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Engine room fire on Insignia
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 00:00

Insignia recently suffered a serious engine room fire. William MayesInsignia recently suffered a serious engine room fire. William MayesOn 11 December, while Oceania Cruises’ Insignia was berthed at St Lucia, two contractors and one crew member died in an engine room fire on board. The ship was on a ten-night voyage from San Juan to Miami when the incident occurred, and all passengers were flown to Miami after the remainder of the cruise was cancelled.

The extent of the damage forced the cancellation of several more cruises, including segments of the world cruise, which will now start in Singapore on 22 March. The ship was towed to San Juan, Puerto Rico for repairs, which were expected to take nine weeks. It was confirmed that damage was limited to the engine room. Insignia is one of three (soon to be four) of the second generation of ships built for Renaissance Cruises owned and operated by Oceania Cruises.

Classica’s major makeover
Tuesday, 10 February 2015 00:00

Costa neoRomantica.Costa neoRomantica.

Costa Classica (1991) has recently been given a $28 million refit in readiness for her transfer to the relatively new Costa Neo Cruises sub-brand, and re-entered service as Costa neoClassica on 18 December 2014. Her refit did not include the external disfigurement that her sister, Costa Romantica, suffered.

Costa neoClassica’s refit was carried out at the San Giorgio del Porto yard at Genoa and began on 8 November 2014. In addition to work on the passenger spaces, the engines were overhauled and the usual dry-docking maintenance on the hull was completed.
Neo collection fleetmate, the 1993-built Costa neoRomantica, suffered a total power blackout on 21 December 2014 while she was approaching the port of Marseille. The ship anchored and, after about 90 minutes, power was restored and the ship entered the port. There was no announcement to passengers until almost an hour after the blackout occurred.  

Change of ownership
Tuesday, 03 February 2015 00:00

Royal Caribbean has taken ownership of the Radiance class cruise ship Brilliance of the Seas.Royal Caribbean has taken ownership of the Radiance class cruise ship Brilliance of the Seas.

Shipping companies do not always own their vessels outright. An example is Royal Caribbean’s Radiance class cruise ship Brilliance of the Seas, which the company has had on long-term charter from her owner, the HBOS UK banking group. Royal Caribbean has recently raised the finance to terminate the charter and buy the ship outright for $275 million. The lease on the ship was for a period of 25 years from delivery in 2002, and she was one of a number of Royal Caribbean ships operated in this way. The 90,090gt Brilliance of the Seas is one of a quartet of ships built by Meyer at Papenburg between 2001 and 2004, and can take 2,501 passengers. In 2014 she was sailing  from Florida to the Western Caribbean.


Astor’s future secured
Tuesday, 20 January 2015 00:00

Astor is now owned within the CMV group.Astor is now owned within the CMV group.

Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ parent company, the Greek Global Maritime Group, has acquired the 1996-built cruise ship Astor from her bankrupt owners. The ship was operating for CMV during 2014 after that company took over Germany’s Transocean Cruises, together with the ship. Astor is currently undertaking a season of cruises from Australia and will return to Europe in the spring.

CMV seems to becoming something of a force in ex-UK cruising, and now has a fleet of four ships, although Astor still spends some time sailing for German passengers. The latest addition to the fleet, Magellan, previously Iberocruceros’ Grand Holiday, will begin sailing for the company in March.


Another breakdown
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 14:14

The 6,334gt cruise ship Expedition. Richard MayesThe 6,334gt cruise ship Expedition. Richard Mayes

The small cruise ship Expedition suffered an engine failure on 18 November 2014 while berthed at Ushuaia. As a result, G Adventures terminated the cruise and later cancelled the following one, which was due to start on 7 December 2014, as it was realised that repairs would take rather longer than expected.

Expedition has only been a cruise ship for the past six years and has had a long and varied career; the 1972-built vessel spent her first 36 years as a ferry, initially in Danish domestic service as Kattegat, before being acquired by P&O and renamed NF Tiger for English Channel service.

From 1986 the 6,334gt vessel operated for Viking Line as Ålandsfärjan on the seasonal Åland Islands service from the Swedish mainland port of Kapellskar. When sold in 2007, to what was then GAP Adventures as a replacement for Explorer, which had been lost in Antarctica, she was converted for expedition cruising, carrying 140 passengers and 55 crew.


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