Arrival of Discovery to get 2013 cruise season underway
9:00am Thursday 21st March 2013 in Falmouth/Penryn
The 2013 cruiseship season starts with the Bermuda-flagged Discovery making three calls in April and May. The UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency detained the cruiseship at Portland after the crew were unable to launch lifeboats in a pre-cruise safety drill earlier this month.
The agency said in a statement: “Following inspections on Friday, March 1, the MCA issued a detention notice on the passengership Discovery, preventing the vessel from sailing at this time. This will remain in place while the owners and crew undertake revisions to their safety management system.”
Discovery was operating under its new joint venture partners, All Leisure Holidays and Cruise and Maritime Voyages. ALH and CMV said they regretted cancelling Discovery’s scheduled 15-night Northern Lights cruise to Norway.
The vessel was scheduled to sail from Avonmouth, near Bristol, on February 28, but poor weather en route from Genoa, Italy, compounded by tidal restrictions in Bristol, saw Discovery reroute to Portland where passengers embarked.
“Discovery has undergone an extensive dry-docking period. Due to unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control and, notwithstanding the recent dry-docking, the vessel has encountered technical problems that prevent her from sailing,” the cruise firms said. We have been unable to resolve these technical issues to enable us to continue with the cruise on time, and further works will have to be undertaken to ensure all issues are fully resolved.”
Passengers will receive a full refund of their cruise fare, compensation of £250 per person and a discount of 40 per cent on a future Discovery cruise if booked by April 30, 2013. Discovery is now back in service with an Easter cruise to Spain and Portugal on schedule.
Marco Polo, another cruiseship under the ALH and CMV banner, hit an uncharted rock off Sortland, Norway, during the same period, sustaining minor bottom damage that required an emergency dry-docking.