One of those odd bits of luck that struck me during a visit to Durban, was spotting the Royal Star up at the ship repair area of the harbour. The date I do not recall, but it did lead to a ship visit.
built as one of two sister ships, San Giorgio and San Marcos for the Adriatica services to Greece and Turkey from Trieste and Venice. She entered service in 1956 until sold to K Lines and converted for cruising as City of Andros. Her sister was also bought and similarly entered service with K Lines as City of Myconos. In 1984 she was sold to Ocean Cruise Lines and converted once again and entered service as Ocean Islander. In 1990 she was being operated By the African Safari Club under the name Royal Star from cruises out of Mombasa to the Indian Ocean Islands.
I am not sure how we swung it, but we were shown the vessel by the owner who was there overseeing the work being done. She was stunning inside, small, intimate and very comfortable, with a beautiful wood lined bridge. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pics, but I do have manage some very poor externals that morning. The light was just in the wrong place and the background was “busy”.
At the time we saw her she was based out of Kenya and her cruises were very exclusive and high priced. I believe she made a number of visits to South Africa in later years, but eventually hard times overtook her and she too made that final voyage, possibly in 2012, under the name Ocean Mist. Her sister (San Marcos) sank at her moorings in 1996 after being laid up for many years.
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