MV CASINO ROYALE at Freeport in late 2008. Photo and copyright Peter Knego.
Even though the steel market is down, Alang remains backed up with nearly every plot full, some with a second vessel “in waiting”. Stripping of WINNER 5 (ex AUSONIA, IVORY) has begun and cutting is imminent. DALMACIJA and GLORY (ex ANNA NERY, etc.) are nearly gone. No news yet on the fate of stranded and broken PLATINUM II (ex INDEPENDENCE) off Gopnath other than she continues to be swirled in controversy and no locals have been allowed near the wreck. MAESTRO (ex RENAISSANCE, BLUE MONARCH, etc.) anchored off Port Said for several days awaiting a sale for further trading but when that fizzled, she transited Suez and has since reached Mumbai, where she will rest at anchor until month’s end before finishing off at Alang (REGAL EMPRESS did the same thing last year). The unsuccessful ferry/casino/cruise ship CASINO ROYALE (originally the HML ferry CASTALIA of 1974) has reportedly gone to Alang after a long layup at Freeport (see photo above). Another 1974-built ferry, WINNER 8 (the former PETER PAN, etc.) has also been sold to Alang breakers. The latter last sailed as Comanav’s OUZOUD.
SAGA ROSE (ex SAGAFJORD) made three calls in South Africa after rounding the Cape and was supposedly moving eastward towards Singapore and then China but is now back in SA waters. The ship’s last owners, Saga Holidays, remains silent about the ROSE’s fate, fueling much speculation.
And back in the USA, the once popular and trendsetting river cruise boat MISSISSIPPI QUEEN was quietly sold for scrap after being laid up near New Orleans for the past few years. The vessel, built in 1975, was stripped in preparation for a major refurbishment that never happened due to the collapse of her last operators, Majestic America Line. The badly neglected MISSISSIPPI QUEEN, reportedly infested with dangerous mold, will proceed some 40 miles north of New Orleans for dismantling.