Entering service in May 2015 for its new owners Windstar Cruises – Star Legend has a much more complicated history than its sister ships Star Pride and Breeze.
Star Legend was ordered by Seabourn Cruise Line in the late 1980s. Built at Schichau Seebeckwerft in Bremerhaven, Germany. The vessel was the final in a series of three nearly identical sister ships. Seabourn Pride launched in 1988, Seabourn Spirit in 1989 and finally Seabourn Legend in 1990. However due to financial constraints the company could not finalise the purchase of Seabourn Legend.
Royal Viking Line stepped in and finally the vessel was completed as Royal Viking Queen in 1992. Royal Viking Queen was the final vessel completed for line, however intense market competition, a lack of clear leadership and aging vessels meant that Royal Viking was struggling to fill the ship. In the face of intense market competition Royal Viking Line was sold by it’s parent company Kloster Cruise to Cunard Line. However the sale only included Royal Viking Sun. The rest of the fleet was passed over to Norwegian Cruise Line and premium sister brand Royal Cruise Line.
So in early 1995 Royal Viking Queen adopted the name Queen Odyssey. Now in a better suiting brand the vessel flourished as Royal pushed a series of offers. This had dreadful results for Seabourn who where essentially selling the same product with much higher prices. Seabourn was also suffering for the launch of Silversea and Seagoddess.
By 1996 Kloster was in severe financial difficulties and began selling off several vessels, Queen Odyssey was sold to Seabourn for $55m (half the cost of construction) who had recently been recapitalised by Carnival through a 50% shareholding. Seabourn maintained Queen Odyssey on her competing cruise program for the rest of the season before joining her rightful place as Seabourn Legend within the fleet.
Seabourn Legend remained as part of the Seabourn fleet until the arrival of a larger more modern series of Seabourn ships starting with Seabourn Odyssey, the vessel was sold to Windstar Cruises along with her sister ships becoming Star Legend after a multimillion dollar refurbishment.
Interestingly, and the vessels claim to fame, in 1997 Seabourn Legend was the ‘star’ of Speed 2: Cruise Control, the vessel, or more precisely a CGI version of it crashes into an oil tanker, then an island at high-speed, having been controlled by ill computer hacker. Like Star Legend’s time as Royal Viking Queen the movie was not a box office success.
Personally I love the look of these super sleek cruise ships, if I won a few hundred million I would buy Star Legend to be my yacht. When compared to its sister ships its had a complex history.
Next week I will be covering ‘The Rise and Fall of: Royal Viking Line’ so keep your eyes peeled.
Have you been on Star Legend in any of its guises? Let us know, comment below!