The Golden Iris, known as the Cunard Princess, after more than 45 years in service, has been beached at the Aliaga Shipyard in Turkey to be broken up and sold for scrap.
The 537-foot vessel was built by Denmark’s Burmeister and Vain in the 1970s, along with another vessel commissioned by the hotel chain; MGM, which sought to capitalize on the rapidly expanding cruise industry. However, MGM withdrew and the ships were sold to Cunard before completion.
Cunard transferred the ships after building them to another shipyard in Italy for fitting out. Cunard Princess entered service in 1977, sailing from New York to Bermuda.
Over time, her involvement expanded to Florida, Alaska, and the Mexican Riviera. The ship was then briefly leased to the Italian shipping company Lauro for Mediterranean cruises. A brief stint with the US government followed, using it as a recreational center in the Persian Gulf between 1990 and 1991.
The ship was then sold to StarLauro, which would become the predecessor of MSC Cruises, and under new ownership was renamed Rhapsody. In 2009, she was sold to the Israeli company Mano Maritime for seasonal cruises, after which she retired in 2018 and put up for sale. After 4 years at anchor in Greece, the ship arrived in Aliaga, Turkey on July 11 for scrapping.