This ship was part of my hometown for as long as I can remember. Build in Hoboken (Antwerp, Belgium) to serve between Europe and the then Belgian Congo, she was transferred to East Germany in 1967. From 1977 she was based in Rostock. She was a training ship, a youth hostel and a hotel – always considered a monument and protected from scrappage.
This year, something happened and even though there were many campaigns and attempts to save her, she was removed from the list of protected monuments. Earlier this week she began her journey to Klaipeda, Lithuania, where she will probably be repainted and re-flagged, in order to then go to India for scrappage.
This video has made me just a tiny bit emotional. Just a few weeks ago, listening to a huge ocean liner blaring her horns at the start of her first big journey, now I’m listening to an old lady, sounding her last.