Iconic Cruise Ship Marco Polo To Be Scrapped

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One of the oldest cruise ships in the world has been designated to be scrapped. A storied history of more than 55 years sailing the world’s oceans comes to a sad end as the former Cruise and Maritime Voyages liner MS Marco Polo sets a course to the shipbreaking yard in Alang, India.

A fan favorite, Cruise and Maritime Voyages catered mostly for the UK market, focusing on an older, mature crowd that enjoyed indulging in the classic cruise setup. While the line had a steady client base for many years, it was to be one of the first victims in the cruise industry to succumb to the pandemic’s effects.

Unexpected End Of Operations

Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ demise was not something that many would have seen coming just over twelve months ago. As a cruise line with a steady base of fans and growing steadily over the years, December 2019 saw the purchase of two new vessels.

P&O Australia’s Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria were both bought. Still, they never entered service, as March 2019 saw a cease of operations. Subsequently, in June of last year, reports surfaced that the company could not repatriate crew members, pay salaries, and pay bills. The company went into administration on July 20, 2020, and cruise ships went up for auction.

MS Marco Polo was sold at auction in October 2020 as part of CMV’s administration phase for only US $2,770,000. As recently as November 2020, there was still hope for the 55-year-old vessel as she was offered for charter by Offshore Solutions Unlimited. She has now been taken off the website and, according to Cruise & Harbour News, has been designated to be scrapped.

All of CMV’s vessels were sold at auction in October. As Cruise Hive reported on November 24, 2020, MV Astor has already been beached at the Aliaga ship breaking facility in Turkey. Pacific Dawn, which was designated to be a ‘cryptocurrency’ ship called Satoshi, is currently at anchor outside Colon, Panama, but will also be scrapped eventually unless a buyer is found soon.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages Funnel
Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock.com

As for the other CMV vessels, Magellan, Columbus, and the Pacific Aria have been sold to Seajets in Greece. Astoria has been returned to the Portuguese bank that owns her, and Mystic Invest, a relatively new cruise operator from Portugal, has bought the Vasco Da Gama.

55-Years Of Sailing The Seven Seas

These days, very few ships can say they have sailed with passengers for more than half a century. Built-in East Germany for the Baltic State Shipping Company, the 19.860 gross ton and 176 meters long MS Marco Polo was first and foremost an Ocean Liner that sailed on the Leningrad- Montreal route.

Not until 1990, when the vessel was laid up for three years, the ship was rebuilt entirely as a cruise liner for now-defunct cruise line Orient Lines, here MS Marco Polo sailed until 2008. After that, the vessel sailed for Transocean Tours, the German subsidiary of Cruise and Maritime Voyages, and later CMV.

Also Read: Which Cruise Ships are Being Scrapped or Sold Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

MS Marco Polo is currently sailing on a course to the yard with a reported arrival date of January 9, 2021, making this iconic 55-year old Ocean Liner another in a long line of ships that fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo Credit: Nieuwland Photography / Shutterstock.com

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