MS Achille Lauro was a cruise ship based in Naples, Italy. It was built between 1939 and 1947 as the ocean liner Willem Ruys for Royal Rotterdam Lloyd. In 1965 Achille Lauro bought the ship, had it converted into a cruise ship, and renamed it after himself. In 1985 it was hijacked by members of the Palestine Liberation Front.The ship was also involved in two serious collisions: in 1953 with the , and in 1975 with the cargo ship Youseff. It also suffered four onboard fires or explosions: in 1965, 1972, 1981, and 1994. In the last of these, in 1994, the ship caught fire and sank in the Indian Ocean off Somalia.Concept and construction
Ordered in 1938 to replace the aging ships on the Dutch East Indies route, she was laid down in 1939 at Koninklijke Maatschappij 'De Schelde'. Scheepswerf en Machinefabriek in Vlissingen, Netherlands, for Rotterdamsche Lloyd (now part of Nedlloyd). Interrupted by World War II and two bombing raids, the ship was finally launched in July 1946,
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