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MV REGENT STAR in San Diego in 1995, nearing the end of her career. Photo and copyright Peter Knego 1995.


When Regency Cruise Line's REGENT STAR entered service in 1957 as Holland America Line's SS STATENDAM, she became an instant hit on North Atlantic crossings from Rotterdam to New York and in seasonal cruising. STATENDAM was mainly a tourist class vessel, but one of the keys to her success was the quality of her accommodation, which aspired to first class standards. For a predominantly tourist class ship, she was miles ahead of the competition and a vastly improved version of the pioneering, mainly tourist twins RYNDAM and MAASDAM that came before her.

STATENDAM was rebuilt for permanent cruise service in 1972.  The transformation was so vast that she was dubbed "The Cinerella Ship" in HAL puclicity materials. Very little of her original decor survived the refit, which saw the complete rebuilding of her Promenade Deck.  However, in certain parts of the ship,  some traces of her 1950s traditional elegance remained.  The key unspoilt areas were the indoor pool, the cinema, and the purser's lobby.

In 1982, STATENDAM was sold to Paquet Cruises, becoming their  RHAPSODY and in 1986, she became Regency Cruise Line's REGENT STAR. Both companies left the few original areas of the ship "as is." During her conversion to REGENT STAR, the ship was fitted with diesel engines, replacing her somewhat star-crossed turbines. She was also given more cabins, extending her Lower Promenade Deck and providing a large observation platform on forward Upper Promenade Deck. MV REGENT STAR was laid up in 1995, following the collapse of Regency Cruises. She lay at anchor in Eleusis, Greece (technically renamed SEA HARMONY) looking very forlorn until being sold for scrap as the HARMONY in 2004.


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