mv Aegean Odyssey accidents and incidents
CruiseMapper's mv Aegean Odyssey cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 396-passenger vessel owned by Road Scholar Cruises (Small Cruise Lines). Our mv Aegean Odyssey accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.
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- propulsion/power loss - 2019 (West Africa and Europe-Mediterranean, resulting in 10 cancelled cruises)
|March 2019||Propulsion / Power Loss|
Ship's scheduled for March 16 (6 pm) departure from Port Cape Town (South Africa) was delayed 2 days due to engine failure. All passengers and crew were kept on the vessel not be able to access their passports. Reportedly, the issue was related to the starboard main diesel engine.
The engine issues reoccurred on March 18 at sea - off Namibia's coast. As a result, the planned port call at Luderitz was cancelled and the port stays in Walvis Bay and Luanda were prolonged due to repairs. On April 4 (~3:30 am), while the liner was navigating along West Africa's coast (near Freetown, Sierra Leone), both engines failed. The ship drifted for ~2 hours then continued at reduced speed with only one of the engines working.
On April 11, while en-route from Agadir to Casablanca, the ship partially lost power again, losing one of the engines. As compensation, the cruise company Voyages to Antiquity (shipowner) fully refunded all passengers.
The accident occurred during the 28-day repositioning cruise (itinerary March 16 - April 13) from Cape Town to Malaga Spain, with call ports Luderitz (Namibia), Luanda (Angola), Santo Antonio (Principe), Praia Santiago, Cape Verde), Santa Cruz de la Palma (Canaries) and Morocco (Agadir, Casablanca, Tangier).
Following these issues, Voyages to Antiquity cancelled ten pre-scheduled cruises to allow the vessel to enter drydock for engine repairs. Next, are listed the cancelled voyages as departure dates (themes).
Grand Voyages (B2Bs/back-to-back cruises) that combine itinerary segments of the cancelled voyages were also affected. All affected bookings received full refunds (of the payments made). Following the drydock period, the cruise vessel was scheduled to re-enter service on September 7, 2019, with an itinerary from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Venice.
Follows the long comment on the accident sent to CruiseMapper by Leonard Schwartz.
About 340 passengers were onboard the Voyages to Antiquity (VTA) cruise from Malaga, Spain to Piraeus, Greece from 13 April to 24 April. The ship, called the Aegean Odyssey, is a 47-year-old 12,000 ton converted ferry and is the only ship of the VTA line. This cruise was seriously compromised by the weakness and eventually total failure of the starboard (right) engine. The status of the starboard engine was known to VTA before the start of the cruise since the previous repositioning cruise from South Africa to Malaga missed many or most of the scheduled ports because of engine failure. We were told, by several of the continuing passengers that they had been promised a full refund of the cruise fare for the repositioning cruise. I do not know if such payments were received.
The last half of Spain to Greece journey was affected by engine failure. The speed of the ship appeared to be limited to about 5 knots, instead of the 14 to 16 knots for which an undamaged ship of that class is capable. The ship left Malta about 2 hours earlier than scheduled and ultimately docked in Chania, Crete about 5:30 p.m. which was more than 8 hours later than scheduled. A tug boat was lashed to the starboard side of the ship to aid the docking in Chania, by replacing the inoperable starboard engine.
The following cruise leg to Heraklion did not take place. Instead, the ship remained in Chania for about 30 hours. The passengers were bussed to Heraklion instead, spending about 5 hours on rather cramped buses for the round trip journey. Shortly thereafter it was announced that the day-long scheduled stop on the island of Santorini would not take place and that the ship would instead go directly to Piraeus. Santorini is the most famous and popular of the Greek islands and was arguably the high point of the entire cruise.
A previously announced talk by two academic lecturers appeared to have been replaced by a question and answer session about the cruise interruption. The discussion was already in progress when I entered the auditorium. Most of the audience was surprised and upset. At least two of the passengers were filming the discussion on their mobile phones. A man wearing captain's strips was answering questions. When asked about the previous history of the ship and the cruise, he said that he had only been the captain for two days and could not answer such questions. He was asked why the Santorini visit had been cancelled and he replied that it was due to rough seas. A passenger commented that, at that very moment, 8 to 10 cruise ships were in Santorini and obviously were able to load or unload passengers there. He repeated that safety was the issue. We were within about 50 miles from Santorini at the time and the sun was shining and the sea was calm. He was then asked whether the starboard engine was currently working and he did not answer. It was clear of course that it was not working because no propeller wake was visible. He was asked if some compensation would be forthcoming and said yes, but that it was not his department. He then left and the meeting broke up into groups of passengers discussing the situation. The cruise director, called Allison, then went around to each discussion group and shooed them away by saying that they were being very rude, presumably because the academic lecturers were waiting to speak. Later that day I asked for a list of passenger contact information at the main desk of the ship and my request was refused.
I believe a class action claim against VTA is warranted. I would be pleased to receive contact information from other passengers who share my belief. I hope it will be possible to use the internet to form a significant group of passengers who were on the cruise.
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