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Cruise Ship Achille - The Cruise Liner With Historical Significance

May 31, 2008
The Cruise Ship Achille has a background which is steeped in a tragic history that makes people shudder when they think of the incident of brutal hijacking which occured on the high seas over twenty years ago.

The majestic cruise ship Achille which was initially called William Ruys is remembered for the hijacking in 1985. This was a passenger liner and this ship began her maiden voyage in 1947, on December 2. The ship, 192 metres by 25 metres measured 21,450 metric tons. 900 passengers were accommodated on this passenger liner. Equipped with 8 Sulzer engines and 2 propellers, this liner was majestic looking in all aspects.

This ship was sold to Flotta Lauro Line and came to be known as Achille Lauro after the Mayor of Naples. It was rebuilt and a lot of modernization took place. In 1985, October 7, 4 armed terrorists who represented the PLF - Palestine Liberation Front hijacked Achille Lauro, the Italian cruise liner. At that time, hundred very elderly passengers were on the cruise liner. The hijackers had a snarling demand. They wanted Israel to free the prisoners of Palestine and to prove their grit; they killed an American Tourist Leon Klinghoffer 69 year old. The poor old man's body was flung overboard along with the wheel chair. After two days, the Egyptian government who was unaware that Klinghoffer had been killed provided a safe passage to the hijackers in exchange for the passengers and the ship.

After the murder was discovered, the US Navy Fighters took charge of the Egypt Airliner 737 which was flying the hijackers in order to yield freedom to them in Tunisia, forced the aircraft to land in Sicily. The Italian authorities took charge of the terrorists and convicted them to imprisonment for long time.

The PLO, Palestine Liberation Front was sued for Leon Klinghoffer's death. After PLO had paid an undisclosed amount to the daughters of Klinghoffer the suit was dropped. The sum was used for funding the Marilyn and Leon Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation. This organization works to fight against the terrorism through education, legal and political endeavors.

The ship continued its service and reflagging happened in 1987. It was then that the Lauro Line became the Star Lauro. In the year 1965, in January, the ship was renamed Achille Lauro after the Lauro Line Managing Director. She was modernized and rebuilt by CN Riuniti di Palermo. There were a lot of significant changes made to the beautiful ship which were the twin funnels and painted blue. There was the Lauro star added. The high funnels were topped by twin funnels, which were topped by smoke dispensers. The promenade deck was made to extend forward with the upper decks were glazed and the hull had been again painted with a blue color. It looked magnificent, and looked much like a very modern liner. In 1994, November, 30 she caught fire off the coast of Somalia. The vessel sank in December 2. With that went a cruise liner, the Cruise Ship Achille which would be known for its historical significance in the years to come.
About the Author
Gordon Banks is a sailing and cruise ship enthusiast and has been writing many sailing related articles to help you save money and have a wonderful sailing experience. Learn about the Carnival Cruise Line Ship or the Disney Cruise Ship and how to get the best cruise deals.
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