When Cruise Ships are built, Most people don’t get to see the first months of their construction. Well, the Regent Sky certainly got a lot of Media attention for all the wrong reasons.
I thought I would post something a little different today. As this story sparked my interest when I first saw it. For everyone out there who follow ships, be it the construction, the ports they visit or maybe even the activities on board. This story will be a little bit different.
The whole story dates back to the early eighties when modern cruise ships were just really starting to become the norm. People really started to take notice of what the ships had to offer and the many amenities bigger and larger ships could accommodate.
This ship was originally being built as the ferry ‘Stena Baltica’ for Stena Line, having been ordered in 1984, but due to problems at the Gadansk shipyard she was not completed and bought by Regency Cruises in 1989.
She was later towed to Greece and some work was carried out on her before Regency Cruises had financial problems and closed down due to financial troubles.
In its later years, there had been reports that she was going to be completed as a modern cruise ship but later reports suggested that the hull, which was extended in Greece, was suffering from extensive rusting problems.
MV Regent Sky:
MV Regent Sky was to go on to be an unfinished cruise ship that travelled to several locations during her construction. She was initially being built as the ferry Stena Baltica, one of four sisters planned for Stena Line. Still incomplete, she was purchased by Regency Cruises, but her new owners filed for bankruptcy in 1995.
Regent Sky was originally ordered in 1979 and laid down under the name Stena Baltica. She was one of four fairly identical cruise ferries being built by Stocznia im Lenina, Gdansk for Stena Line, Stena Germanica, Stena Scandinavica and Stena Polonica. In 1986, her construction was cancelled (and her sisters’ delayed) due to problems with the shipyard.
The unfinished hull was purchased by A. Lelakis, owner of Regency Cruises. Regency planned to put her into service as their first new ship, having previously purchased and converted ocean liners.
Stena Baltica was later towed to the Avlis Shipyards at Perama, Greece, where a USD $200 million process to convert her into a cruise ship began. The vessel was renamed Regent Sky at this time. 7,000 tons of steel were installed after she was lengthened 50 meters at Eleusis Shipyards.
In 1995, while Regent Sky was at the Avlis Shipyards of Chalkis, Greece and about 60% finished, Regency Cruises ceased operations. The vessel was seized by the National Bank of Greece and Hellenic Industrial Development Bank in July 1999.
Since then, Regent Sky had moved from one lay-up berth to another, including Perama, Ambelakia and then Kinossoura. All attempts to sell the vessel at auction have failed, making demolition her most likely fate.
The Regent Sky had been laid up off Eleusis, Greece, until July 2011 when she was reportedly sold for scrapping.
Since her construction was halted, Regent Sky had rusted heavily. During her conversion, Wärtsilä main engines were installed. After the bankruptcy of Regency, the engines were removed, leaving Regent Sky unable to move without being towed.
The foremost part of her bow was never completed. There were several renderings of the completed ship, with one depicting her as Zoe, sporting a white hull and red funnel.
Wow, What an interesting story. Well, I think so. So the next time you board a ship. Spare a moment and think of all the years it took from construction to the final product your just walking on.