India’s first dedicated cruise line is to cease operations.
Jalesh Cruises blamed the impact of the pandemic and uncertainty over when cruising would resume for its closure.
Jalesh had previously announced it would resume operations in November, 2020 after the Indian Government outlined plans to reduce restrictions and permit travel to resume. Citing mounting debts, the company has since announced it will halt operations.
The company’s creditors have arrested the company’s only ship, the 70,000 gt ‘Karnika’ (pictured).
Some 60 crew members were still believed stranded on the ship in Mumbai. Citing a delay in the court’s response to the problem, the company said in a statement, “Unfortunately, due to this delay, the crew on the ship are living in poor conditions with no fuel, power, etc. We are hoping to get the crew members signed off and relieve them so that they can go home, as soon as the legal formalities are completed.”
‘Karnika’ was built in 1990 and had operated as ‘Crown Princess’. Carnival Corp later transferred her to Australia where she sailed as the ’Pacific Jewel’ alongside her sister ship ‘Pacific Dawn’.
Meanwhile. Ocean Builders, a developer in Panama, has announced plans to acquire ‘Pacific Dawn’ and use her for floating accommodation off the Panamanian coast of Panama.
To be used as a residential ship, she will be renamed ‘Satoshi’ and will be used for residency, tourism, research, and office space. It will also provide an environment for budding entrepreneurs, the company said.
Elsewhere, TUI Group’s, Marella Cruises, has announced that the ‘Marella Dream’ will leave the company’s fleet.
Built in 1986 as the ’Homeric’, the 54,700 gt cruise ship was the first to be built by the German shipyard Meyer Werft. As a result, the shipyard used the ship as a starting point to develop into one of the leading cruise shipbuilders.
‘Marella Dream’ is laid up in Croatia, but due to her age and size and lack of modern amenities, including balcony cabins, it is thought that she will be sold for scrap.
She is the second 1980s-vintage cruise ship that Marella has retired since the start of the pandemic, as in April, 2020, the company announced that it was accelerating the retirement of the 1984-built ’Marella Celebration’.
This vessel was sold during the summer and is laid up in Greece. It was thought that she is destined for Turkish scrapyards. In January, 2020, Marella had stated that the two ships would continue in service for up to five years before their retirement.
’Pacific Dawn’ mentioned above, was due to leave the the fleet in February next year. She was originally sold, together with the ’Pacific Aria’, to Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV), which is currently in administration.
Both ships were repositioned from Australia to an initial lay up in Manila. In August, the two ships moved to lay-up off Cyprus. That had led to speculation to their imminent sale or possible scrapping.
In addition, Fred. Olsen’s veterans ‘Black Watch’ and ‘Boudicca’ have been sold for further service in Turkey as accommodations ships.
They were thought sold to Miray International, which owns up-market accommodation and also has the former cruise vessel, ‘Gemini’.
By coincidence, the third sistership in the ‘Black Watch’ series, Phoenix Reisen’s ‘Albatros’, has also been withdrawn from service.
She has been sold to the Middle East-based Pick Albatros Group, which operates hotels and resorts.
‘Albatros’ will become a static hotel ship in the Red Sea.
Saga’s newbuilding cruise ship ‘Spirit of Adventure’ arrived at Tilbury on 11th October to join her sistership ‘Spirit of Discovery‘ in layup.