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CRUISE SHIP BLUES IN THE BALTIC

Tuesday May 17th, 2011
CRUISE SHIP BLUES IN THE BALTIC

A 59,000 ton cruise ship had to be towed through the Baltic Sea early this week carrying around 2,000 passengers and crew members. The MSC Opera, which is based in Southampton for 2011, was rendered adrift after an engine blast left her powerless. The 856 cabin cruise liner was towed by tug boats the port of Nynamshamn, Sweden with an ETA of late on Monday morning.

Shipping website vesseltracker.com, reported, 'The MSC Opera with 2,000 people on board is being towed to Visby without power and very poor hygiene with the bathrooms inoperable after there was an explosion in an engine on May 13, 2011... The captain tried to continue the voyage with one remaining main engine, but this failed... On May 15 tugs were called to pull the vessel to Visby where the battered vessel was due to arrive May 16 morning. Meanwhile, a team from MSC Cruises was sent to Sweden to assist the passengers.'

According to a statement from the ship's operator “there were technical problems to an electrical panel'.

One passenger told the press, 'There is no electricity and no water, so the toilets are dirty. The hallways are dark and there is no air conditioning.'

Italian owner’s MSC have said, 'Tugboats are on the way to assist the ship while technicians of STX (the construction yard) continue their effort to resolve the electrical problem... Not being able to offer to its guests the usual standards of service, MSC is organising the repatriation of all guests tomorrow from Stockholm... MSC is issuing to all passengers a credit voucher for the whole amount of the cruise to be enjoyed by December 2012.'
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