Ambience accidents and incidents

Ambience cruise ship

Former names
MS Satoshi (Ocean Builders), Amy Johnson (CMV), Pacific Dawn (P&O Australia), Regal Princess

Length (LOA)
245 m / 804 ft

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CruiseMapper's Ambience cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 1915-passenger vessel owned by Ambassador Cruise Line. Our Ambience accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • December 2020 - sold for scrapping at Alang India
  • October 2020 - sold to Ocean Builders
  • July 2020 - CMV filed for bankruptcy
  • ship groundings - 2006 (Amazon River, Brazil), 2007 (Huatulco, Mexico)
  • propulsion/power loss - 2010
  • deaths - overboard (2018)
  • injuries/crimes - overboard/rescued (2009), 2016 (bus crash in Port Vila Vanuatu), 2017 (rape)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2003 (301/45), 2004 (47/7), 2006 (75/5), 2007 (69/8), 2009 (4 /swine flu)
  • boat rescue - 2019 (New Caledonia)

Previously, the vessel was operated under the names Regal Princess (1991-2007 by Princess Cruises), Pacific Dawn (2007-2020 by P&O Australia), CMV Amy Johnson (planned since 2021, by CMV UK-Cruise and Maritime Voyages), MS Satoshi (November 2020 - April 2021, by Ocean Builders) and MS Ambience (since 2021, by Ambassador Cruise Line UK). The boat was ordered by and constructed for the company Sitmar Cruises. After Sitmar’s acquisition by P&O Group, the vessel (being under construction) was transferred to Princess Cruises (P&O's subsidiary company).

The vessel’s flag-state/registry was changed in 1991 (from Palermo Italy to Monrovia Liberia), in 2000 (to Hamilton Bermuda), in 2007 (to London UK) and in 2020 (to Panama). As Regal Princess, the ship operated on Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale FL (in the winter) and Alaskan cruises from Vancouver BC Canada (in the summer), with Panama Canal repositioning transits.

12 April 2023Structural and Technical Issues

On April 12, 2023, while berthed at Port Cherbourg (France), Ambassador Ambience broke the mooring lines connecting the ship to the dock. As result, the ship nearly broke free, with the gangway (connecting to the dock) hanging from the starboard side.

To assist the vessel, tugboats were called in and the ship was safely secured at the berth. All passengers and crew remained on board. While no injuries were reported, the ship sustained damage to the starboard hull.

Ambassador Ambience stayed in Cherbourg overnight (Apr 11th/17:35 to April 13th/7:11 UTC) and returned directly back to homeport Tilbury-London (England UK) arriving on Apr 14t hat 5:41 UTC). The scheduled call at Port Honfleur (France) was canceled.

Note: The call at Cherbourg was due to stormy weather encountered while Ambience was en route from Cobh-Cork (Ireland) to Honfleur.

December 2022Structural and Technical Issues

Due to machinery/lifeboat issues, Ambassador Cruise Line canceled two MS Ambience cruises in December 2022.

Due to a fault with the onboard lifeboat station, the 3-day "Festive Market Getaway" (Tilbury roundtrip itinerary Dec 18-21 visiting Zeebrugge-Bruges Belgium) was canceled and the ship remained docked in homeport Tilbury-London (England UK). As the company was unable to address the issues in Port Tilbury, Ambience departed the UK for drydocking in Germany (at Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven GmbH), conducted in the period Dec 20th - Jan 3 (2023).

Due to the necessary drydock repairs, the next scheduled 15-day "Christmas & New Year Canary Islands Cruise" (Tilbury roundtrip itinerary Dec 21, 2022, thru Jan 5, 2023) was also canceled. This voyage included visits to La Coruna (Spain), Funchal (Madeira Island, Portugal), the Canaries ports Arrecife (Lanzarote), Santa Cruz de la Palma, and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, as well as Leixoes-Oporto (Portugal).

