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LYUBOV ORLOVA Detained — Updated

Posted on Friday, October 1, 2010 by

MV LYUBOV ORLOVA in 2008. Photo Jerzy Strzelecki cc-by-3.0 or GFDL

The 1976-built expedition ship MV LYUBOV ORLOVA was placed under arrest when it arrived at St. John’s, Newfoundland in Canada last week. The Russian registered ship, with 49 Russian and two Ukrainian crew members on board but no passengers, “was seized following a suit by a haulage contractor over a $251,000 debt,” Pyotr Osichansky of the International Transport Workers Federation told the Russian Information Agency Novosti.  The crew, it appears, has not been paid in five months and the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko told the Voice of Russia, “The fear is that if the debt is not paid off, the ship will be auctioned off.”  The MV LYUBOV ORLOVA is named after  the first recognized star of Soviet cinema, famous theatre actress and a gifted singer born in 1902 who came to fame in the mid 1930s.

Update: October 31, 2010:

Still stranded in St. John’s since September 25,  MV LYUBOV ORLOVA was reported sold to an unnamed Norwegian company. The International Transportation Workers Federation has been attempting to assist the 50 Russian and Ukrainian crews to get the CAN$350,000 in back pay and then return them to their homes. The new Norwegian owners plan to have the ship in Europe soon and the ITWF and the owner are committed to finding a solution.

Update: February 18, 2012: MV LYUBOV ORLOVLD sold at auction “as is” at St. Johns, Canada where she arrived October 2010 under arrest.  The buyers are described as being Caribbean based – price US$275,000.

Additional information from Maritimematters’s Shawn Dake: The ship has reportedly been sold to undisclosed buyers based in the Caribbean for $275,000. Since the vessel had $750,000 in debt claims some creditors will undoubtedly be taking on loss. The deal was brokered by Gibson Canadian Global of Montreal, P.Q. Canada. The ship had been Russian owned but was chartered to Cruise North Expeditions who are reportedly owed $250,000 of the debt sum. Cruise North plans to operate three voyages in 2012 to the Canadian Arctic region with the former sister ship CLIPPER ADVENTURER ex ALLA TARASOVA, built in 1975. It will be interesting to see where this attractive mini-liner next turns up.

Update: On January 23, 2013, the LYUBOV ORLOVA left St. John’s under tow of the American tug CHARLENE HUNT with the intended destination of the Dominican Republic for scrapping. However, the ship parted her tow line in rough seas the next day and remained adrift off Newfoundland. Sea conditions were 10 to 18 feet high with winds of 35 knots. Attempts to reattach a line failed. Her tug returned to port leaving the ship loose in the winter North Atlantic. As the LYUBOV ORLOVA was in international waters Transport Canada decided the vessel no longer came under their jurisdiction and said it was solely the owner’s responsibility.

Update: On January 31, 2013 the offshore supply vessel ATLANTIC HAWK secured the derelict ship after the she was deemed a potential threat to offshore oil rigs. However, on Monday, February  4,  Transport Canada cut her loose again. Their statement read “The LYUBOV ORLOVA no longer poses a threat to the safety of offshore oil installations, their personnel or the marine environment. The vessel has drifted into international waters and given current patterns and predominant winds, it is very unlikely that the vessel will re-enter waters under Canadian jurisdiction.” Safety concerns were cited by Transport Canada as their reason to not pursue a salvage operation to retrieve the ship, not to mention they have no desire for the unwanted vessel to be returned to a Canadian port.  The ship’s position will continue to be monitored to avoid interference with international shipping, but for now at least, it appears the LYUBOV ORLOVA will end up being the responsibility of whatever nation’s waters she floats into, unless she sinks first.

Update: May 24, 2013: The Canadian Coast Guard says it has received no reported sightings of the LYUBOV ORLOVA since March 12, she is presumed sunk.

27 Responses to LYUBOV ORLOVA Detained — Updated

  1. David

    October 4, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    What a smart little ship !

