ms Marco Polo Accident 2013 (Run Aground in Norway)
This is a review of ms Marco Polo cruise ship accident. The cruise ship Marco Polo run aground in Norway on March 10, 2013, while sailing on 14-night Norwegian “Northern Lights” cruise departing Amsterdam to UK (London, the port of Tilbury).
Cruise and Maritime Voyages Marco Polo ship is one of the most famous old cruise ships, from the small fleet of CMV Cruises. MS Marco Polo experienced a ran aground accident. It happened in a remote fjord located north of the Arctic Circle. After leaving the port of Sortland (in Vesteralen) and under the command of a local Norwegian pilot she hit an uncharted underwater rock resulting in hull damage. No injuries were reported among all 1117 passengers/crew. The ship immediately returned to the port of Sortland to undergo a detailed damage assessment by divers. After about 23 hours for inspection and some small hull repairs the ship was cleared to continue with the cruise. The Sortland’s Port Director (“harbour master”) Hugo Naess has expressed his surprise over the grounding accident, pointing out that more than 2200 different ships use the port of Sortland per year and such incident has never happened before in his 15 years of service.
ms Marco Polo cruise ship incident - facts and updates
- the incident occurred at low tide (the ship’s draft/drought is 26,8ft/8,2m).
- the direct result was a 40cm/1,3ft slit and a leak in one of the ship’s ballast tanks.
- the area was mapped to update charts. The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) is the responsible party for all navigational charts of this region.
- due to the accident there were an itinerary change – the scheduled visit to Andalsnes was missed.
- ms Marco Polo first sailed down to Stavanger, but the dry-dock there was too small for the ship.
- the CMV line decided to disembark all passengers in Antwerp (Belgium) where Marco Polo entered into dry-dock for a thorough hull inspection and permanent repairs. From Antwerp all passengers were transferred to UK (Tilbury/London) via the Channel or were ferried by coach.
- Passengers of the two cancelled cruises received a full refund, with additional £50 PP and 25% off any next cruise in the CMV’s 2013/2014 UK sailing program.
- The Marco Polo cruise ship grounding incident resulted in minor damages, and one of the “strong” reasons for that is her strengthened hull – this almost 50-year-old vessel is originally constructed by its USSR owners with a thicker hull to withstand contact with the Arctic’s broken ice.
Visit the front page for all ms Marco Polo cruises in 2013/2014/2015. We wish safe future sailings and only happy experiences on this amazing “charmingly old” ship!