Royal Star comes a visitin'

Jan 31, 2005
Author: P&S

Royal Star, the elderly Kenya-based cruise ship owned and operated by African Safari Club, is now on an extended South African cruise with visits to most of the ports scheduled. Today the ship is in East London, having sailed last night from Durban.

Royal Star goes alongside Durbanís T- Jetty under grey rainy skies, early Sunday morning, 30 January 2005. Picture Terry Hutson

The 5,067-gt Royal Star has a long history as a passenger carrying ship, having been built in Trieste in 1956 as a passenger cargo ship under the name San Giorgio. Twenty years later she was sold and renamed the City of Andros before again changing hands in 1984 to become Ocean Islander.

In 1990 Swiss and Kenya-based African Safari Club acquired her and renamed her to her present name of Royal Star, while placing the ship under the management of a subsidiary company, StarLine Cruises.

Since then the ship, which has a passenger capacity of 276, has cruised in the Indian Ocean out of Mombasa and is in fact the only passenger ship sustaining an all-year presence along the sub-Saharan African coast. This has been made feasible by the close relationship between land-based East African Safaris and the cruise side of the company.

African Safari Club operates a chain of hotels and safari lodges as well as its own airline services - African Safari Airlines between Europe and East Africa, and Skytrail Air Safaris for local flights in and around East Africa.

Royal Star will also visit Port Elizabeth and Cape Town before revisiting east coast ports and concluding her Southern Africa cruise at Durban on 12 February.

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