  2. Capt.Bill Waldmeier

    October 5, 2010 at 4:19 am

    She’s a sister of ISP’s Clipper Adventurer…..

  3. Chris

    October 9, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    I live in St. John’s, I can tell you as of today the ship is still here with the crew on board. That’s the saddest part, the crew has no money to get home and no one seems to be stepping forward to help them.

  4. massimo

    December 21, 2010 at 3:14 am

    Has the vessel been sold? If not, what is the asking price? it would be suitable to be operated in the Med area therefore interested in her future operation.

  5. Eric

    August 10, 2011 at 10:37 am


  6. Julia

    September 26, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    The ship is still here stranded in the harbor the crew have been gone off it for a while.
    However nothing seems to be being done with it. It was over a year ago this ship docked in our harbor.
    I live in St. John’s, and pass this ship every day

  7. darrell

    September 27, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Unfortunately the vessel is still in port in St. John’s NL (Sept 27, 2011) – i believe the crew has gotten home long ago ship lists to the side from time to time then gets pumped… it looks like its just being let go to waste.

  8. briian

    November 16, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    I would like this ship, and bring to southern CA, How mucH? Who to buy from?

  9. Sandeep Mehta

    November 16, 2011 at 10:38 pm


    I can arrange for you to buy this ship- can you pay USD: 2 million?

  10. Travis

    November 17, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    That is funny.
    Two scammers trying to scam each other!

  11. Mark M

    January 10, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Does anyone know what is happening with this boat???? Is it in the canadian courts????

  12. Joe

    January 20, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Local media reports, this morning, Jan 20th, that it has been sold. I didn’t find info on who bought it.

  13. Shawn Dake

    January 30, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    The ship has reportedly been sold to undisclosed buyers based in the Caribbean for $275,000. Since the vessel had $750,000 in debt claims some creditors will undoubtedly be taking on loss. The deal was brokered by Gibson Canadian Global of Montreal, P.Q. Canada. The ship had been Russian owned but was chartered to Cruise North Expeditions who are reportedly owed $250,000 of the debt sum. Cruise North plans to operate three voyages in 2012 to the Canadian Arctic region with the former sister ship CLIPPER ADVENTURER ex ALLA TARASOVA, built in 1975. It will be interesting to see where this attractive mini-liner next turns up.

  14. Peter Knego

    January 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    I know the scrappers were having a look at her, so I’m afraid she may end up in Alang or Aliaga. Thanks for the update, Shawn.

  15. MiniCruiseFan

    February 18, 2012 at 7:19 am

    I can´t believe she is sold as she is still offered threw LYB @ yachtworld.

  16. Gary

    April 11, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    I live in St.Johns ,the lastest news is two things ,one she may be scrapped ,two she may be used in Haiti as a hotel or Hospital ship for kids.

  17. Yuriy Gordienko

    August 14, 2012 at 1:30 am

    I’d like to know what is happening about this ship in last time.
    Is anybody well-informed?
    Thanks beforehand!

  18. Lock

    September 9, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    September 9,2012. Ship is still in St.Johns. The town was looking forword to having the ship out of here for the start of the 2011 tourist season. Well it never left that summer and sat here looking like a wreck for this whole summer too. I read it owed $200 000 in docking fee’s as of the last time it was sold for $275.00. From what I read the new owner has been paying the docking fees since he bought the boat in Feb 2012. The boat was “said” to leave 2 weeks after that. If he has been paying docking fee’s since then I would imagine he is in, or going to be in some financial mess himself.

    A friend of mine is a marine diesel mechanic. He told me that in Feb 2012 a Russian man was calling every shop in town attempting to find someone to make it seaworthy. They refused to pay any money up front, and therefore no company would go near it. Pretty easy to understand seeing the ship’s history with money. I was also just searching for a picture to post here that I took a while ago when they decided to start this ship up one day. There was so much black smoke fire trucks showed up for reports of a downtown fire… Im very interested to see what happens with this.

  19. Martin Cox

    September 9, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Thank you for your update on this situation. If you do find a picture please do forward it to me and I will add it to the story, I am sure our readers would be very glad to see how she looks now.

