With the QE2 being retired this year I have always wondered if it would one day be possible for a major corporation to create a twin sister vessel of the SS France and TS Michaelangelo respectively?
For example, the replacement twin sister for the SS France could be named the Ill de France. It would have the original artworks that survived from the SS France, and integrate them into a new 1960s Art Deco decour that would exceed its sister. In addition, the cabin space could rival the Queen Mary 2. Along with the most advanced powertrain and navagational system that would rival a US Naval aircraft carrier. The ship would be built for crossing and cruising. The ship would be a living testiment to the SS France, The French Ship of State.
And the twin sister to the Michaelangelo would avoid the problems that plagued its predecessor. For instance, the ship would have a horizontal layout, like the SS Rotterdam V, which would be a 2-Class vessel that's capable of crossing and cruising. In addition, the ship would have all of the modern amendities, while retaining the 1960 Art deco decour that would combine the best of the Mich and the Raff, and take that to the next level. The cabins would rival the Queen Mary 2 as well. The replcement vessel could be named MV Leonardo, Italy's Ship of State.
Both of these ships would cater to the European Market and conduct world cruises in the winter, in addition to regional cruises in the summer. Had the management of the French Line followed the example of Holland America Line and P&O Line's business model, the SS France wouldn't have been sold to NCL in 1979 and the vessel would have been the French version of the QE2. As for the Italian Line, if they had built the Michaelangelo and the Raffaelo in the same fashion as the SS Rotterdam V, both vessels would have had a successful career as cruiseships. And a good example of that are the Sagajford and the Vistjford which are sailing as Saga Rose and Saga Ruby respectively. Too bad they never saw it that way and sold the ships to ****, who in turn ruined them.
It would not have been too hard to imagine the SS France giving the QE2 a run for its money conducting the same itineraries. The Mich and the Raff would have done the same thing. As long as those ships catered to the highend cruise market, they would have been ok.
Now my last question is how much would it cost to construct a twin sister of the both the SS France and the TS Michaelangelo?
I don't know, I do know it would be at least 3 times the original build cost. Great ideas, I'll bet there'd be some investment companies that would be interested in footing the bill. I wouldn't know where to start to begin a cruise ship company. It would definitely be something fun to investigate.
The sister vessel to the SS France could be chartered off to RCCL's France-based Compagnie des Iles du Ponant, if they're interested. And the sister vessel to TS Michaelangelo, could be chartered off to Crystal Cruises. This could be a good option. Chartering the ocean liners to a reputable cruise line operater is much cheaper than having your own cruise line with all of the overhead cost involved.
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