July troubles for Spirit

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spirit2.jpgWhat is it with the month of July and Spirit of Adventure, the friendly little cruise ship that has carried me round the Black Sea and through the Gulf of Aden?
Twelve months ago the vessel made the headlines thanks to a minor fuel leak that threatened to pollute the waters of Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
This week, the ship hit trouble again, and passengers expecting to sail to Iceland on a 14-night cruise scheduled to leave Dover next Wednesday have been told their trip has been cancelled.
A spokesman for the ship’s operators tells me that one of its two engines requires a major service which has to be carried out in dry-dock, and in order to make sure the work and necessary sea-trials can be completed, the decision was taken to cancel both the Iceland cruise and a two week cruise to the Baltic due to depart on June 28.
Passengers have been offered alternative cruises on Saga Ruby and Saga Pearl II, operated by a sister company. Others are re-booking on Spirit for voyages later in the year, and if that’s not possible, are accepting refunds. The spokesman said: Nothing is more important than our passengers and we are extremely sorry for those who have been inconvenienced.”
The passenger who alerted me to the situation has transferred from Spirit’s Iceland cruise to the Saga Ruby for a voyage to Norway departing on July 19. She is now hoping to visit Iceland on Spirit in 2011. “Everything has been handled very well,” she told me.
Another passenger was less fortunate, posting a message on the SagaZone internet travel forum to say: “The Spirit of Adventure cruise was supposed to leave on July 28 to the Baltic. We have been offered the Pearl II in its place; tried to get back to the office to book this but cannot speak with anyone.”
The company will not confirm the precise nature of the engine problem, nor where in the UK the repair work is being carried out. But it does seem to have caught them on the hop.
No such last-minute arrangements for Carnival Pride, for example. This American-operated ship had been scheduled for dry-dock repairs in January next year, but the company has decided to bring them forward, cancelling departures from Baltimore on November 7 and 14. And giving passengers four months to make alternative arrangements.
I hope Spirit is back in service soon; she’s one of my favourite ships, and I’m looking forward to sailing on her again some day – although I may well steer clear of July.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:24+00:00 10 July 2010|Cruise News, Cruise Ships|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. Margaret Rose 10 July 2010 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Our cruise was cancelled but happy with the way it was dealt with by Saga – Gemma and Kerry were brilliant.

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