March 2022Structural and Technical Issues

On March 25, 2022, Ambassador Cruise Line announced that the brand's inauguration and the Ambience ship's Maiden Voyage will be delayed. Christian Verhounig (company's CEO) commented that the cause was the Ukrainian crisis that affected the drydocking project (at Viktor Lenac Shipyard in Rijeka, Croatia).

As result, drydock works were hampered due to "extensive supply chain disruption and delays in many commercial areas", including a temporary lack of availability of MGO fuel (marine gas oil) in Croatia.

The Inaugural Cruise (roundtrip from homeport London-Tilbury to Hamburg) was rescheduled from April 6th to April 20th, and two Norwegian Fjords voyages were canceled. The canceled departures (roundtrips from the UK to Norway) included:

  • (April 10-16) 6-day "A Taste Of Fjordland" (Tilbury to Haugesund, Flam, Bergen)
  • (April 16-24) 8-day "Majestic Easter Fjordland" (Tilbury to Haugesund, Flam, Olden, Geiranger, Bergen)

Booked customers were emailed and offered rebooking alternatives or a full refund.

18 December 2020Structural and Technical Issues

(MS Satoshi sold for scrapping in India) On December 18, 2020, the shipowner (Ocean Builders) announced that the "Crypto Cruise Ship" project is terminated and MS Satopshi sold for scrapping at India's Alang Ship Breaking Yard.

In an announcement sent to potential investors, Grant Romundt (Ocean Builders' CEO) wrote the company would not be able to proceed "because of archaic big insurance companies that cannot adapt to innovative new ideas”. According to the statement, after a search for an insurance company (part of the 13 clubs of the International Group of P&I Clubs) to insure the vessel, Ocean Builders failed to find an insurer for MS Satoshi after the ship dropped anchor in Gulf of Panama. The closest they came was a deal for a USD 1 million insurance for a maximum of USD 5 million in coverage.

Note: According to statistics, the Peek House London-based International Group of P&I Clubs provide P&I insurance (Protection and Indemnity) liability cover for ~90% of the global ocean-going tonnage.

Ocean Builders also requested from Authority Panama Maritime MS Satoshi to be considered a non-seagoing ship, to lessen the insurance premium burden by eliminating the need the vessel to comply with 32 of all 35 international maritime treaties signed by Panama as flag-state. However, the vessel was considered seagoing as it had engines and flag. Without insurance, the vessel can't be crewed, which means losing class rating, flag and any possibility of running any businesses onboard.

29 September 2020Other Incidents

(P&O Pacific Dawn sold to Ocean Builders) On September 29, 2020, P&O Australia announced the vessel's sale. The buyer (new shipowner) was not disclosed at the time. The liner was last refurbished (by P&O AU) in 2017 and scheduled for refurbishment in April 2021. Under P&O, Pacific Dawn sailed ~1,37 million mi (~2,2 M km) and served ~2 million passengers.

A total of 14x Pacific Dawn cruise itineraries (departures planned for the period December 4 through February 11 including) were cancelled. For these last-scheduled by P&O AU voyages see at the ship's Wiki section.

20 July 2020Other Incidents

(CMV Amy Johnson) On July 20, 2020, CMV's parent company SQTL (South Quay Travel & Leisure Ltd) was placed into administration / filed for bankruptcy. The UK-based company traded as "Cruise and Maritime Voyages" (trademarked brand, aka CMV). As Joint Administrators (evaluating SQTL's financial position) were appointed Paul Williams, Phil Dakin and Edward Bines of Duff & Phelps Ltd.

SQTL-CMV's cruisetour packages were protected by ABTA (number V9945). SQTL-CMV's fly-cruise packages are protected by ATOL (number 4619). All CMV cruise bookings (fleetwide/all ships) were effectively cancelled.

In June, SQTL-CMV entered into emergency talks with potential investors and lenders. Unfortunately, the company's efforts to secure funding and stay afloat during the Coronavirus crisis failed. The future of the CMV ships (some SQTL-owned, some chartered) remains unknown.

