Le Diamant (III) in Cobh
The 8,382grt Le Diamant began life in 1974 as a ro/ro freighter called Begonia for Fearnely & Edgar until 1985 when she was chartered to Exploration Cruise Line until 1988 as Explorer Starship.  Radisson Diamond bought her in 1990 and converted her to a cruise ship, renaming her Song of Flower.  She continued to sail for them after their acquistion of Seven Seas Cruise in 1995 until 2003 when she was sold to the French company Cie des Iles du Pontant.  She is a pretty little ship and the resemblance to Seabourn is unmistakable.  It was an unexpected bonus to see her listed on the Port of Cork schedule for the 3rd June, the day we arrived on Navigator of the Seas, and I did hope she wouldn't leave before we got there.  My dad sent me a text saying she was due to depart at 4pm.  As she was docked in North Custom House Quay I couldn't see her so just had to wait.  At about 4.55pm the pilot boat whizzed past and waited near the stern of Navigator and finally Le Diamant emerged.  She blasted once.
She blasted once more then headed out into the Irish Sea.  Rather disappointingly we didn't respond as she slowly disappeared from view.
So that was that.  I've never seen her before and was glad I was able to.  She was certainly worth the wait.  In November 2011 she was sold to Bahamaian investors and chartered to Quark Expeditions from November 2012, renamed Ocean Diamond.  To read about my Navigator of the Seas cruise click here.
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© Patricia Dempsey 3rd June 2007
Not to be reproduced without permission
29th November 2011