Pacific Sky Maiden & Only Call To Fremantle
P&O Australia's 46.932grt >Pacific Sky made her maiden call into Fremantle on the 16th February 2006 and I was pleased to be there to witness it.  It was her only call as she had been sold to Pullmantur Cruises of Spain some months before and would leave the P&O fleet in May to become Sky Wonder.  This ship has quite a history.  Debuting in 1984 as Fairsky for Sitmar Cruises, she as the last steamship built.  She became Sky Princess after the takever by P&O/Princess in 1988 until 2001 when she was transferred to P&O Australia.  Sadly, during 2004, 2005 and a few months before she was officially handed over in 2006, she had engine trouble.  So this was one ship I wanted to see before she went to Spain as we're unlikely see her in Southampton.  My friend Juanita indulged me some more, telling me she had written on the calendar we would go for her arrival into Fremantle.  I was very pleased as I had said I would have Seven Seas Voyager and QE2 arriving so may as well go for the hat-trick.  What a palaver this ship turned out to be! Originally on the Fremantle Ports site her arrival was 8am, then 6am meaning we had to get up at 4.30 to get there in time, going by how quickly Seven Seas Voyager had arrived and docked the week before.  That morning upon checking it said 5.45am!  We arrived at Victoria Quay at our usual corner by the maritime museum at 5.30am and not a sign.  It was freezing cold and she finally appeared around 6.05am! Cold, wind and rain before she docked at 7am.
On the way back to Perth (and breakfast!) we stopped off at a couple of places Juanita knew so I could get some more photos.
When we got back I looked on their site and it said she arrived at 5.55am!  I do wish they would be more like us and have the actual time and not the pilot boat time to avoid confusion.  Her sailing was down as 5pm so we returned to our corner and waited.  Just after 5.15pm she gave three long blasts and three short ones as she pulled out.  As she set sail she gave three long and two short.  After passing us and neared the harbour mouth, she gave another three long and one short.
In 2008 she went on charter for a Lisbon travel agent and went under the name Atlantic Star, a name which became permanant in 2009.  She kept her Pullmantur livery, just had the funnel logo removed but from August 2009 to March 2013 was laid up, latterly in Marseilles.  When RCCL signed the contract with STX France for their new Oasis class vessel in December 2012, it was announced Atlantic Star would be used as part payment.  Her days were numbered as she left Marseilles under tow on the 20th March 2013, renamed Antic, arriving at the breakers in Turkey.

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© Patricia Dempsey 16th February & 19th May 2006
Not to be reproduced without permission
14th April 2013