Delivered in 1964, 'Poseidon' was the first passenger vessel for Stena Line, and a major task for Ulstein mek. Verksted. The ship´s first planned assignment was to transport the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mr. Nikita Khrusjtsjov, and his family on a cruise from Uddevalla to Gothenburg.
The shipbuilding contract was not very lucrative, but the task was considered so important that the lines of the vessel were engraved on the glass entrance to the yard administration, next to the Ulstein logo. The naming ceremony was a big attraction.
The vessel was planned to work as a cruise vessel for Mr. Nikita Khrusjtsjov and his family while they were on a visit in Sweden. If the yard workers managed to complete the vessel on time, they were promised a bonus. The ship drawings were hand sketched on paper, and used by the workers as construction originals.
The vessel was completed in due time, and each worker received a bonus of approx NOK 300-500 (approx. 35-60 Euros). Compared with today’s prices, a zero can be placed at the end of these sums.
However, Mr. Khrusjtsjov never attended the Sweden cruise.
Ulstein Verft’s first experience with passenger vessels was the conversion of the old ‘Romsdal’ ferry in 1963, which was sold do the U.S. and converted at the yard to a luxury cruise vessel. The vessel was operating between the ports of Miami and Grand Bahama. Cabins were removed, the store room transformed into lounges and several bars were fitted in.
Later passenger and roro vessels included the Bonanza and Buenavista vessels, built for Fred. Olsen in 1971-72.