Ocean Builders has confirmed that its plan to moor a former P&O cruise ship off Panama have been scuppered.
The 1991-built ‘Satoshi’, the former ‘Pacific Dawn’, was to become a stationary residential cruise vessel but has now been sold for scrap.
In a letter sent to potential investors, Ocean Builder’s CEO, Grant Romundt, said the company would not be able to proceed “because of archaic big insurance companies that cannot adapt to innovative new ideas.”
He added that no P&I insurance company would insure the ‘Satoshi’. Without this insurance, she could not have a crew, she would lose her classification and flag, thus any possibility of running any on board businesses.
“Assuming it would be easy to get insurance to use the ship as a stationary residential cruise ship was incorrect,” Romundt said in his letter.
She was reportedly sold for scrap on 18th December, 2020.
Upon her arrival in Panama from Gibraltar where she had drydocked, she will refuel and take on supplies before sailing to India’s Alang shipreaking yard.
She was still reported as anchored off Cristobal on 11th January.
Ocean Builders took delivery of ‘Pacific Dawn’ on 5th November and an auction process was started to sell the staterooms as residences.
Elsewhere, Royal Caribbean International has confirmed that the ‘Empress of the Seas’ (pictured) and ’Majesty of the Seas’ were due to leave fleet at the end of last year.
“’Empress’ and ’Majesty of the Seas’ made indelible marks on the cruise industry with their revolutionary design and size. Touted as the cruise industry’s most ground breaking ships when they were introduced, they continued to make history throughout their more than three decades of service,” said Michael Bayley, RCI President and CEO.
“Saying goodbye to these two beloved ships is a major moment in Royal Caribbean’s history – one that is difficult but necessary.
With plans for new, innovative ships to join our fleet in the upcoming years, we look forward to our guests and crew continuing to make new memories with us,” he said.
‘Empress of the Seas’ was the first ship designed for three- and four-night cruises when she entered service in 1990, with her initial sailings visiting The Bahamas from Miami.
She also made history as the first cruise ship to sail out of Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey when Royal Caribbean opened the terminal in 2004. In 2017, the ship took centre stage again when she set sail on the global cruise line’s inaugural cruise to Cuba.
‘Majesty of the Seas’ also played a crucial role in Royal Caribbean’s commitment to continuously redefine the industry. The third ship to round out the ‘Sovereign’ class was more than twice the size of the average cruise ship – and the largest in the vacation company’s fleet – when she made her debut in 1992. She began service with seven-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami.
The ships were sold to an undisclosed party, based in Asia/Pacific, that will release details on future sailings at a later date, RCL said.
However, an Indian company called Cordelia Cruises has claimed to have bought the ‘Empress of the Seas’.
A statement quotes Jurgen Bailom, President and CEO of Cordelia Cruises, who was most recently the head of Jalesh Cruises, which has gone into bankruptcy.
Meanwhile, Peace Boat’s 40-year old ‘Ocean Dream’ was beached at an Alang shipbreaking yard on 1st January, 2020.
She is the second cruise ship to arrive in the Bhavnagar area recently, as on 21st November, ‘Karnika’ arrived at Alang for recycling.
In addition, the former Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) stalwart ‘Marco Polo’ was due at Alang on 9th January.
A former Hong Kong casino ship, ‘Ropolis’ also arrived on 1st January and was beached on 6th January.
Built in 1972 as the ‘Shiretoko Maru’, the former ropax also carried the names of ‘N Kazantzakis’, ‘Ming Fai Express’ and ‘Metropolis’.
It was also rumoured that the 1996-built former ‘Costa Victoria’ had been sold for recycling in Turkey.
Earlier, it had been reported that the ship had been sold to Genova Industrie Navali, for possible conversion into a hotel or for another static role.