Ambition accidents and incidents

Ambition cruise ship

Former names
AIDAmira, Costa neoRiviera, Grand Mistral, Mistral

Length (LOA)
216 m / 709 ft

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CruiseMapper's Ambition cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 1428-passenger vessel owned by Ambassador Cruise Line. Our Ambition 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • ship seizure - 2004 (in Marseille France)
  • Coronavirus / ship lockdown - 2020 (Cape Town South Africa)
  • propulsion/power loss - 2016 (Abu Dhabi), 2017 (Indian Ocean)

Following the transfer from Ibero Cruises, the cruise vessel was renamed from “Grand Mistral” to “Costa neoRiviera” in 2013 November. Previously, the vessel was owned by the Festival Cruises line (operational between 1994-2004), which was known on the North American market as “First European Cruises”.

August 2022Other Incidents

In August 2022 was announced that for a 6-month period (September 2022 thru March 2023) MS Ambition is chartered by the Scottish Government as a hotel ship to house ~1170 Ukrainian refugees (including 420 kids).

During the contract period (through March 31, 2023) the vessel remained permanently moored in Glasgow (at King George V Dock, close to Braehead Shopping Centre). Ambassador Ambition became the second cruise vessel (following Holland America Line's MS Volendam) in Glasgow contracted for housing refugees due to a surge in visa applications and land accommodation shortages.

Tallink Victoria cruiseferry was the first (chartered in July) refugee hotel ship and remained docked in Leith-Edinburgh.

Note: According to Scottish media, ~12,000 Ukrainians (10556, according to Gov data) arrived in Scotland since Russia's invasion of Ukraine (that started on February 24th) which was ~15,5% of all UK arrivals. Reportedly, Tallink Victoria and Ambassador Ambition were both chartered for/cost Scottish taxpayers ~GBP 100 million (USD-EUR 116M).

After serving as a hotel ship, MS Ambition was scheduled to enter drydock for an extensive refurbishment before starting operations for Ambassador Cruise Line in May 2023.

March 2020Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) Due to suspension of AIDA's worldwide fleet operations, AIDAmira's 14-day "Sudafrika und Namibia 2" cruise (itinerary March 9-23) was cancelled on March 16. On March 18th, the ship docked in homeport Cape Town (South Africa) but remained under lockdown as debarkation was denied.

AIDAmira was quarantined following the discovery that 6 cruise passengers had come into contact with a man (crew from the bulk carrier CORONA / IMO 9169342) who started to show flu-like symptoms after his ship left Cape Town on March 11th. On March 13th, the cargo ship's Captain contacted Port Cape Town requesting permission to return and offload the man so he could be quarantined. It was discovered that the man had flown into Cape Town from Istanbul (March 9) and that the 6 cruisers were on the same flight. The six AIDAmira passengers were all isolated and tested. On March 18, their test returned Coronavirus-negative.

On March 20, Germany's Government chartered 4 airplanes to evacuate 1243 of the cruise liner's passengers (all the German nationals) from Cape Town. The ship's crew remained onboard. The flight crew were also not allowed to disembark. The cruisers were bussed to Cape Town Airport for their flights on March 21 (276 pax), March 22 (658 pax) and March 23 (329 pax).

26 October 2017Crew / Passenger Crimes

On October 26, 2017, a 53-year-old male passenger was thrown off the ship for staging a "mutiny". The man (Alain Jan, of French origin) was travelling with his wife and boarded the ship in call port Saint-Denis (Reunion Island). The man started the "mutiny" after the Captain announced the cancellation of two Madagascar call ports (Nosy Be, Diego Suarez) and compensation to all passengers EUR 150 pp in onboard credit.

The ports were cancelled due to health reasons - an outbreak of bubonic and pneumonic plague on Madagascar Island, with over 1000 infected and over 100 dead.

The evicted from the liner man first launched a petition, organizing a protest in the Cetara (dining room restaurant). Over 60 passengers started to bang on the tables, demanding the Captain to change course. Then the man staged a second protest in the ship's theatre lounge.

When the liner docked in call port Victoria (Mahe Island, Seychelles), the Captain called the local police. The mutineer and his wife were escorted off the ship. They were accommodated for 2 nights in a hotel, then flown back to Reunion with hotel and airfares paid by Costa Cruises.

25 October 2017Propulsion / Power Loss

(CruieMapper email report) On October 25, 2017, while at sea and en-route from Seychelles to Reunion, the vessel suffered a complete propulsion breakdown (came to a full stop) for several hours. The crew managed to fix the problem. No information was given to passengers about the incident.

The ship arrived in the next scheduled call port Saint-Denis (Reunion Island) about 5 hours late (at 1 pm instead of 8 am). Port departure was re-scheduled for 6 pm. The bus shuttle transfer of passengers to St Denis and St Paul was chaotically organized, with little opportunity to visit the island.

As compensation, all passengers received EUR 50 pp. However, the ship's Tour Operator refused paying back the transfer tickets (EUR 16 pp), denying its poor organization of the city-transfers.

21 December 2016Propulsion / Power Loss

On December 21, 2016, in the afternoon, the ship suffered a blackout (total power loss) during its stay in call port Abu Dhabi UAE. For several hours, the vessel was on emergency power. The incident was caused by a fault with one of the diesel-electric generators. During that time, all essential systems on the ship remained functional. Among the affected onboard services were all bar services, spa services (incl sauna and steam room) and the air-conditioning. The ship was on a 7-day roundtrip from Dubai cruise (itinerary Dec 17-22) visiting Muscat, Sir Bani Yas Island, and Abu Dhabi.

13 March 2015Other Incidents

On March 13, 2015, high winds disrupted the local marine traffic and caused a delayed docking and passenger disembarkation in call port Cape Town (South Africa). The ship arrived at ~9:30 am, with scheduled berthing for 12 noon. However, due to strong winds in the harbour, docking was impossible until midnight.

On March 15 started the 27-day Atlantic repositioning cruise from South Africa to Europe (Cape Town to Savona Italy) visiting the Canary Islands and Morocco.

22 January 2004Other Incidents

(MS Grand Mistral/ship seizure) On January 22, 2004, following the Festival Cruises company’s bankruptcy, the cruise ship with over 700 passengers on board was seized in port Marseille France. Two of the company’s other vessels were also impounded – MS European Stars (currently MSC Sinfonia) in Barcelona Spain (carrying over 750 passengers) and MS European Vision (currently MSC Armonia) in Bridgetown Barbados (carrying over 1300 passengers).

13 March 2002Other Incidents

(MS Mistral) On March 13, 2002, the shipowner Festival Cruises announced that the vessel will be relocated from Cuba to Europe 1 month earlier than scheduled. The company had to cancel the 4 remaining 7-day Cuba cruises and substitute them with the inaugural voyages after the Transatlantic crossing.

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