The wonderful world of EPIROTIKI / Royal Olympic Cruises

TS APOLLON Cruise from 13 to 17 August 2001

Captain Evgenios Missaelidis

All pictures Michael Hipler Klick on the pictures to enlarge

Epirotiki - Royal Olympic Cruises TS APOLLON picture  Michael Hipler

The cruise on TS APOLLON from Piraeus was the classic route that hasn't changed in a decade: Piraeus-Mykonos-Ephesos-Patmos-Rhodes-Iraklion-Santorini-Piraeus.

Many passengers from America, who belonged to a religious group where aboard. They all had a sticker "Teacher of the word of the Lord". There were also some Japanese aboard.

The ship been made fit for one season after lay-up and been operated also on a three-night Istanbul route. The week previous to my cruise TS APOLLON was out of operation though.

Captain Evgenios Missaelidis, who had commanded Royal Olympic's flag ship OLYMPIC (ex EMPRESS OF BRITAIN). That ship was inherited by ROC via a joint-venture with Carnival Corp., as well as TS APOLLON was.

An extraordinary polite and interesting man, Capain Missaelidis told me, that the OLYMPIC was difficult to manoeuvre, due to the lack of bow thrusters. So special skills where needed which I could witness being displayed by Captain Phokas on m/v ATALANTE in 2003.

Captain Missaelidis also was a great singer and did much for the entertainment of passengers in the main lounge most evenings!

Epirotiki - Royal Olympic Cruises TS APOLLON picture  Michael Hipler

Epirotiki - Royal Olympic Cruises TS APOLLON picture  Michael Hipler

The fascinating route Royal Olympic was operating, here Santorini, was spiced with views of other Classics en route, for example the marvellous STELLA SOLARIS, which I could tour in Piraeus. As a passenger of ROC tours of the other ships of the fleet where arranged by the crew. A feat not heard of with other lines.

The crew of STELLA SOLARIS were very polite and proud of their ship. They told me that even the crew cabins were built to a standard almost equal to the passenger's, and that in 1973, imagine that!

Epirotiki - Royal Olympic Cruises TS APOLLON picture  Michael Hipler

Epirotiki - Royal Olympic Cruises TS APOLLON picture  Michael HiplerThe main show lounge was the most beautiful room aboard with glowing wood panelling all over.

The best entertainment however was a blast from the ships fog horn. This was steam-powered really like an earth-quake!

Also a bridge visit was possible with ROC, where many lines now restrict passengers from the interesting parts of the ship.

The Philippino deck crew was also very kind and let me ring the ship's bell on the forecastle.

Epirotiki - Royal Olympic Cruises TS APOLLON picture  Michael Hipler

The cinema was an original piece from the time as EMPRESS OF CANADA of Canadian Pacific SS Ltd. Many cabins also survived in all their First Class glory. Sorrily I could not afford one.

The corridors showed acres of original wood panelling too!

Later it turned out that this trip was the last commercial cruise of this magnificent ship. With it a whole world disappeared.

Thank you, APOLLON for a great and memorable trip!

Epirotiki - Royal Olympic Cruises TS APOLLON picture  Michael Hipler

Epirotiki - Royal Olympic Cruises TS APOLLON picture  Michael Hipler

Sadly Royal Olympic Cruises ceased operation in 2004. But now another company has stepped in to continue the philosophy of destination filled itineraries on classic cruise ships:

Monarch Classic Cruises


which can be found under this Link 
(The author of this homepage declines any responsibility for any of the content of the linked page whatsoever)

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