Cruise ship breaks down in Baltic

17 May 2011 09:19

The cruise ship MSC Opera suffered a power failure off the coast of Sweden (AP)

The cruise ship MSC Opera suffered a power failure off the coast of Sweden (AP)

Hundreds of British passengers have had their Baltic cruise holiday cut short after the ship they were travelling on suffered a power failure.

Passengers were set to return home from Sweden on Monday after the MSC Opera suffered a series of electrical problems.

Tugs were sent to rescue the cruise ship on Sunday after one of its engines exploded.

The stricken vessel was then towed through the Baltic sea with 2,000 people on board.

While passengers have been given a credit voucher for the full amount paid, the incident highlights the importance of taking out cruise travel insurance to cover any such trip.

The ship, which usually sails every 10 days from Southampton, had no power, "very poor hygiene" and its bathrooms were "inoperable", according to Tim Schwabedissen from shipping website vesseltracker.com.

After the explosion on Friday, the captain tried to continue the voyage with the one remaining main engine but "this failed", Mr Schwabedissen said.

"On May 15 tugs were called to pull the vessel to Visby where the battered vessel was due to arrive May 16 morning," he added.

"Meanwhile a team from MSC Cruises was sent to Sweden to assist the passengers."

MSC was unavailable to clarify the situation but issued a statement saying there were "technical problems to an electrical panel".

It said the ship was diverted towards the port of Nynashamn, Sweden, where it was due to arrive at 11am.

"Not being able to offer to its guests the usual standards of service, MSC is organising the repatriation of all guests from Stockholm," it said in a statement.

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