OLD LADY: The MS  Albatros   cruise ship was built in 1973 in Finland but is now German owned.
OLD LADY: The MS Albatros cruise ship was built in 1973 in Finland but is now German owned. Andreas Trepte

Incoming cruise ship nearing its 50th birthday

IT MAY have been built in 1973 but the MS Albatros is showing no signs of slowing down.

Gladstone will welcome the 46-year-old international cruise ship tomorrow bringing with her around 800 passengers and more than 300 crew.

The Albatros is currently on a 146-day one-way cruise from Hamburg, Germany to Genoa, Italy and departed on December 19. It will arrive in Genoa on May 14.

The ship is currently travelling from Brisbane to Frazer Island and will arrive in Gladstone - weather pending - at 9am tomorrow.

It will be docked until 6pm before heading north to Cairns and then onto Papua New Guinea and beyond.

Built out of the Hietalahti shipyard in Helsinki, Finland the now German-owned cruise ship has undergone a number of name changes during its time at sea.

It started as Royal Viking Sea before changing to Royal Odyssey, Norwegian Star and Crown. It has been known as the Albatros since 2004.

It's port of registry has been in the Bahamas since the late eighties.

Refurbished last year, the Albatros is 205m long, 27m wide and has a gross tonnage 28,518.

Passengers on board the ship are expected to be predominantly German speaking, with Gladstone tourist body GAPDL gathering a handful of German-speaking volunteers to assist passengers throughout the day.

The Feast on East Markets will be held at the East Shores Precinct from 9am-5pm will showcase around 75 stalls from around the region, including arts, handicrafts and food.

Live entertainment from local performers will be held throughout the day and a Civic Welcome Ceremony will take place at noon.