Mano Cruises, new ship for the 2019 season, the CROWN IRIS which was acquired from Louis Group in 2018 entered Valletta, Malta during her maiden call on Wednesday 19th June, 2019 berthing at Pinto 4 and 5 wharves.
Mano Maritime (Hebrew :מנו ספנות, Mano Sapanut) is a shipping company founded by the Israeli entrepreneur MOSHE MANO, and is a subsidiary of the Mano Holdings Group. It engages in shipping activities including various types of cargo ships, passengers ships and other services. Moshe Mano is the founder, owner, chairman and president of the company.
Infact first ship for the cruise line was the 1971 built ferry THE AZUR which was later rebuilt into a cruise ship in 1981, which was sold for over US$10 million. Upon entering service , Mano Maritime renamed her the ROYAL IRIS and painted a smiling yellow fish on both sides of her hull. On 21 st June 2005 a small fire broke out on board while the ship was anchored off Samos, Greece of which it was quickly controlled by the crew. Until 2014 ROYAL IRIS regularly set out on cruises through the Greek Islands and Cyprus. her passenger capacity was 661 with 325 as crew with 15 knots as maximum speed. In 2014 Mano Cruises stopped the ship’s operations, and renamed her to ROY STAR of which the liner arrived in the Greek port of Chalkis for lay up on November 6th, 2014. Valletta was one of her port of calls as can be seen below.
From 2001 to 2010 the 1982 Polish built former ferry KONSTANTIN SIMONOV renamed by Mano Cruise as THE IRIS operated in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and homeported at Valletta, Malta of which visited Malta too.
During 2009 the former Cunard Conquest, Cunard Countess and Rhapsody with StarLauro Cruises and MSC Cruises, the vessel was bought and renamed GOLDEN IRIS. She entered service with Mano Maritime on Mediterranean Cruises from Haifa, Israel on 31 st May 2009, following the completion of a refit. Her passenger capacity was 959 with 350 crew and maximum speed of 21 knots. She was homeported in Panama.
The latest liner to join the fleet is the CROWN IRIS. She was originally ordered by Birka Line as BIRKA QUEEN built in Finland, but completed as the ROYAL MAJESTY for Majesty Cruise Line. In 1997 she was sold to Norwegian Cruise Line as the NORWEGIAN MAJESTY and lengthened by 33.76 m (110 ft 9 in) in Germany. She was sold to Louis Cruises as the LOUIS MAJESTY from 2008 to 2012 when she was chartered to Thomson Cruises to trade as the THOMSON MAJESTY before being returned to Louis Cruises/Celestyal Cruises, as the MAJESTY if which during 2018 the ship was sold to Mano Maritime. Following an extensive refit, the ship is debuting in the Israeli market for Mano, with a new color scheme, heavily updated interior and more amenities. Passenger capacity is 2,000 while her crew is 650 with 11 floors.
All liners called at Valletta Cruise Port.
Photos by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com