Built in Denmark and having had her fitout in Italy, the Cunard Countess was originally intended to be used by MGM as a floating playground.
To that end, Playboy boss Hugh Hefner was involved in the original design of the ship. However when that venture fell over, Cunard acquired the ship along with a sister Cunard Conquest (later Princess).
The two ships were amongst the first intermediate sizes cruise ships to prove successful in the jet age. Cunard Countess was christened by Mrs Armstrong, wife of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.
Cunard deployed the Cunard Countess to the Caribbean, where she sailed regularly between Miami, San Juan and Santo Domingo. Here she competed mainly with the Costa Cruise Line ship Carla C.
In 1996 the Cunard Countess was sold to Awani Cruises and was renamed Awani Dream II. After Awani fell into financial trouble, the ship was sold to Royal Olympic Cruises and renamed Olympic Countess.
She was again resold and became Ocean Countess in 2004. After sailing for CMV she was laid up awaiting further use, however a fire ended her career and the ship was scrapped in 2014.
Image source: Simplon Post Cards