Sign Up
Cruisetrend helps you connect and share with the people in your life.
Cruise Ship Information

Louis Aura is a 16,000-ton cruise ship built in 1968 at the AG Weser shipyard in Bremerhaven, West Germany. The ship has twelve decks, eight of which are accessible to passengers. As currently[when?] configured she can accommodate 876 passengers in 349 cabins, of which 336 are staterooms and 56 are suites.[citation needed] She is currently operating cruises in the eastern Mediterranean.

From 1968 until 1995, the Louis Aura was operated by Norwegian Cruise Lines as the Starward, and was their first purpose-built ship along with her near identical sister, the Skyward. The M/S Starward was featured in the 1975 movie Peeper starring Natalie Wood and Michael Caine. After 1995, she was operated as the Bolero by Greek line Festival Cruises until the company's collapse in 2004 when she was purchased for $9.5 million by Abou Merhi Lines and received a $10–$15 million renovation.

In November 2005 the ship was repositioned in Dubai to begin what was an unsuccessful Persian Gulf cruise program, providing the first luxury cruise line service between Dubai and Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The ship was then positioned in Beirut and scheduled to begin a 2006 cruise season in the Mediterranean Sea. In November 2006, she was supposed to begin service from Port Canaveral, Florida, operated by Paradise Caribbean Cruise Line.[citation needed]

In July 2006, the Louis Aura was used to help evacuate United States citizens from Lebanon because of the ongoing conflict with Israel. The Louis Aura was escorted by the USS Gonzalez (DDG-66), a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer, and the USS Barry (DDG-52). It took the evacuees to the port of Larnaca in Cyprus.

In August 2006, the Louis Aura was sold to Louis Cruise Lines of Cyprus and operated cruises under the name of Orient Queen.

In 2012 and 2013 the Louis Aura, named as "Orient Quen, has sailed to the Greek Isles from Limassol, Cyprus and Piraeus, Greece. Under the flag of Malta, the ship was owned and operated by the cyprus-based company Louis Cruises.

For the summer season of 2014, the ship will execute 3/4/5/6 & 7 day cruises to the Greek isles departing from Limassol, Cyprus.

Atmosphere on board

Louis Cristal is a cruise ship, to be renamed Celestyal Crystal, operated by the Cyprus-based Celestyal Cruises and previously Louis Cruise Lines, both in the Louis Group. The ship was originally built as the cruiseferry MS Viking Saga in 1980 at Wärtsilä Turku New Shipyard, Turku, Finland for Rederi Ab Sally. In 1986 she was renamed MS Sally Albatross, and rebuilt into a cruise ship the following year. The ship was destroyed by a fire in 1990, and completely rebuilt at Finnyards, Rauma, Finland. She was re-delivered in 1992, still named Sally Albatross. After partially sinking 1994 she was rebuilt at Industrie Navali Maccaniche Affini, La Spezia, Italy, re-entering service as MS Leeward for Norwegian Cruise Line. Subsequently she sailed as MS SuperStar Taurus for Star Cruises, MS Silja Opera for Silja Line and spent a year laid up as MS Opera prior to entering service with her current owner in 2007.

Although the 1980 ship and the 1992 ship appear superficially unalike both externally and internally, they share the same IMO number because they are technically the same ship.

Family with Kids/Teens

Entertainment for children and adolescents

throughout the day, our entertainment team organizes activities for younger children, leaving parents free time to relax or, if desired, for excursions ashore.

The animation team is at your Costa available to serve children from 3 years (even if they meet the three years during the cruise if they are autonomous and have bowel control) and 11, daily from 9.00 to 23.30. There is further provided a collective babysitting from 23.30 to 01.30 in Club Squok request. These schedules are subject to slight variations depending on the cruise program. In some periods, there may be limitations to this service, which would be reported on board.

There are four clubs: Mini, for children 3-6 years; Maxi, for children between 7 and 11; Junior, 12 to 14; Teen and, for young people between 15 and 17 years. Club activities may vary depending on the ship and the number of participants.

No childcare and animation for children under 3 years. Special services for babies (6 months to 3 years) Our boats are perfect for parents with infants and young children using strollers: spacious lifts and cabins, spacious decks and walkways and promenades unhindered. In addition, children under three years have priority boarding and use dependencies and toys Squok Club, but always accompanied by a parent (off season or out of hours of high occupancy). Upon request and subject to availability offered: cribs, cots and baby baths in the cabin, preparing baby food in our kitchens (on request or consultation with the maître) and high chairs in restaurants. Free warmer Service (available 24 hours by staff of the cabin).

Past Passenger Programs

Our ship cabins are clean, comfortable and spacious, with an up-close view of the sea if you select an outside cabin. We service your cabin twice daily, providing you with fresh towels if you need them, bathroom for amenities…at night we turn down your bed.Everything is done to make you feel pampered, at home and relaxed. Your cabin is a place where you can lounge and relax, enjoy a delicious room service meal…We have designed our ship cabins as the ideal personal space, cozy and convenient, where you’ll always find a hot shower and comfortable bed. Our housekeeping staff is always available to make sure you have everything you need.

Extra Pool Towels

Ice (delivered to your cabin)

Laundry Service (standard, express and laundry promotions, extra charge)

Room Service, including pizza delivery! (extra charge)

Soaps and Shampoos

AC (with remote control), Hair Dryers, Radio, Safe (extra charge), TV

Fitness And Spa

The spa offers beauty treatments and saunas for both men and women. Manicures and salon services are popular and can be booked in advance.

Food & Dining

The expansive Seven Seas Restaurant is separated into two wings with glass picture windows for brightness and views. It offers a tasty variety of typical local cuisine and homemade desserts with attentive full service for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Expect the main dining room with two seatings to get crowded and noisy, especially if you travel during high season. As an alternative, self-service buffet dining is available at the Lido café. During the day, head to deck 9 where you can enjoy gyros, pizza, and barbecue at the pool grill. Room service (24-hour) is available.


The Oklahoma and Can Can cabaret lounges provide evening comedy shows, music, game shows, and dancing. Popular nightspots are the Sky Bar perched on deck 12 and Lido bar on deck 9. Blakes, the Mast Bar, and Clipper Bar are perfect retreats to meet other passengers. Got the gambling bug? The neon lights of the Casino Royale tempt with roulette tables and series of slot machines.

Fellow Passengers

Expect relatively small but well-maintained standard cabins with very little storage space. Larger cabins, which have twin beds that convert to a queen, have more storage and half-size bathtubs. The 724 cabins are comprised of 418 outside cabins and 306 inside. All cabins are equipped with TV, music system, and safe. The largest cabins are suites, furnished with king-size beds and lounge areas with sofa. Some categories have small refrigerators; private balconies are only in the top categories. In larger cabins, twin beds convert to queen for more storage. The most luxurious rooms are the two Grand Suites on deck 9 with private balconies that can accommodate up to three people. Inside cabins located on deck 2 and 3 can accommodate up to four people.


Wheelchair access is acceptable. Facilities for passengers with disabilities are few, but mobility around the ship is fairly easy.

Our recommendation

One of the newer ships in the Louis Cruises fleet, Aura has a modern interior design, but presents a friendly and relaxed environment. Depending on itinerary and season, the Aura, when fully loaded, will feel crowded, especially in dining rooms, public rooms, and limited facilities such as the Internet café and beauty salon. Nevertheless, Aura attracts a mixed range of tourists, families, seniors, and groups looking for standard cruising to take in the sun, sea, shopping, and sights.