 2020: Sold to Cordelia Cruises and operating cruises to Mumbai, Kochi, Goa, Lahkshadweep, Chennai, and Visakhapatnam in India. 

© Cordelia Cruises  © Cordelia Cruises

🆕 © Cordelia Cruises

June 10th 2022:

The ‘Empress’, which had sailed from Vizag on June 8, 2022, was denied entry into the Pondicherry Port by the authorities. The ship was halted mid-sea on June 10 at 4 a.m. Upon being denied entry, the cruise authorities approached Cuddalore, adjacent to Pondicherry. The political parties of Tamil Nadu have demanded that the ship must not enter Pondicherry. Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry, Tamilasai, strictly instructed the authorities to not allow the ship into the port. As the facilities on the ship include casinos and other gambling activities, which are not allowed in the union territory of Pondicherry, the ship was asked to head back. As per the rules of Pondicherry, the sale of alcohol from other states is prohibited. As the ship also includes alcohol from Andhra Pradesh. the officials of the port have stated it as a reason to deny entry. The ship was awaiting approval from the Cuddalore Port, mid-sea. The future of the cruise ship, which scheduled tours until September from Vizag, is now at stake.”.

June 11th 2022: 

“Reached its final destination, the Port of Chennai. Demonstrations in Cuddalore prevented it from docking. The ship was denied entry to Port Puducherry (Tamil Nadu state) and had to stay in the middle of the sea for hours. The ship then tried to call at the Port of Cuddalore, near Puducherry, but due to protests from Tamil Nadu political parties, it was also unable to berth. The ‘Empress’ had scheduled sailings from Visakhapatnam through September 2022. On June 13th it left the port again, headed to Vizag with an ETA as of June 15.”.

May 2023: Continues cruising from Mumbai.


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: Cees Bustraan, Jens Boldt, Bob Scott, Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping), Simonwp, Robert J Smith and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

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


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