Throwback: Symphony, the South African Queen

Symphony was originally built for SGTM (Société Générale des Transports Maritimes) as Provence by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson shipyard in Wallsend on Tyne (England). Intended for the South American service, she was completed in 1951. The Provence was later chartered and finally purchased by Costa in 1965 and renamed Enrico C after an extensive refit. From 1972 she was used for cruising only and renamed Enrico Costa in 1987. Enrico Costa was sold to Starlauro (later MSC) in 1994 as Symphony.

MSC Symphony was arguably South Africa’s first real cruise ship in terms of offering a regular season cruise program each year. She was also the first cruise ship to sail year round from Durban during the winter months and made cruising an accessible holiday option for middle class South Africans.

In 2000, she was chartered from MSC to Golden Sun Cruises, as the Aegean Spirit and in 2001 she began operations as Ocean Glory 1, but was placed under port arrest in the port of Dover after failing safety and hygiene inspections. On September of the same year, the former MSC Symphony was sold for scrap.

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