Crippled cruise ship towed into port

//Crippled cruise ship towed into port

A fault in an electrical panel has been identified as the cause of the power failure which crippled cruise ship MSC Opera and left the vessel, with almost 1,800 passengers on board, adrift in the Baltic Sea.
The 60,000-ton ship, on its first cruise of the season from Southampton, was towed into the Swedish port of Nynamshamn today. A team of engineers in from the STX shipyard in St Nazaire, France, was airlifted to the ship on Sunday and worked throughout the night to restore partial power.
By yesterday evening most toilets on board – which rely on vacuum power – were functioning, and galley equipment was working again to provide hot meals.
The 437 British passengers on board the ship, which left Southampton on Saturday May 7, had been scheduled to arrive back in the UK tomorrow (Tuesday) after the 10-day voyage to Stockholm, Helsinki and St Petersburg. They should have spent yesterday morning in port at Copenhagen. A further 466 passengers are from the Netherlands, plus 221 Italians and 110 Germans and a number of other nationalities. Many would have expected to be disembarking the ship in Amsterdam on Wednesday.
“All are safe and calm and we are trying to offer them the best comfort we can under the circumstances,” said a spokeswoman at the Italian line’s international HQ in Geneva.
The power failure happened late on Saturday night and it was Sunday afternoon before the powerful tug Svitzer Trym arrived to take Opera under tow. It is now at anchor at Nynamshamn.
A team of senior MSC managers from the UK and Europe flew to Sweden to make arrangements to have the passengers flown home from Stockholm airport, about 90 minutes’ drive from Nynamshamn.
The latest statement from MSC says: “Since yesterday afternoon, most of the services have been restored and this morning passengers have been offered a hot breakfast. All ship’s bars were open with complimentary beverage service. The whole crew, together with a team of technicians from STX Yards have been working around the clock to solve the electrical problem and an additional technical team has just embarked in the port of Nynamshamn.
“MSC Cruises’ team ashore is closely working with the port of Nynamshamn and the port of Stockholm to welcome and repatriate all guests from Stockholm. As the work of the electrical team is not yet over, we have taken the precautionary measure of cancelling the next MSC Opera cruise which was due to sail out of Southampton tomorrow. All affected passengers will be contacted and offered adequate compensation.”
UK marketing manager Allesandra Pierleoni told me passengers on the current cruise will be issued with a full refund of the cost which can be used for any future cruise by the end of next year. Passengers due to sail tomorrow will be refunded any travelling costs and will be offered a 30 per cent discount on a future cruise. Those who choose not to re-book will be refunded in full.
Opera’s next scheduled cruise is now an eight-night round-trip from Southampton and Amsterdam to the Norwegian ports of Bergen, Flam, Stavanger and Oslo, due to depart the UK on May 27.
The power failure echoes the incident on Carnival Splendor last November, during which passengers went without hot food for three days until the vessel was towed into San Diego, California.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:06+00:00 16 May 2011|Cruise News|2 Comments

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.


  1. Kevin Griffin 16 May 2011 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    More to the point, a similar total electrical failure happened on sister ship MSC Armonia in 2004, back when she was still sailing as European Vision. That blackout did not last as long however and things were put right within the hour.
    Funny how the press loves these stories though.

  2. m.blackstone 4 August 2011 at 9:02 am - Reply

    Has any passengers receive an adequate refund and compensation yet

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