    Best regards,

    -Martin Cox

  20. Robert Young

    October 19, 2012 at 10:06 am

    She is still sitting upright, tied to the dock, no sign of activity.
    I hear that someone is working on the engines and or generators. Martin, I have photos, how can I post them to you.

  21. Elmer

    November 3, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I am very sorry to hear this bad news about this ship. I still have good memories of à trip to Antarctica in nov 2009

  22. Insiderinfo

    January 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    She is supposed to leave via tow to Santo Domingo for scrap on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunatley the towing company is in financial difficulty itself so it remains to be seen whether it will sail tomorrow or not.

  23. don

    January 23, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    The ship has been towed out, today i believe it was. Glad to see the ole rusty eyesore gone. She sat there so long that the engines were seized and she had to be towed. Destination is unknown.

  24. St. J Sara

    January 24, 2013 at 6:48 am

    The ship is gone from St. John’s, towed through the Narrows yesterday (January 23, 2013)and there is a story about it in ‘The Telegram’ with some video footage of it being removed.

  25. Kevin

    January 25, 2013 at 11:22 am

    The Lyubov Orlova was towed from St. John’s Jan 23rd 2013. However since then it has broken the tow line(in 6 meter seas Thursday Jan 24th 2013) and is now adrift 15 miles off the southeastern coast of Newfoundland in what has been reported as 3 meter seas with 35 knot winds. Hopefully this ship gets hooked up again and towed to its rightful resting place.



  26. Herby in St. John's

    January 28, 2013 at 4:45 am

    The Charlene Hunt is sitting in St. John’s Harbour after a wild goose chase this weekend. The tugboat was towing the Lyubov Orlova to the Dominican Republic for scrap on Thursday when the towline snapped. The Orlova is still adrift off the coast of Newfoundland. The Coast Guard vessel Cape Roger came in to check on the situation, while the crew of the Charlene Hunt tried to reattach the line – with no luck. The tugboat was later called back to the harbour because of safety concerns. A spokeperson from Transport Canada says the Orlova is no longer in their jurisdiction, but they are monitoring the ship in case it starts leaking pollutants into the water.

  27. Chris

    February 28, 2013 at 11:14 am

    update on the Orlova.

    A Russian cruise ship has been adrift in the North Atlantic since January, after breaking free from a towing line as it was being delivered from Canada to a scrapyard in the Dominican Republic.
    The Lyubov Orlova, built in 1976, once operated as a cruise ship, exploring the icy waters of Antarctica. In 2010, she was seized at St. John’s harbor in Newfoundland following a suit by a haulage contractor against the Russian owners over $250,000 in unpaid fees. The ship remained tied up for more than two years before it was sold to Caribbean buyers in February 2012.
    On Jan. 23 of this year, the derelict ship left Canada for the Dominican Republic to be scrapped, but its towing cable snapped a day later. The ship escaped again after it was secured by a supply vessel on Jan. 31. It then drifted into international waters.
    Transport Canada claims they are no longer responsible for the ship and that there’s little chance of it drifting back under Canadian jurisdiction.
    Meanwhile, according to a document from a US intelligence agency, obtained by the AFP, the abandoned ship was recently seen about 1,300 nautical miles off the coast of Ireland, and is drifting toward Europe.
    “Earlier this week, Canadian officials acknowledged they did not know the location of the ship, as the vessel’s global positioning system was no longer working,” the AFP writes.
    Irish authorities are looking over satellite data to try and locate the loose vessel since there’s some concern that the ghost ship, apparently infested with rats, could hit Ireland’s shore. If that did happen, the government would likely “take the ship, bring it into a port and maybe look for compensation from the owner for any costs associated with that,” maritime lawyer William Cahill told The National Post’s Tristin Hopper. Cahill says it would be hard to pin responsibility on Canada because it’s not a Canadian registered ship.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/abandoned-russian-cruise-ship-adrift-2013-2#ixzz2MDsKZA1C

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