Marco Polo, one among oldest cruise ships of the world that failed to stay afloat amid the Covid-19 pandemic, arrived on the Alang ship-breaking yard in Gujarat on Saturday to be scrapped. This is the third luxurious cruise liner to arrive on the yard within the final 50 days.
Built as “Alexander Pushkin” in East Germany for the Baltic State Shipping Company, the 176 meter-long vessel was the foremost ocean liner that sailed on the trans-atlantic Leningrad-Montreal route and was the quickest and largest of service provider vessels within the Soviet fleet.
“This ship was built way back in 1965 and it arrived at the Alang anchorage Saturday morning,” stated Anil Jain, proprietor of Atam Manohar Ship Breakers Pvt Ltd that purchased the vessel.
The iconic 55-year-old vessel has a lightweight displacement (LDT) tonnage of 14500 and has 11 decks.
“The ship was sold in a distress sale. It was in UK when it was sold. The owners went banktrupt due to Corona,” stated Jain who purchased the vessel for Rs 60 crore.
The British court docket had ordered sale of the cruise ship after the cruise and maritime voyages collapsed because of the pandemic after the corporate paused cruise operations which had been focussed on the UK.
Marco Polo was one of many 5 cruise ships which had been impounded and bought to settle the money owed.
This cruise ship which was rechristened as “Marco Polo” within the 1990s has 425 cabins for 800 passengers who was once served by a crew of 355. It has eight passenger decks, 5 lounges and bars, three eating places, three most important foyer areas, one swimming pool, three jacuzzies and 4 elevators.
Marco Polo is the third cruise vessel to reach Alang within the final 50 days. The first such vessel to arrive for scrapping was “MV Karnika” which couldn’t restart operations after the Covid-19 lockdown in India.
The second cruise liner that got here on January 2021 was “Ocean Dream” which had ceased operations because of the Covid-19 pandemic and was mendacity idle in Hiroshima, Japan. In the approaching weeks, a fourth cruise liner “Grand Celebration” is anticipated to arrive for dismantling.