Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 281 out of 500
Accommodation: 123 out of 200
Food: 234 out of 400
Service: 236 out of 400
Entertainment: 58 out of 100
Cruise: 237 out of 400
Overall Score: 1169 out of 2000
Ocean Diamond Statistics
Size: Boutique Ship
Cruise Line: Quark Expeditions
Former Names: Le Diamant, Song of Flower, Explorer Starship
IMO Number: 7325629
Builder: KMV (Norway)
Original Cost: n/a
Entered Service: 1986/2012
Registry: Wallis and Fortuna
Length (ft/m): 407.4/124.2
Beam (ft/m): 52.4/16.0
Draft (ft/m): 16.0/4.9
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel (5,500kW)/2 (CP)
Passenger Decks: 6
Total Crew: 144
Passengers (lower beds): 207
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 40
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 1.4
Cabins (total): 113
Size Range (sq ft/m): 183.0-398.0/17.0-37.0
Cabins (for one person): 19
Cabins (with private balcony): 10
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 0
Wheelchair accessibility: None
Cabin Current: 220 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 1
Hot Tubs (on deck): 1
Self-Service Launderette: No
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: US$
‘Soft’ discovery cruising aboard a small, dated ship
Overview. Ocean Diamond is for discovery-minded participants who enjoy a comfortable travel environment. It will provide a good base for learning and ‘soft’ expedition cruises, and there’s a fairly decent amount of sheltered open-deck space.
The Ship. Ocean Diamond was originally built as the ro-ro vessel Begonia in 1974 and converted for cruising in 1986. Operated for many years by Radisson Seven Seas Cruises (now Regent Seven Seas Cruises), the ship was acquired in 2011 by Miami-based ISP (International Shipping Partners), who chartered it to Quark Expeditions. It was modified to operate ‘soft’ expedition cruises and has tall, twin funnels (with a platform between them) that give a somewhat squat profile. If only the foredeck and bow could be a little longer, the ship would look less ungainly.
The interior decor is warm, with pastel colors accented by splashes of color. Good-quality soft furnishings and fabrics make the ship feel chic and comfortable. The crew is caring and tries hard to make you feel at home during your cruise adventure.
Accommodation. There are 10 very comfortable suites. All other accommodation grades are nicely equipped, but dated. All come with good closet and drawer space. Some cabins have bathtubs, but they are tiny - deep shower tubs would be a better description.
Dining. The dining room is quite charming and has warm colors, a welcoming ambience, and one seating, with no assigned tables. Tables are for two, four, or six.
Entertainment. The well-tiered main lounge is ideal as a comfortable lecture hall, and there are good sight lines from almost all the banquette-style seats.
Spa/Fitness. The health spa facility is very compact and short on space, but is adequate, and includes a beauty salon and sauna.