MS Athena Cruise Ship and Tugs, Western Entrance, Dover Harbour, Kent, UK

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John Latter on March 19, 2011

Stormy weather ahead: a gunmetal-grey early morning view of the MS Athena, survivor of a famous maritime disaster (see below), in the process of berthing at Cruise Terminal 3 (CT3) on the Admiralty Pier of the Western Docks, aided by two bollard-pull tugs: DHB Dauntless (on the left; IMO 9190456) and DHB Doughty (on the right; IMO 9190468).

The bow of the MS Athena (alt. MV Athena) is pointing towards the Western Entrance with the Straits of Dover and English Channel beyond; the Cliffs of France can be seen on higher resolutions.

The Western Entrance is formed by the Southern Breakwater, out-of-shot to the left, and the Admiralty Pier behind the ship on the right.

The MS Athena, chartered by tour operator Page and Moy for the 2010 summer season, has just finished "A Taste of Europe", her last summer cruise this year, which began in Dover on Friday, the 3rd of September with the following itinerary: Dover - Amsterdam (Netherlands, Holland; Anne Frank house, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum) - Zeebrugge (Belgium; for Bruges or Ghent) - Honfleur (France; Saint Catherine Church, Monet’s Garden at Giverny, or Paris) .

Also in port this day: the Grand Mistral and Costa Atlantica passenger ships.

Views of the MS Athena taken on Friday, 20th of August, 2010: MS Athena Cruise Ship before the White Cliffs of Dover and MS Athena Cruise Ship before the Southern Breakwater.

This Dover Harbour photo was taken at 6.31 am on Tuesday, 7th of September, 2010, from the Lighthouse end of the Prince of Wales Pier.

The two Dover Harbour Board tugs, along with the DHB David Church dredger, berth in the Tug Haven of the Tidal Harbour.

MS Athena, like the MS Princess Dapne, is a cruise ship owned and operated by Classic International Cruises of the World Cruises Agency. She was built in 1948 as the MS Stockholm by Götaverken in Gothenburg for the Swedish America Line (SAL). Since her career with SAL she has sailed under the names MS Völkerfreundschaft, MS Volker, MS Fridtjof Nansen, MS Italia I, MS Italia Prima, MS Valtur Prima and MS Caribe, before beginning service under her current name. (1)

As Stockholm she was best known for colliding with the SS Andrea Doria in 1956, resulting in the sinking of the latter ship:

On the night of July 25, 1956, at 11:10 PM, in heavy fog in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Nantucket, the Stockholm and the Andrea Doria of the Italian Line collided in what was to become one of history's most famous maritime disasters. (1)

Although most passengers and crew survived the collision, the larger Andrea Doria luxury liner capsized and sank the following morning. Owing to the collision, 50% of the Andrea Doria's lifeboats were unusable. However, a number of ships responded and provided assistance, which averted a massive loss of life like that suffered by the RMS Titanic over 40 years earlier. (1) (see the Charles Lightoller of the Titanic, 8 East Cliff, Dover photo)

Five crew members on the Stockholm were killed instantly and several more were trapped in the wrecked bow. Despite its having sunk about three feet (0.9 m), the crippled Stockholm helped in the rescue and ended up carrying 327 passengers and 245 crewmembers from the Andrea Doria, in addition to her own passengers and crew. After Andrea Doria sank, Stockholm sailed to New York City under her own power and arrived on July 27. The crushed bow portion was repaired at a cost of 1 million US dollars three months later. (1)

MS Athena Career (1)

Name: 1948 - 1960: MS Stockholm, 1960 - 1985: MS Völkerfreundschaft, 1985 - 1986: MS Volker, 1986 - 1993: MS Fridtjof Nansen, 1993 - 1994: MS Italia I, 1994 - 1998: MS Italia Prima, 1998 - 2002: MS Valtur Prima, 2002 - 2005: MS Caribe, 2005 - present: MS Athena

Owner: 1948 - 1960: Swedish America Line, 1960 - 1985: VEB Deutsche Seereederei, 1985 - 1989: Neptunus Rex Enterprises, 1989 - 1994: StarLauro, 1994 - 2002: Nina Cia. di Navigazione, 2002 - 2004: Festival Cruises, 2004 - present: Nina SpA

