Direct Cruises
These pages are devoted to postcards and photographs of the Direct Cruises fleet. The table below gives links to complete postcard career histories of the various ships. Below the table I have added the cards that I have collected so far in Direct Cruises colours.
Direct were started by direct marketing holiday company Direct Holidays, selling budget cruises through telephone sales to the UK market. They started the 1998 season by chartering the ex-Costa ship EugenioCosta, renamed Edinburgh Castle. High bookings lead to the additional charter of Apollo, ex-Empress of Canada. The company posed a threat to Airtours' successful UK-based cruise line Sun Cruises, who acquired Direct Holidays, along with the cruise line. At the end of the first season, Edinburgh Castle's owners filed for bankruptcy. Edinburgh Castle operated in 2000 as Premier Cruises' Big Red Boat 2, up until the failure of that company. Direct operated just the Apollo for their second, 1999, season. In 2000 all the scheduled cruises of Direct were cancelled, and Apollo returned to Greece to be laid up. She returned to service unexpectedly in 2001 for Royal Olympic Cruises on three and four-day cruises out of Piraeus, and photographs are available on this link.
Ships on this Page:-
Edinburgh Castle
Associated Pages:-
Canadian Pacific Line
Carnival Cruise Line
Costa Line - Linea "C"
Epirotiki Line
Premier Cruise Line
Royal Olympic Cruises
Cruise Ship Postcards
Ocean Liner Postcards
Simplon Postcards - Recent Updates
Simplon Postcards - Home Page
Search This Website:-

powered by FreeFind  
Table of Ship Histories
Name  Original Name  Built  Chartered
 Edinburgh Castle  Eugenio C, EugenioCosta, Big Red Boat II  1966  1998
 Apollo  Empress of Canada, Mardi Gras  1961  1998
Edinburgh Castle
Eugenio C was the last classic transatlantic liner built in Italy, entering service in 1966. She replaced Federico C on Costa's main route to South America, on which she served for 10 years. As time passed, more time was devoted each year to cruising. After 1983, the only Atlantic crossings were twice yearly positioning voyages. Eugenio C became Eugenio Costa in 1984. She finished her last cruise for Costa on November 1996, and subsequently sailed for Direct Cruises and Premier.
Complete history of Edinburgh Castle
An attractive Direct Cruises official card of Edinburgh Castle.
Simplon Postcards Serial sc2127 of Edinburgh Castle in Direct Cruises colours.
Photographed by Rui Manuel Gouveia Sa off Funchal, Madeira in 1998.
Apollon was built as the Empress of Canada of Canadian Pacific. Following the successful introductions of Empress of Britain in 1956 and sistership Empress of England in 1957, Canadian Pacific began egotiations began for a third ship. An order was signed with Vickers-Armstrongs of Newcastle in 1958, and the keel was laid in January 1959, on the same berth as Empress of England had been started four years earlier. Empress of Canada made her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Canada on 24th April 1961, by which time the service had already become summer only. She ran her first winter Caribbean cruise from New York in December 1961. Empress of Canada cruised out of New York during the winter, and the number of Atlantic crossings reduced over the years, so that only seven crossings were made in 1969. In 1968 she received the latest CP funnel design, which was adapted as the Carnival symbol when sold to them in February 1972, after completing her 121st and last Atlantic crossing in November 1971. Empress of Canada had been intended to join Shaw Savill, teaming with their Ocean Monarch as the Dominion Monarch, but this plan was shelved following the prolonged conversion of Ocean Monarch.
As the Mardi Gras, she became Carnival's first ship. Despite extensive internal changes, her external profile remained largely unchanged through Carnival and subsequent owners. In 1975 she was joined by another ex-Canadian Pacific liner, the Greek Line's Queen Anna Maria, ex-Empress of Britain, which became the Carnivale.
Following the arrival of new purpose-built tonnage for Carnival, she was sold again to Epirotiki in 1993, becoming Olympic, Star of Texas, Lucky Star and finally Apollon. In 1999 she was chartered to Direct Cruises, for a series of cruises from the UK, marketed as Apollo. Direct Cruises were acquired by Airtours, in which Carnival later look a substantial interest. In 2000 the scheduled cruises of Direct Cruises were cancelled, and Apollon returned to Greece to be laid up. She reappeared in service for Royal Olympic in 2001, on 4-day and 3-day cruises out of Piraeus, due to delays in the delivery of the Olympic Explorer. She operated in duplicate with Olympic Countess.
Complete history of Apollo
An attractive Direct Cruises official card of Apollo.
Simplon Postcards sc2128, released July 1998, of Apollo/Apollon at Newcastle, June 1998.
Photo by Hilton Davis.
Ramsey Postcards 106, of Apollo/Apollon.
Costa Line - Linea "C" - Canadian Pacific Line
Royal Olympic Cruises - Epirotiki Line - Premier Cruise Line
Cruise Ship Postcards - Ocean Liner Postcards
Simplon Postcards - Recent Updates - Simplon Postcards - Home Page
©1999-2005 Copyright Ian Boyle/Simplon Postcards
All Rights Reserved