Monday, 2 August 2010


Another passenger ship new to the Clyde made her first call to Greenock to embark of the first of three cruises from the town on Monday. OCEAN COUNTESS, which was built as CUNARD COUNTESS in 1976 was launched in Denmark by Burmeister and Wain and moved to La Spezia in Italy for fitting out. Initially she served as a popular cruiseship in the Caribbean and, in October 1982, was chartered by the UK Government to act as a troop transport for the Falkland Islands. She returned to the Caribbean following a controversial refit in Malta in July 1983. Sold by Cunard in 1996, she was renamed AWANI DREAM II but soon afterwards was again renamed, becoming first OLYMPIC, and then OLYMPIA, COUNTESS as she hoisted the Greek flag. In 2004 she was again renamed, becoming OCEAN COUNTESS for a period before taking the name RUBY for a charter that lasted for around six months. In April 2010, following an extensive refit, OCEAN COUNTESS joined the British cruise market, sailing for Cruise & Maritime Voyages. Three cruises in their programme commence at Greenock, and it was on the first of these that she was seen leaving for Leixoes in Portugal, on a cruise entitled 'Iberian Discovery'.