MS Marco Polo cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a passenger vessel with IMO number 6417097, owned by the Cruise and Maritime Voyages line (CMV). Among the unfortunate events at sea are groundings, Norovirus illness outbreaks, crew and passenger incidents (deaths, injuries, crimes), machinery malfunctions.
Here you can also track MS Marco Polo position at sea.using the AIS live ships tracker of VesselFinder. The 22,100-ton 820-passenger CMV cruise ship Marco Polo was built in 1965 by the Thesen Werft shipbuilding company in Germany.
MS Marco Polo accidents & incidents
At the MS Marco Polo CruiseMinus page you will find a complete list of this Cruise Maritime ship’s major accidents and cruise incidents. Reports are made by our own staff using official data from major online news media sources, Wikipedia and Coast Guard reports.
Here we also post updates on Cruise and Maritime Marco Polo cruise law news. They are related to recent crimes being investigated. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits, charges and fines, grievances, settled /withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, etc.
You can add more details or submit your own Marco Polo ship incidents (negative cruise experience reports) via the Cruise Minus “contact us” form.
This is link to the ship’s official site CruiseAndMaritime.com.
Ship grounding accidents
- February 19, 2003, pushed by strong winds off course and entering shallow waters, the ship hit rocks in the region of South Shetland Islands (Antarctica). The accident resulted in serious hull damages. Three cracks in the hull were found (width 2 cm and length, respectively, 13 ft/4 m, 10 ft / 2 m and 6 ft / 2 m). Urgent repairs were done in the next call port Ushuaia Argentina, where 8 mm thick steel plates were welded over the hull cracks. The South American itinerary was not affected.
- March 9, 2013, while under local pilot’s command, the ship struck an uncharted underwater object soon after departing from call port Sortland Norway. The accident happened in a remote fjord in Norway (north of the Arctic Circle) on a 14-days Norwegian Fjords cruise itinerary from London. No injuries were reported. The vessel immediately returned to Sortland for damage assessment. After the inspection and some temporary repairs, it was cleared for departure. The Norwegian Coastal Administration (Kystverket) is solely responsible for the charts in this region, and they investigated the incident. Due to the sustained hull damages (16 inch / 40 cm hole in a ballast tank and leakage), the cruise was terminated in the next call port Antwerp Belgium. All passengers were disembarked and ferried to Tilbury (London) through the Channel Tunnel. On March 13, the shipowner Cruise & Maritime announced the cancellation of the next Northern Lights cruise, allowing the vessel to enter drydock for hull inspection and repairs. On March 15, the ship entered the shipyard in Antwerp for for a full hull inspection. The survey showed the needed repairs couldn’t be done in time to meet the cruise schedule. The next sailing (March 17 departure) was cancelled. All booked passengers were fully refunded and compensated with GBP50 per person in cash, plus a 25% future CMV cruise booking discount (on any UK round-trip in 2013-2014).
- November 1, 2014, the ship run aground while maneuvering for docking at call port Leknes (Lofoten Island, Norway). The incident was caused by a strong gust of wind sending the vessel off course. After the efforts of 2 tug boats and 1 coast guard ship failed, the ship was freed later that day during high tide.
- Note: Most ship grounding accidents (when the marine vessel’s hull impacts the seabed) happen at lower cruising speeds, since the ships operate in known to be shallow waters. Such incidents usually result in stranding (with or without significant hull damages). However, if the hull is breached, the result would be flooding, which may compromise the vessel’s stability and safety. The well-known example for such a tragic accident is the Costa Concordia sinking after hitting a rock in January 2012.
- One of the main reasons why during collisions the Marco Polo cruise ship suffers only minor hull damages is that this ice-class vessel was originally constructed in Russia (former Soviet Union) with a strengthened hull to withstand contact with broken ice.
- Note: The Marco Polo cruise vessel was built and launched as “Aleksandr Pushkin”. Under this name it was operated in the period between 1965 and 1991.
