Greek passenger ship runs aground

29 June 2008 | 19:19
ATHENS — The Greek Passenger ship Theofilos, with 475 passengers on board, laid at anchor safely on the island of Oinousse after running aground.

The Theofilos (Beta)
The Theofilos

The ship was en route from Mytilene, Lesvos to Chios in east Aegean sea Saturday.

According to Greek TV, the emergency rescue team was made available immediately, while the ship continued to Oinousse, which is around two kilometers away, after initial investigation deemed it safe.

The Ministries of Mercantile Marine said all the passengers and most of the crew have disembarked safely. Inspectors are now ready to check and repair the damage.

Passengers will be picked up by another passenger ship which has been sent to the island to transfer them to their destination.


Passenger in gangway plunge

05 June 2008

A WOMAN has been dramatically plucked from the water after she tripped and plunged from the gangway of a luxury cruise ship docked in Belfast.
The woman, who was a passenger on the Celebrity Century cruise liner, is believed to have fallen while talking and walking backwards.
A woman passenger fell from the temporary excess bridge into Belfast Lough
The passenger fell from this temporary access bridge
The incident happened on Wednesday at Belfast Lough.

An Australian member of the luxury liner’s crew dived into the water at Stormont Wharf and rescued the woman before officers from Belfast Harbour Police arrived to administer first aid.

She was transferred by ambulance to hospital where she was said to be in a stable condition.

Antarctic adventures to continue with G.A.P.

Tuesday, 03 Jun 2008 10:00

Adventure travel company G.A.P. Adventures has announced the purchase of a new ship for Antarctic travel, as it looks to make a comeback after last year’s sinking of the MS Explorer.

The new MS Expedition is a 345ft vessel that will carry up to 120 passengers into Antarctic waters.

It is currently undergoing a complete refit in Las Palmas, ahead of its January 1st 2009 launch.

The first tour will depart on January 4th and G.A.P. Adventures will be offering its full range of Antarctic tours – from classic ten-day experiences to the 18-day Spirit of Shackleton adventure and the 12-day Polar Circle trip.

G.A.P. chief executive Bruce Poon Tip says that very few people who take one of the classic tours don’t come back again for the Spirit of Shackleton voyage.

“People think of Antarctica as a once-in-a-lifetime experience but they soon find it’s really twice-in-a-lifetime,” he told in an interview yesterday.

G.A.P. is confident of a sold-out inaugural voyage and high demand over the Antarctic tourism season in January and February.

The Spirit of Shackleton expedition departs from Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and capital of the Argentine province of Tierra del Fuego.

As the MS Expedition journeys to the Antarctic Peninsula, passengers will have opportunities to watch wildlife in the South Shetland Islands, Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

The tour will visit the grave of Ernest Shackleton on remote South Georgia island and see the former whaling station and the king penguin colony there.

The ship then retraces Shackleton’s route to Elephant Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. Once in Antarctic waters, the tour makes daily landings at sites such as Paradise Harbour and Wilhelmina Bay when the weather permits.

There will also be the opportunity to visit scientific research stations before returning to Ushuaia via the Drake Passage.
After finishing in Antarctica the MS Expedition will head to the northern hemisphere for tours around the Britain Isles in April and May, followed by Arctic voyages from June to September.

It will then spend time in the Las Palmas dry dock for its annual service before heading for Antarctic waters once again.

Commenting on last year’s sinking, Bruce Poon Tip said: “It was obviously a very tragic and emotional loss for us, which I think we handled as best we could.”

G.A.P. has invested a lot in polar operations and Mr Poon Tip described the incident as a “stroke of bad luck from which we have to move on”.

Mr Poon Tip said he was particularly thankful for the attitude of the British passengers on the ill-fated voyage, who commented in the press about how much they had enjoyed the trip.

The MS Explorer was on a Spirit of Shackleton cruise through the Drake Passage when it ran into trouble near King George Island – around 75 miles north of the Antarctic Peninsula. More than 150 people had to be rescued after the ship hit ice.

However a number of these passengers are now re-booking for next year’s Antarctic tours, according to Mr Poon Tip.

Cruise ‘mother ships’ are the future !

04 June 2008

Cruise ‘mother ships’ which can launch fleets of smaller vessels and more space-efficient ferries are the future, according to the Passenger Shipping Association.

Futuristic designs of how ships could look were revealed at the launch of the PSA’s Annual Cruise Report last night at London’s National Maritime Museum as the number of cruise passengers is predicted to hit two million by 2012.

Mother ships capable of deploying smaller vessels could be the future of cruise...

The ships were designed by Fredik Johansson, senior architect for Tillberg Design AB, which created the QE2 and QM2, Independence of the Seas, Crystal Serenity and various Disney ships.

He said: “The new generation of ferries and cruise ships will have a distinct identity throughout. They are aimed at the next generation of youthful, design-savvy and environmentally conscioius passenger who we are now seeing entering the market.”

The PSA, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, predicts cruise holidays will grow from 1.33 million British passengers in 2007 to 1.5 million this year.

Growth in 2007 was in the ultra-luxury cruise sector, specialist cruising and in UK departures and ports of call. The number of ex-UK cruises have increased by 48% since 2004 compared with a 22% increase in fly-cruises, according to the Annual Cruise Review.