Amusement World - New Century Cruises
Amusement World may not be much to look at but at 50 years of age but, she has an amazing story. Cut completely in half horizontally an increased in height by over 1 meter, this ship has a tall tale to tell (so to speak).
Eleven names and still going strong, Amusement World (ex-Patricia) is part of the horde of gambling ships patrolling the waters of South East Asia. For the last decade, she has been a workhorse for New Century Cruise Line.
Amusement World was originally constructed as the Patricia, the last of three sister ships built by the Lindholmen shipyard in Göteborg, Sweden. Completed in 1967, the Patricia and her first built sister, Saga, sailed for Swedish Lloyd while her second sister, Svea, sailed for Svea Lines.
The Patricia was built as a passenger/car ferry and designed to traverse the waters of Northern Europe running regular service between Bilbao, Spain and Southampton, England. As originally constructed, she could carry 175 cars plus almost 750 passengers for the 37-hour journey.
Swedish Lloyd sold the Patricia to Stena Lines in 1978 where she first sailed as the Stena Oceanica. Later that same year, she went to Smiths Dock Company, Tyneside for a massive structural rebuilding. The Stena Oceanica was cut horizontally from stem to stern down the entire length of the hull. The reconstructed ship emerged with her car deck increased in height by 1.15m (approx 4 ft). This extensive reconstructive surgery increased the vehicle carrying capacity to 275 cars. At the same time, both sides of the hull also received sponsons to increase stabilization. The result of the sponsons increased her beam by 2 meters.
In the zoomed picture below, where the blue hull meets the white, marks the middle of the added section. Examining the hull carefully, one can see the over lapping connection made where the steel plates were joined forming a smooth solid line horizontally on the hull. This can be seen below the portholes and again above the sponson.
In 1979, on both sides of her bow, she received triangular "cheeks" as her car deck was expanded forward. This addition allowed vehicles to turn around after entering the car deck as the only entry/exit was the stern ramp. The photograph below shows a close up view of the starboard "cheek" coming up from the waterline and ending in a triangular wedge just below the ship's name.
From a passenger perspective, 3 decks received additions that allowed an increase in the overall passenger load. A Deck was lengthened forward of the bridge to accommodate additional 26 cabins. Directly above A Deck, Saloon Deck (or Restaurant Deck) was also lengthened forward with space for a new lounge. The next highest level, Boat Deck, was also lengthened, this time aft, to accommodate a further 57 cabins. All told, this brought her passenger capacity up to 1,300.
When undergoing her latest conversion, to that of a full-time gambling ship, the vehicle space on C Deck was converted to the main gaming area. On Saloon Deck, the venues were refurbished to reflect the tastes of an Asian clientele focusing on food, karaoke and massage. Her stern vehicle ramp and door were also removed.
Current & Future
For the better part of this decade, Amusement World has been based out of Penang, Malaysia. Recently, she has been laid up off the north eastern shore of Singapore. Her fate is uncertain.
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