Cruise ShipsP&O CruisesPast and PresentPrincess CruisesPullmantur Cruises

MV Mona Lisa (ex Kungsholm) – Past and Present

MV Veronica

ex Mona Lisa, Scholarship, Oceanic II, Mona Lisa, Victoria, Sea Princess, Kungsholm

© Bob Scott

© Bob Scott

Twin screw motor vessel built in 1966 by John Brown & Co Ltd, Clydebank (Yard No 728) for AB Swedish American Line, Gothenburg

Technical Data

  • Cost: $22 million
  • Length: 201.33m(overall) 173.72m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 26.57m (extreme)
  • Draught: 8.56m (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 26,678 gross (1966), 18,174 (1975), 27,670 (1978)/12,838 net – 13,842/4,984 deadweight 5,572
  • Engines: Two 4SA 9-cylinder Gotaverken diesels
  • Power: 18,536 kW/25200 bhp
  • Speed: 21 knots
  • Capacity: 713 (1966) passengers, 750 (1978/9), 840 (1982), 720 (1990), 782 (2008)
  • Passenger Decks: 8
  • Crew: 417
  • Call Sign: SGON, GBBA, C6RU6
  • IMO Number: 6512354
  • Official Number (LR 1967-68):10674 (LR 1993-94) 379814
  • Registry: Gothenburg/Sweden, Monrovia/Liberia, London/UK, Nassau/Bahamas


January 1964: Keel laid.

April 14th 1965: Launched.

November 19th 1965: Sea trials were conducted.

March 17th 1966: Delivered to AB Swedish American Lines. Management: Erik Wijk.

April 22nd 1966: Maiden voyage Gothenburg – New York, then mainly cruising.

Courtesy of Chris Howell   Courtesy of Chris Howell

Courtesy of Chris Howell

August 1975: Sold to Flagship Cruises, Monrovia retaining her name.

October 1975: Delivered. Cruising from New York.

September 18th 1975: Left Gothenburg for Newcastle.

September 1978: Sold to P&O to replace their S.S. ARCADIA for cruising. Registered under ownership of Finance for Shipping Ltd.

September 4th 1978 – January 26th 1979: Rebuilt at Bremer Vulkan in Germany.

January 15th 1979: Renamed SEA PRINCESS. “Of her two impressive and well-balanced funnels, the forward one was removed and had a stump-like structure in its place. The after funnel has been replaced by one of the much taller tapered variety so commonly fitted to cruise ships“.

February 16th 1979: Made her maiden cruise Hong Kong – Sydney and then cruising in Far East and Australian waters.

© Tony Martin

© Tony Martin (Sydney 01/01/1980)

© Brian Fisher   Courtesy of Chris Howell

© Brian Fisher (Left) Courtesy of Chris Howell (Right)

1982: Rebuilt again at Vosper, Southampton with extra cruise cabins

1984: Registered under the ownership of Investors in Industry plc London.

Courtesy of Chris Howell   Courtesy of Chris Howell

Courtesy of Chris Howell (1990)

1991: Registered under the ownership of 3i plc. Management by P&O Lines Ltd., London.

April 1995: Renamed VICTORIA.

© Carlo Martinelli

© Carlo Martinelli (Bergen 20/08/1997)

December 1999: Chartered to Union Castle Steamship Co.

Simplon Postcard

Simplon Postcard


© Aleksi Lindström

November 2002: Sold to Paris Katsoufis, Nassau, renamed MONA LISA (at the same time being chartered for 5 years to Holiday Cruise Ships). She then cruises Europe, the Mediterranean and the Baltic (2003)

(Ships Monthly, April 2003)


July 25th 2003: Reportedly ran aground and damaged her propeller when she was leaving Magdalene fjord northwest of Svalbard inside the Arctic Circle, late Friday July 25, 2003. She was able to free herself and continued the voyage to Ny Alesund where she arrived later the same evening. Divers were brought in to assess the damage. With the agreement of the classification society Lloyd’s Register, the ship left Ny Alesund on Sunday for Longyearbyen. The damage has been reported as minor. There were no reported injuries and the passengers are currently being to be flown back to Germany. The Blohm+Voss shipyard at Hamburg, Germany, was contracted to repair.

© Simonwp

© Simonwp

May 12th 2004: Grounded in thick fog in a canal near Venice’s famed St. Mark’s Square today. The second major grounding in the ship’s short career for her Greek-based owner was fortunately a near miss, incurring no major damage or injuries to passengers or crew. Soon freed to continue her cruise around Italy.

© Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton (Dover 11/09/2004)

© Nigel Thornton   © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton   © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton   © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton   © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton (Dover 08/09/2005) (All)

September 21st 2006: Reported that Germany’s Holiday-Kreuzfahrten, had announced bankruptcy.

October 2006: Arrived in Piraeus for lay up.

November 1st 2006: Chartered to become a hotel ship in Qatar.

November 2nd 2006: Left Piraeus for Qatar.

November 20th 2006 – January 1st 2007: Used as a hotel ship for the Asian Games in Qatar.

2007: Chartered to Pullmantur Cruises, Spain for cruising in the Mediterranean/Turkey.

April 2007: Renamed OCEANIC II.


© Aleksi Lindström

April 2007 – May 28th 2007: Chartered to Louis Cruise Lines.

September 2007: Chartered to The Scholarship (Royal Caribbean International) to serve as a floating university. Trading name SCHOLARSHIP.

© Willem Oldenburg  © Willem Oldenburg

© Willem Oldenburg

April 2008: Renamed MONA LISA

May 4th 2008: Ran aground with 984 people on board in the Baltic Sea, off the northwest coast of Latvia. All the passengers, mostly from Germany, were safe, with agencies and various vessels on standby. There were no signs of damage to the vessel, which stranded on a sandbank in the Irbe Strait separating Latvia and the Estonian island of Saaremaa. Ballast water was pumped out to reduce the ship’s draft and three tugs were set to begin towing the ship clear. No leaks or oil were detected in the water. Coast Guard officials said early indications were that there had been no damage to the ship.

May 5th 2008: Her captain agreed to evacuate the vessel after unsuccessful efforts to tow her free. Using two naval ships, the Coast Guard transferred the passengers to Ventspils in north western Latvia, some 37 kilometres / 23 miles away.

May 7th 2008: Re-floated. The ship sailed under her own power to Ventspils for a technical evaluation. There were no reports of leaks or spillage, although the ship’s owners had pay all costs incurred for the rescue operation before the Latvian government released her.

May 8th 2008: Returned to service.

January 2010 – March 2010: Hotel Ship in Vancouver.

May 2010 – August 2010: Chartered to Mona Lisa cruise ships.


© Gerolf Drebes  © Gerolf Drebes

© Gerolf Drebes  © Gerolf Drebes

© Gerolf Drebes  © Gerolf Drebes

© Gerolf Drebes

© Gerolf Drebes (05/07/2010)

September 2010: Laid up in Drapetsona.

October 11th 2010: Left Piraeus.

October 15th 2010: Passed through the Suez Canal on her way to Oman intended to be laid up as a hotel ship.

October 26th 2010: Sold to DSME Oman LLC, Nassau, Bahamas. Rebuilt as a floating hotel and renamed VERONICA.

November 9th 2015: Towed from Oman to Alang, India for scrapping.

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: Gerolf Drebes, Brian Fisher, Chris Howell, Aleksi Lindström, Carlo Marinelli, Tony Martin, John Mavin, Willem Oldenburg, Bob Scott and Simonwp for their assistance in producing this feature.

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

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

From the Archives
Back to top button