MV Cunard Ambassador

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Cunard Ambassador
Career
Name: Cunard Ambassador
Owner: Cunard Line
Route: New York to Bermuda
San Juan to other Caribbean ports
Vancouver to Alaska
Builder: Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij
Yard number: 666
Launched: 16 March 1972
Completed: October 1972
Fate: Sold to C. Clausen after an onboard fire 12 September 1974 and converted to a livestock carrier.
Career
Name: Linda Clausen
Owner: C. Clausen D/S A/S, København
Acquired: 1975
Refit: Converted to a livestock carrier in 1975
Fate: Sold to Lembu Shipping Corporation of Panama
Career
Name: Procyon
Owner: Lembu Shipping Corporation of Panama
Acquired: 1980
Fate: Sold to Qatar Transport & Marine Services of Doha
Career
Name: Raslan
Owner: Qatar Transport & Marine Services of Doha
Acquired: 1983
Fate: Sold for scrap after a fire on 3 July 1983. Arrived in Kaohsiung, Taiwan for scapping on 7 September 1984.
General characteristics
Type: Cruise ship
Tonnage: 14,155 GT
Length: 484 ft (148 m) long
Beam: 71 ft (22 m)
Decks: 7
Installed power: Diesel engines
Propulsion: Two propellers
Speed: 20.5 knots (38.0 km/h; 23.6 mph)
Capacity: 806 all-one-class passengers

MV Cunard Ambassador was a cruise ship planned as one of a class of eight ships for the charter airline Overseas National Airways. At the same time, the well-known Cunard Line was moving into the cruise market because the increasing popularity of international flights meant that its transatlantic passenger services were no longer viable.

Ship history

Because of the cost of the eight-ship project, Overseas National Airways soon ran into financial troubles and was forced to abandon it. Cunard saw the opportunity and quickly took the project on, soon reducing the order to two ships, which it christened Cunard Adventurer (1971) and Cunard Ambassador (1972). Both ships were intended for seven-day cruises, including New York to Bermuda, San Juan to other Caribbean ports, and Vancouver to Alaska during the summer seasons.

The two ships were less successful than intended. Cunard Adventurer was soon sold and became Sunward II and later Triton; Cunard Ambassador was withdrawn from Cunard service on September 12, 1974 after a fire on a positioning trip. There were no passengers on board and no fatalities but, after being towed to Key West, the ship was declared a total loss.

She was bought as a gutted hull and refitted to become the Danish sheep carrier, Linda Clausen later the same year. In 1980, she was sold again and became Procyn and, in 1983, Raslan. In 1983, only a year after being rechristened Raslan, she suffered another devastating fire in the Indian Ocean. The former Cunard Ambassador was beyond economic repair and, after only thirteen years of service, two of which were with Cunard, she was sold to Taiwanese ship breakers and scrapped.

Influence

Shortly after the sale of Cunard Adventurer and the first fire on Cunard Ambassador, Cunard planned two new ships, Cunard Countess and Cunard Conquest, later changed to Cunard Princess. The design incorporated many features of the failed Adventurer and Ambassador including a similar sleek profile and angular funnel and the white-painted hull.

References

  • “Picture History of the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth”, William H. Miller Jr., Dover Publications Inc., 2004
  • “Picture History of the Cunard Line 1840–1990”, Frank O. Braynard and William H. Miller Jr., Dover Publications Inc., 1990
  • “Doomed Ships; Great Ocean Liner Disasters”, William H. Miller Jr., Dover Publications Inc., 2006

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