26 September 2019Boat Rescue

(P&O Pacific Dawn) On September 26, 2019, while en-route from Vanuatu back to Queensland Australia, the liner rescued 3 men stranded on a liferaft in the New Caledonian waters. The ship received a distress call from Noumea's marine rescue authorities and diverted to help the seafarers (2 Australians, 1 British). After their yacht started taking on water, the three sailors boarded a liferaft and became adrift in the Pacific Ocean. They were safely recovered by the ship and on Sept 28 offloaded in Brisbane QLD.

The incident occurred at the end of 7-day "Pacific Island Hopper" (itinerary Sept 21-28) roundtrip from homeport Brisbane to New Caledonia (Noumea, Lifou Island) and Vanuatu (Port Vila).

12 April 2018Crew / Passenger Deaths

(P&O Pacific Dawn / overboard) On April 12, 2018, at ~4 pm, a 47-year-old female passenger was reported overboard. The ship was in the Coral Sea, en-route from Port Vila (Vanuatu) back to homeport Brisbane (QLD Australia). It immediately turned around and started a search and rescue operation in adverse weather conditions (3-to-4-meter swells and high winds up to 55 kph / 35 mph). New Caledonian and Australian maritime authorities issued a distress call for nearby vessels to assist the liner, as the accident happened in shared between both countries sea zone.

The woman (Natasha Schofield, from Brisbane) went overboard when the liner was approx 300 km / 185 mi west of New Caledonia. Reportedly,  while at the open deck, she felt seasick and leaned over the railing to vomit, but lost footing and fell overboard - allegedly "thrown overboard" by a rogue wave.

However, when the CCTV footage was reviewed, it showed the woman didn't accidentally fall. She was talking to her husband on an open deck, then deliberately jumped off the ship. As she went over the railing, her husband tried to grab her by the legs, but it was too late. On April 13, at 7:30 am the search was called off. The body was never found.

The accident occurred on 7-day "Pacific Island Hopper Cruise" (itinerary April 7-14) roundtrip from Brisbane to New Caledonia (Noumea, Lifou Island) and Vanuatu (Port Vila).

06 December 2017Crew / Passenger Crimes

(P&O Pacific Dawn / sexual) On December 6, 2017, a male crew was reported and arrested for sexual assault (raping) of a female co-employee on Pacific Dawn. The man (Noel Isaac, from Vanuatu) trespassed into her cabin in the morning (shortly before disembarkation in Port Vila). Despite her pleas, he overcame the victim's resistance through force. Without her consent, he had full and forcible sexual intercourse with the woman.

The victimized woman started working on the liner in early-December 2017. She didn't return to her job (in the galley/ship kitchen) and left P&O Cruises Australia due to the assault. She reported the rape to local police. Crime investigation was initially halted as the police had to wait for the cruise ship's next port call to obtain CCTV footage.

The man denied the crime, but CCTV evidence showed him entering the victim’s cabin and remaining inside hidden for about 40 min.

(law news) A Vanuatu court found the man guilty of "sexual intercourse without consent" and on December 4, 2018, he was sentenced to 5 years and 8 months in jail.


20 June 2016Crew / Passenger Deaths

(P&O Pacific Dawn) On June 20, 2016, an 11-year-old male passenger (of Australian origin) was reported in critical condition after a shore excursion accident. The boy was injured in a head-on bus crash in Port Vila (Vanuatu). Another 10 (out of 12) Australian cruise ship tourists were also seriously injured during the collision. All injured passengers were airlifted to Brisbane (Australia) and Noumea (New Caledonia) to receive urgent medical treatment. The bus crash killed 2 locals (Ni-Vanuatu people).

Due to the incident, the ship missed its next call port Mystery Island in order to arrive as scheduled back in Brisbane. The ship was on 11-day South Pacific Islands cruise (itinerary June 14-25) from homeport Brisbane to Champagne Bay, Pentecost Island, Vila, Mystery Island (skipped), Isle of Pines.

