MSC OPERA Adrift In Baltic — Updated

MSC OPERA at Cayo Leventado. Photo and copyright Peter Knego 2006.

UPDATE: MSC OPERA arrived under tow at Nynamshamn on Monday morning. A team from STX France, the ship’s builders, has since joined the crew to help determine the cause of the malfunction. The ship’s next cruise, due to depart Southampton on May 17, has been canceled while repairs are carried out.

Following an electrical malfunction at 11:00 AM Saturday, MSC Cruises 2004-built, 59,000 gt MSC OPERA was adrift without power off the Swedish island of Gotland. For much of the day, the ship was drifting in the Baltic Sea, approximately 10 kilometers from Visby, Gotland’s main port city. Initial reports stated that the ship’s plumbing, catering and electrical services were out but these were eventually restored.

The MSC OPERA left Southampton on May 7 for a 10-night cruise to Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg and Copenhagen and was due to return to Southampton on Tuesday.

MSC Cruises announced the OPERA would be towed to the Swedish port of Nynashamn (near Stockholm) overnight, where the ship’s 1,800 passengers would be repatriated. Travelers would be offered another cruise, valid until December 2012, the Geneva-based company said.

Special thanks to Leo Hubrecht and Peter Knego.

Click here for Peter Knego’s review of a Caribbean cruise on board the MSC OPERA in 2006.

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