Two well-known cruise ships that frequently call in to Falmouth, the Marco Polo and Discovery, operated by Cruise Maritime, have been in the spotlight after they encountered problems at sea during the bad storms last week.

The Discovery diverted to Falmouth after a small leak in the hull was discovered when she was enroute to Avonmouth from the Mediterranean. With the aid of two tugs Discovery berthed on County Wharf where divers examined the hull. Underwater repairs to the hull are underway and the ship is expected to sail on Friday.

Battered by storms, her stable mate the Marco Polo suffered damage when a large sea struck the ship killing one passenger on Valentine’s Day. The vessel was returning from a cruise to South America.

The wife of the deceased passenger had criticised the way the ship was maintained. She said: “Four windows blew. There’s so much paint on the outside you cant see the rust. They just slop some more on when they get to port.”

Christian Verhounig, chief executive of Cruise Maritime, said the ship adhered to strict international maritime regulations. He said: “Marco Polo undergoes stringent and rigorous surveys and is inspected regularly including a recent annual dry docking survey and certification.

“Marco Polo is a purpose-built, deep-sea, ocean going liner maintained and serviced in full compliance of strict British and international maritime regulations and is efficiently manned by a professional and dedicated crew. She also has the added advantage of an ice strengthened hull designed for special voyages to the Arctic and Antarctica polar regions.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the passengers and their families affected during this difficult time.”