Cruise Liners – PALLAS ATHENA

PALLAS ATHENA was an ocean liner that operated for French line as FLANDRE and Costa Crociere as CARLA C from 1992 to 1994.

Built in 1951 as FLANDRE she was the French Line’s first new ocean liner following World War II. Her maiden voyage of 23rd July 1952 was considered a complete disaster, as she experienced mechanical difficulties throughout the voyage. The first sign of trouble was when her fuel line filters became clogged with impurities in the oil that she was carrying. This caused her to become disabled essentially for four hours while her fuel filters were cleaned out and her boilers restored to normal operation. In 1967, she was withdrawn and was sold to the Italian firm Costa Cruises, who renamed her CARLA C.

The first assignment for the newly refitted CARLA C  was a charter for Princess Cruises, which marketed her as PRINCESS CARLA (Though the ship was not renamed). It was during this time that a set of producers originated the idea of the popular television series The Love Boat aboard while the first scripts were written on board the ship. The ship proved problematic at first, after problems were detected with the boilers. In 1974 and 1975, Costa replaced the boilers with Stork Werkspoor diesel engines and CARLA C was returned to service around the Caribbean, where she served until 1992. In 1984, the ship underwent another major refit and in 1986 she was renamed CARLA COSTA.

During 1992 CARLA COSTA was sold to the Greek Epirotiki Line which was founded in 1850 and defunct in 2005, and renamed her as PALLAS ATHENA, after the Greek goddess Pallas Athene. She ran 7 day cruises from Athens to the Aegean Islands and Turkey.


Unfortunately her life was short as on Wednesday 23rd March, 1994 she was disembarking passengers at Piraeus when a fire started in an empty stateroom and spread through the ship which caused the superstructure and funnel to cave in on themselves. She was laid up at Eleusis Bay

She was declared as total loss and arrived at Aliaga, Turkey for breakers on Sunday 25th December 1994 bearing her as one of only two surviving French Line ocean liners.

Top image berthed at Grand Harbour (Valletta), Malta in October 1993.

Watermarked Photos are by Capt. Lawrence Dalli otherwise stated. NO PHOTOS can be used or manipulated without our permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos –

Published – Tuesday 9th February, 2021.