- May 2002, the cruise vessel entered into emergency 2-weeks long drydock to repair cracks found in the main bearing of one of its diesel engines. The incident resulted in reduced cruising speeds, itinerary changes and 2 canceled voyages.
- February 14, 2014, the ship experienced a freak wave accident during a heavy storm in the English Channel. The results were 1 dead passenger, 1 seriously injured (medevaced by helicopter), 12 passengers suffering minor injuries (cuts and bruises), interior damages (flooded public areas, broken glassware and dishes). The ship was returning from a 42-days (Transatlantic) itinerary to South America roundtrip from London.
Crew & Passenger Death accidents
- July 6, 2009, a 74-year-old male passenger died from a heart attack on the ship. The incident occurred during the “Norovirus cruise” infecting 380 passengers and crew (see in the “Norovirus” section below). The autopsy showed the man’s death was not caused by the Noro virus.
- February 14, 2014, an 85-year-old male passenger was killed and 16 other were injured on the ship. The vessel suffered a rough weather in the English Channel. The elderly man (of British origin) was killed when sea water crashed through the Waldorf Restaurant’s window during dinner time, also injuring several other passengers. The man along with an elderly female passenger were airlifted to a hospital ashore, but the man later died. When the accident occurred, the ship was en-route from Azores to homeport Tilbury, carrying a total of 735 passengers.
Crew & Passenger incidents (injuries, crimes)
- February 14, 2014, a total of 12 passengers (mostly elderly guests) were injured during the “freak wave” accident, also killing 1 male passengers (aged 85). Most of the damages were to the Waldorf Restaurant (a main dining room, located on Atlantic Deck 6), where one of the forward panoramic windows broke and the restaurant was flooded.
- March 27, 2016, a 65-years-old female passenger was rescued from the ice-cold sea water after more than 4 hours swimming in the hope of making it to the Marco Polo cruise ship. The woman (Susan Brown, of British origin) chased (tried to swim to) the ship when it left the Funchal port (Madeira) around 8 pm. Shortly after midnight (at ~0:20 am), she was saved by passing fishermen (some 1600 ft / 500 m out to sea) who found her shouting, and clinging on to her handbag. The woman was hospitalized suffering from severe hypothermia. Traveling together with her husband, she jumped into the Atlantic Ocean (near the Madeira Airport) believing that her husband had boarded the cruise liner. The couple had cut short the 32-days Transatlantic cruise to Caribbean from Bristol (round-trip itinerary Feb 28 – Mar 31) in Funchal on day 28. The CMV company offered them an easyJet flight to Bristol from Madeira leaving in the evening of March 26.
Norovirus cruise illness outbreaks
- July 7, 2009, when docked at call port Invergordon (Scotland), local health authorities boarded the ship to investigate an epidemic Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) that affected a total of 340 passengers (out of 749) and 40 crew (out of 340). All sick suffered from Noro virus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pains) and were quarantined to their cabins. The illness incident occurred on a 10-days British Isles cruise itinerary roundtrip from homeport Tilbury (London, UK). On the next day, the shipowner Transocean Tours cancelled the remainder of the voyage. Passengers were given the options to either stay on the ship (returning to Tilbury port on July 11) or to disembark in Invergordon and return to London earlier via a charter train. Five of the infected passengers were offloaded and hospitalized in the Inverness’ Raigmore Hospital.
- January 3, 2012, a Norovirus outbreak infected 29 passengers (out of 738) and 8 crew (out of 360) on a roundtrip Tilbury London cruise itinerary to Canary Islands.According to unofficial reports, all the ship’s coffee stations and public restrooms were closed, causing inconveniences to the guests on board.
- October 17, 2013, UK news media reported a Norovirus outbreak affected a total of 133 passengers and crew (out of 770 pax and 334 crew). The incident occurred on a 12-days Baltic Capitals cruise itinerary with call ports in Scandinavia and Russia (St Petersburg).
- Note: When the itinerary doesn’t include US cruise ports, the ship is not required to report to CDC, thus no official illness report would be issued.
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