Posted on Sunday, April 17, 2011 by Peter Knego
April 20, 2011 Update: MV OCEAN STAR PACIFIC was towed to Salinas Cruz for repairs.
The 1050 passenger MV OCEAN STAR PACIFIC was stranded six miles off the coast of Huatulco by a generator fire, forcing the evacuation of 522 passengers and 226 crew on Saturday. The ship was on her second cruise for new Mexican based operator Ocean Star Cruises following a multi-million dollar refit in Curacao.
According to the line’s spokesman and the Oaxaca Civil Protection Agency, the fire was extinguished and there were no injuries to the ship’s mostly Mexican passengers, who were evacuated by catamaran at Huatulco.
The disabled OCEAN STAR PACIFIC will be towed into port for repairs. The second ship built for Royal Caribbean Cruises, the OCEAN STAR PACIFIC started her long career in 1971 as the 724 passenger NORDIC PRINCE. In 1980, the NORDIC PRINCE was lengthened with a new midsection and had her gross tonnage increased from 18,346 to 23,149. In 1995, she was sold to British operator Airtours and renamed CAROUSEL. In 2004, she was sold to Louis Cruises, who renamed her AQUAMARINE the following year. Between 2006 and 2008, the ship was chartered to German-based Transocean under the name ARIELLE before reverting to Louis again as AQUAMARINE. In late 2010, AQUAMARINE was sold to Ocean Star for USD $23 million.
Between early January and late March of 2011, OCEAN STAR PACIFIC underwent an extensive refurbishment in Curacao with newly redesigned Lido buffet, pool area and reception by Athens-based AMK (Katzourakis). New lounges, children’s areas, shops and a casino were added along with a new spa and nightclub. The refit work was executed by Piraeus based JGP Hellas and Finland based Riverco Oy.
With thanks to Mr. Pantelis.