Cruise Ship Seized in Italy Over Poor Conditions

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A ship set to host 2,570 police officers in Brindisi, Italy, for the G7 Summit scheduled from June 13 through 15, 2024, was seized the day before the summit began due to horrifying conditions.

Identified as the Mykonos Magic but renamed Goddess of the Night, the docked ship was intended to accommodate officers responsible for securing the G7 Summit taking place at the nearby Borgo Egnazia in Italy’s Puglia region on the Adriatic Sea.

Goddess of the Night Cruise Ship Conditions
Goddess of the Night Cruise Ship Conditions (Photos Credit: COISP)

However, officers shared the despicable conditions and photos in a letter to the chief of police, which raised alarms about severe sanitary issues, including unusable toilets, water leaks, and broken air conditioning. Many cabins were deemed uninhabitable, forcing officers to relocate to hotels and another nearby ship.

Officers encountered flooding, torn mattresses, moldy food, and waste materials scattered throughout the ship. Images shared showed toilets filled with brown water, stained carpets, and upended mattresses.

The June 10 letter to Director General of Public Security Prefect Vittorio Pisani from the Secretary General Domenico Pianese said“This is a gruesome housing condition that the Administration has reserved for thousands of our colleagues.”

He went on to add, “The colleagues, rightly bezzled by how they were treated, will clearly do their best to make our country that has the honor of hosting the G7 well, but we believe that your urgent intervention is a must to ensure minimum conditions of livability to those who have been sent from all over Italy to guarantee the security of the important summit.”

Goddess of the Night Cruise Ship Buffet Conditions
Goddess of the Night Cruise Ship Buffet Conditions (Photo Credit: COISP)

Initial investigations confirmed “significant hygienic-sanitary criticalities and serious accommodation deficiencies.” Following an order from prosecutors in Brindisi, the ship was seized to facilitate further investigations.

The summit’s attendees feature the world’s biggest leaders, including President Joe Biden of the United States, President Emmanuel Macron of France, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni of Italy, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the United Kingdom, and Olaf Scholz, chancellor of Germany.

The ship, formerly Costa Cruises’ Destiny-class Costa Magica, owned by Carnival Corporation, entered service in 2004 and can accommodate up to 3,470 passengers in 1,354 cabins across 13 decks.

Mykonos Magic, which was the last of Costa Cruises’ ships sold to Greek ferry company Seajets, was moored at the port of Brindisi on June 9 to begin housing officers ahead of the summit.

According to local media, the Ministry of the Interior inspected the ship in April 2024, documenting severe deficiencies not addressed before the event.

Goddess of the Night Cruise Ship
Goddess of the Night Cruise Ship

In response to the seizure, 1,800 officers were moved to nearby hotels, while another 600 were transferred to Gnv Azzurra, a ferry ship that launched in 1980. Although the ship has undergone two renovations, the last was in 2003. It is also facing scrutiny for inadequate conditions.

The police union said the new ship, which can accommodate 2,180 passengers in 570 cabins, presented “a situation already critical in itself to an even more inadequate solution.”

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Pianese said the situation testifies to “a total failure and an unacceptable inadequacy on the part of those who had to take care of it.”

The case has been brought to parliamentarians as a possible case of fraud against the ship’s owner. Italian media has reported that the government had paid nearly 6 million euros ($6.46 million) to rent the ship for the two-day summit of the world’s largest advanced economies. 

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