Formosa Queen (1970/22,945gt), Asia Star Maritime’s only venture into shipowning, has been sold for scrap, possibly without ever operating for her final owner. She was built by Wärtsilä at Helsinki as Song of Norway, and, after just eight years’ service, was returned to the same yard to have an 85ft mid-section added.

The last years of her career were somewhat chequered after leaving the Royal Caribbean fleet in 1997. After 27 years in the Caribbean, she was purchased by Britain’s Airtours (My Travel Group, later styled as Sun Cruises) and renamed Sundream, as that company started to focus on cruising. Airtours withdrew from the cruise market in 2004 and Sundream was sold to Tumaco Navigation of Greece, renamed Dream Princess and chartered to Israel’s Caspi Cruises. Her name was later shortened to Dream for an operation between Karachi and Dubai that lasted for a single voyage.

She then went back to Caspi Cruises, before being acquired by Clipper Group and renamed Clipper Pearl. She was chartered to the Peaceboat Organisation, but that was terminated early. Then, as Ocean Pearl, she operated for Happy Cruises and was a well-maintained ship. When Happy Cruises went bust, Ocean Pearl was laid up in Tilbury until sold to Asia Star Maritime to become Formosa Queen.

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