Operator: 1948 - 1960: Swedish America Line, 1960 - 1966: VEB Deutsche Seereederei, 1966 - 1985: VEB Deutsche Seereederei (summer seasons)/Stena Line (winter seasons), 1985 - 1994: laid up/rebuilt, 1994 - 1995:Nina Cia. di Navigazione, 1995 - 1998: Neckermann Seereisen, 1998: laid up, 1998 - 2001: Valtur Tourist, 2001 - 2002: laid up, 2002 - 2004: Festival Cruises, 2004 - 2005: laid up, 2005 - present: Classic International Cruises

Port of registry: 1948 - 1960: Gothenburg, Sweden, 1960 - 1985: Rostock, East Germany, 1985 - 1989: Panama City, Panama, 1989 - 2004: Naples, Italy, 2004 - present: Lisbon, Portugal

Ordered: October 1944

Builder: Götaverken, Gothenburg, Sweden

Yard number: 611

Launched: 9 September 1946

Christened: 9 September 1946

Acquired: 7 February 1948

In service: 21 February 1948

Identification: Swedish Official Number 8926 (1948), Italian Official Number 1749 (1993)

Status: In service

General characteristics (as built) (1)

Type: Ocean liner

Tonnage: 12,165 GRT

Length: 160.08 m (525 ft 2 in)

Beam: 21.04 m (69 ft 0 in)

Draught: 7.90 m (25 ft 11 in)

Installed power: 2 × 8-cylinder Götaverken diesels, combined 12,000 hp (8,900 kW)

Speed: 17 kn (31.48 km/h)

Capacity: 390 passengers, 4,700 metric tons deadweight (DWT)

General characteristics (currently) (1) (2)

Type: Cruise ship

Tonnage: 15,614 GRT

Decks: 8

Installed power: 2 × Wärtsilä 16V32 diesels 14,300 hp (10,700 kW)

Speed: 19 kn (35.19 km/h)

Capacity: 556 passengers

Call Sign: CQRV

MMSI: 255801380

IMO number: 5383304

Click to see the official MS Athena webpage

Click to see all Cruise Ship and Tug photos (related tags: Boats, Ferries, Lifeboats, Navy, Sailing Ships, Ships, and Workboats).

(1) Wikipedia entry for MS Athena (2) Marinetraffic entry for MS Athena

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Christos Theodorou on March 19, 2011

Very nice capture - Best regards from Athens - LIKE

John Latter on March 19, 2011

Christos Theodorou, on March 19th, 2011, said:

Very nice capture - Best regards from Athens - LIKE

Thank you again, Christos - Greetings from Dover, England!

Maria Evelyna on April 3, 2011

Like, Vote, YS

Nice capture! Good luck.

Maria Evelyna from Ubatuba, Brazil

John Latter on April 4, 2011

Maria Evelyna, on April 3rd, 2011, said:

Like, Vote, YS

Nice capture! Good luck.

Maria Evelyna from Ubatuba, Brazil

Thank you, Maria - Regards from Dover, England!

Panos T. Mourlas on April 17, 2011


Good luck!!!

Greetings from Greece.

Panos T. Mourlas.

John Latter on April 17, 2011

Panos T. Mourlas, on April 17th, 2011, said:


Good luck!!!

Greetings from Greece.

Panos T. Mourlas.

Thank you, Panos - Greetings from Dover, England!

Nicoara Lidia on April 20, 2011

Deosebita si interesanta imagine!Like +Vot

Multe salutari si..Sarbatori fericite!Lidia

John Latter on April 20, 2011

Nicoara Lidia, on April 20th, 2011, said:

Deosebita si interesanta imagine!Like +Vot

Multe salutari si..Sarbatori fericite! Lidia

Vă mulţumesc, Lidia - Salutări de la Dover, Anglia!

Graham Turnbull on May 14, 2011

You have a good gallery of photos, and like the write-ups. Liked this one especially.

John Latter on May 14, 2011

falconlock, on May 14th, 2011, said:

You have a good gallery of photos, and like the write-ups. Liked this one especially.

I sometimes wonder if I spend too much time on the captions so its especially nice to get a comment like yours - thank you! :)

John Latter on October 17, 2013

Until 2012, the MS Athena was operated by Classic International Cruises, as the Athena. In 2013, it was transferred to Portuscale Cruises and renamed MS Azores.

When in range of AIS, the vessel's current position is now shown at:

MS Azores

The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is an automatic tracking system used on ships and by vessel traffic services (VTS) for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships and AIS Base stations. AIS information supplements marine radar, which continues to be the primary method of collision avoidance for water transport.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 17, 2011
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2010/09/07 07:31:51
    • Exposure: 0.003s (1/400)
    • Focal Length: 55.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/14.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash