Guests booked on the three-day Festive Market Getaway cruise onboard Ambassador Cruise Line’s Ambience, which was due to depart London Tilbury on Sunday, December 18, did not get the cruise they hoped for.
After guests had embarked on the vessel and many were enjoying their first dinner onboard, the ship’s management announced that all guests were required to disembark again. While conducting maintenance, an issue with the lifeboat station onboard Ambience was identified, preventing the vessel from sailing.
Guests Asked to Leave Cruise Ship Due to Issue with Lifeboat Station
For a three-day Festive Market Getaway cruise, guests embarked on Ambassador Cruise Line’s Ambience in Tilbury in the UK, yesterday, December 18. However, only hours after embarking, guests were requested to leave the ship again before 09:30 AM today while enjoying their first dinner onboard.
While conducting regularly scheduled maintenance to one of the lifeboat stations, onboard staff discovered an issue that rendered the vessel unable to set sail.
In a statement, Ambassador Cruise Line stated the following on December 18: “We can this evening confirm that we have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel our three-day Festive Market Getaway cruise, which was due to depart London Tilbury today, Sunday 18th December. Following annual maintenance works conducted, an issue with the lifeboat station on board Ambience was identified.”
The cruise line continued by stating that the issue was of such a nature that it would not be able to complete the repair and post-repair test in time to operate the cruise successfully.
“It is never an easy decision to cancel any itinerary, particularly at this time of year, and we would like to apologize to all those guests who were due to sail with us today.”
Ambiance Underway to Germany
Although engineers onboard have tried to correct the issue with the lifeboat station while in port in Tilbury, the work needs to be done in a more suitable location. Therefore, Ambassador Cruise Line announced today, December 19, that Ambience would head to Germany for repairs.
Ambience has left London Tilbury this afternoon to go to Bremerhaven, where the work and tests will be completed. Regrettably, this will not be concluded in time to operate the Christmas & New Year Canary Islands Cruise, which was due to sail on Wednesday, December 21.
What this means for guests booked onboard this voyage is still being determined. Ambassador Cruise Line is currently working on contacting guests. According to online reports, any possible refunds or cruise credits will come down to a full refund + 25% discount on a new booking or lift and shift with a 50% discount.
Ambassador Cruise Line asks guests to wait before contacting the cruise line and/or travel advisors: “We will email all guests this afternoon to further explain and communicate this. We would advise all guests on this sailing to please wait to receive this communication before contacting either us directly or your travel agent. We can only apologize for any upset and inconvenience this announcement will cause our valued guests.”
MV Ambience is the former Regal Princess that sailed for Princess Cruises between 1991 and 2007. Between 2007 and 2020, the 70,285 gross-tons cruise ship sailed for P&O Australia as Pacific Dawn.
In 2020, the vessel was purchased by Ocean Builders Central and rebranded as Satoshi. This company planned to convert the ship into a floating bitcoin residence, but their efforts were unsuccessful.
In 2021, the ship was thought to be scrapped but was later resold to Ambassador Cruise Line, which has operated the vessel with mixed success.