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Her cruises gained more and more popularity with the majority of passengers being from As the first Chandris charter season was slowly coming towards an end of what had been an excellent first season, the Achille Lauro departed Genoa on October 3, 1985 for a 11-day cruise, visiting; Naples, Alexandria, Port Said, Ashdod, Limassol, Rhodes, Piraeus, Capri and then back to Genoa.

Onboard were 755 passengers and very quickly passengers onboard had settled into a happy routine of shipboard life.

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Externally some significant changes made to this already beautiful ship, the most obvious being her new sharply raked bow, giving her an additional 12ft in length.

Then there were her two brand new higher slim-line stylish funnels, which were topped by sloped upwards twin smoke dispersers providing the Achille Lauro a better dispersion of her diesel fumes, as well as providing her with a distinctive look.

Originally, when she was the MS Willem Ruys she had the nickname of being the “Lucky Ship” because she sat unscathed throughout WW2 in her dock partially built, despite all the bombing and the attempts to destroy her, yet the ship that should have been destroyed became a great Dutch Liner!

Little did anyone know that it would be in 1985 that the name of the cruise ship Achille Lauro would sadly entered the history books and etched into people’s memories forever that very same year!

She departed on her first cruise on March 5, 1985 and she being well marketed by Chandris, British, and American Companies, she was reasonably successful!

Due to the closure of the Canal, both the Achille Lauro and her running mate the rebuilt Angelina Lauro, ex MS Oranje, continued on the Australia liner service into the 1970s, but like all other ships on the Australian service, she now had to sail via South Africa and many returned via the Panama Canal, thus operating a around the world service.

She would make five return voyages to However, the Achille Lauro did operate a unique voyage for her return to Europe, for she departed Sydney on September 28, 1969, sailed via Wellington, Papeete, Tahiti and headed for South America including a call to Rio De Janeiro, before heading for Southampton and Rotterdam, etc.

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