How well do you know your cruise vessels? The cruise ship Magellan will be familiar to many that have cruised in the Bahamas. The Holiday-class cruise ship has decades of history behind it, and this guide will tell you all you need to know.
What is the cruise ship Magellan?
The MS Magellan is a massive cruise ship currently operated by Cruise & Maritime Voyages. It boasts 10 floors and has a gross tonnage of 46,052. It measures some 222 metres in length, and its large scale is jaw-dropping: Its passenger capacity is 1,452 and its crew can run to 660 people. Despite its size, the cruise ship Magellan can achieve impressive speeds of up to 21 knots, equating to 39 kilometres per hour.
It’s a big, state-of-the-art cruiser, so you’d expect it to be brand new, right? You might be surprised to learn that it’s over 30 years old. Seriously, it is.
History of the cruise ship Magellan: 1985-present
What we know today as the MS Magellan was built in Denmark in the 1980s by Aalborg Vaerft. Its maiden voyage was way back in 1985 and in those days it was known as the MS Holiday. In the intervening decades, the ship has had quite a “life”
1985-2009: MS Holiday
From its first outing until 2009, the ship was operated by Carnival Cruise Lines. She was registered to the port of Nassau in the Bahamas. She was taken out of service for renovations in 2003, and came back better than ever. In 2005, she was taken out of service once again, this time as part of disaster relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina. The ship was used as emergency housing for victims that had been left homeless and destitute following the hurricane.
The MS Holiday continued to sail for Carnival Cruise Lines until 2009. During that time there were further renovations including a job on the plumbing and carpets. She was finally retired from Carnival Cruise Lines’ fleet and transferred to another cruise line owned by the same parent company. Fittingly, she was given a new name for this new lease of life – but she wasn’t yet the cruise ship Magellan that we know today.
2010-2014: MS Grand Holiday
Now renamed the MS Grand Holiday, the ship entered the fleet of Iberocruceros in 2010. Now registered from the port of Madeira in Portugal, her maiden voyage was on the 18th of May 2010.
Perhaps most notable during this time is the fact that the MS Grand Holiday served as a floating hotel during the 2014 Winter Olympics. From February 5th to 24th, she was anchored at Port Sochi. The future cruise ship Magellan was transformed into a floating four-star hotel for the illustrious games.
The next and most recent chapter would take place in 2015.
2015-present: MS Magellan
In the spring of 2015, the MS Grand Holiday was renamed once again and became the cruise ship Magellan. She is now operated by the British-owned Cruise & Maritime Voyages, and is once again registered out of Nassau in the Bahamas. Her maiden voyage as the MS Magellan took place on the 11th of March 2015 from the UK.