10 April 2010Propulsion / Power Loss

(P&O Pacific Dawn) On April 10, 2010, while on the river, approaching Brisbane’s Gateway Bridge, the vessel lost all power (propulsion). The assisting pilot and 2 tugboats brought it to a full stop within just 230 ft (70 m) of the newly built 6-lane bridge (2nd structure). Then the ship was towed back to Portside Wharf. The investigation determined the power failure was due to a blown fuse caused by a saltwater leak.

May 2009Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(P&O Pacific Dawn) On May 25, 2009, after docking in Sydney Harbour, the ship reported a total of 170 passengers (out of 2000) with flu-like symptoms. Among the infected were two 5-year-old boys tested positive for H1N1 (Swine flu virus). On the next day, another 14 passengers were tested positive with Swine flu. NSW Health authorities ordered all passengers to stay for 7 days locked at home (self-imposed quarantine).

Note: When the itinerary doesn’t include US cruise ports, the ship is not required to report to CDC, thus no official illness report would be issued.

13 January 2009Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(P&O Pacific Dawn / overboard) On January 13, 2009, an Australian news media reported a 22-year-old male passenger jumped overboard. The incident occurred at 5 am, while the ship was approx 20 ml (30 km) off Port Vila, Vanuatu. The young man (reportedly drunk) was successfully rescued within ~45 min. His jumping was seen by a staff member and the alarm was raised. The vessel was cruising at half-speed but was able to stop and then use its bow thrusters to turn around (without having to complete a loop to turn around).

March 2007Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(MS Regal Princess) In March 2007, CDC reported on itinerary March 13-26, a Norovirus outbreak affecting 69 passengers (out of 1504, or 4,6%) and 8 crew (out of 680, or 1,2%). The ship was on 12-day Panama Canal transition cruise from South America to the Caribbean (Lima Peru to San Juan Puerto Rico).

18 February 2007Ship Grounding

(MS Regal Princess) On February 18, 2007, while on a Panama Canal transition cruise and after a short stop at call port Huatulco Mexico the vessel ran aground. The accident was due to high winds causing it to list 5 degrees starboard and make contact with the seabed portside while backing out of Huatulco Harbor.

The grounding damaged one of the ballast tanks. The ship soon freed itself and continued to Acapulco Mexico at reduced speed and severely listing to starboard. In Acapulco, the current cruise was canceled and all passengers were flown home.

The next 2 scheduled itineraries (departures Feb 21 and March 1) were also canceled due to the needed drydock repairs. The ship left Acapulco on Feb 22. The next scheduled cruise was on March 13 (itinerary from Lima Peru to San Juan Puerto Rico).

December 2006Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(MS Regal Princess) In December 2006, CDC reported on itinerary Dec 7 to 27, a Norovirus outbreak affecting 75 passengers (out of 1479, or 4,2%) and 5 crew (out of 678, or 0,1%). The ship was on 20-day Panama Canal cruise from San Juan Puerto Rico (itinerary December 7-27).

15 April 2006Ship Grounding

(MS Regal Princess) On April 15, 2006, while navigating on Amazon River (cruise from Fort Lauderdale Florida to Manaus Brazil), the ship ran aground / stuck on a sandbar. It was freed after ~1,5 hours. To free the vessel, the crew had to empty the onboard swimming pools and to dump some of the greywater and ballast water into the river.

September 2004Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(MS Regal Princess) In September 2004, CDC reported a Norovirus outbreak infecting 47 passengers (out of 1537, or 3,1%) and 7 crew (out of 680, or 1%).

September 2003Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(MS Regal Princess) In September 2003, CDC reported on itinerary Aug 18 to Sept 2, an epidemic Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 301 passengers (out of 1557, or 19,3%) and 45 crew (out of 687, or 6,6%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps) and were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours.

The ship was on 16-day Transatlantic repositioning cruise from Europe to USA (Copenhagen to NYC New York). It arrived in NYC 2 days early after missing 2 scheduled call ports in Greenland and Newfoundland Canada.

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