Nippon Maru current position
Nippon Maru current location is at East Asia (coordinates 33.91813 N / 134.86048 E) cruising at speed of 17.5 kn (32 km/h | 20 mph) en route to >JP YOK OS. The AIS position was reported 3 minutes ago.Current Position
Specifications of Nippon Maru
|Year of build||1990 / Age: 33|
|Builder||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Kobe, Japan)|
|Ferry route / homeports||Kobe (Japan)|
|Speed||18 kn / 33 km/h / 21 mph|
|Length (LOA)||167 m / 548 ft|
|Beam (width)||24 m / 79 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||22472 gt|
|Passengers||398 - 607|
|Owner||Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd (MOL) via Nippon Maru Co Ltd|
|Operator||Mitsui OSK Passenger Line Ltd (MOPAS)|
Nippon Maru Review
Review of Nippon Maru
The 1990-built MS Nippon Maru cruise ship was constructed in Japan (by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Kobe) and delivered to Mitsui OSK in September 1990.
The vessel (IMO number 8817631) is currently Japan-flagged (MMSI 431302000) and registered in Tokyo. Besides Nippon Maru, Japan-flagged cruise ships are also Asuka 2 (NYK Line) and Pacific Venus (Venus Cruise Line).
NEWS (tag 11171): In November 2022, Takeshi Hashimoto (Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd's President and CEO) announced that the company is considering an investment of USD 710 million in two newbuild cruise ships, with the option of two more units of the same class/sisterships. Eventually, Nippon Maru will be retired/scrapped.
History - construction and ownership
The vessel's keel-laying ceremony was held in October 1989 at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) shipyard in Kobe-Osaka, Japan. Construction was started as hull number 1188. The liner was launched on March 8, 1990, and delivered to the Tokyo-based Mitsui OSK on September 22. The inaugural cruise started on September 27 from Kobe to Keelung-Taipei (Taiwan) and Hong Kong (China).
The vessel is operated by Mitsui OSK Passenger Line, which is a subsidiary of MOL/Mitsui OSK Lines - one of the world's largest container shipping companies. The shipowner MOL (1884-founded) is a Japanese transportation company headquartered in Tokyo. MOL itself is part of Mitsui Group (interlocking companies in Japan).
MOL's current fleet includes boxships/container carriers, general cargo ships (bulk carriers, LNG carriers, tankers), ro-ro ships (also ferries) and two MOPAS-operated cruise ships - Nippon Maru and Seabourn Odyssey (2009-built/2023-acquired).
MOL Group also plans to order two new cruise ships designed with max passenger capacity of ~600.
During the ship's 2008 drydock refurbishment, Nippon Maru's hull was painted black. Mitsui OSK's other liner - Fuji Maru (1988-built) was decommissioned in December 2013.
Shipboard dining and entertainment options
Shipboard facilities include Main Dining Room Restaurant (complimentary), Sushi Bar (a la carte restaurant for fresh fish supplied from local markets), Horizon Bar Lounge, Cafe and Library, Mermaid Theater (show lounge for live performances), Lido Terrace (indoor lounge on Lido Deck), Sun Deck with Swimming Pool, Wellness complex (Spa, Hair Salon, Gym, Sauna, treatment rooms for massages, indoor bath with sea views). The ship has Card Room and no Casino (forbidden by Japanese law).
Mitsui OSK cruise ticket prices range between USD 400-500 per person per night. Deals are in the luxury travel category and are all-Inclusive (excluding only alcohol). Almost all MOL cruise customers are Japanese. Onboard cuisine is traditional Japanese plus Western specialties.
Previously operated only in East Asia, in 2001, the ship offered its first around-the-world cruise. Nippon Maru itinerary program ranges from casual short breaks (overnight roundtrips) to voyages around Japan and Southeast Asia.
Mitsui OSK's "One Night Cruise" program is based on three themes, all of which are elaborately planned, offering a relaxed travel atmosphere and greatly expanding Japan's homeport cruising market.
In 2017 was introduced the "Tonde" fly-cruise around Kyushu Island (Japan's 3rd largest). The itinerary visited all Kyushu Island prefectures (Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Oita, Saga, Kagoshima, Miyazaki, Okinawa) in a single voyage. The roundtrip from Hakata-Fukuoka City visited Beppu, Miyazaki City, Kagoshima, Tokunoshima, Misumi, Karatsu. The themed cruise became highly popular as it combines cruising with traveling on trains and airplanes. Shipboard dining options included food specialties from each of Kyushu's prefectures.
In 2018, Nippon Maru offered 1- to 8-day cruises in Japan exclusively. During spring, the ship sailed to Okinawa Islands and Taiwan. The fly-cruise program included domestic and international flights to and from major cities. MOL Cruises plans itineraries combining international and domestic voyages, themed local events and festivities. Longer itineraries will also visit the USA's overseas territories Saipan Island Marianas and Guam Island (Micronesia). Mitsui OSK also considers adding one or two Southeast Asian cities as alternative homeports.
- MS Nippon Maru currently visits ~150 different Japanese seaports.
- The annual "Grand Cruise" is around Japan.
- "Island Cruise" itineraries visit two UNESCO sites - Ogasawara/Bonin Islands and Yakushima Island.
- "Fly and Cruise" itineraries also visit Hokkaido Island (Shiretoko Peninsula, Otaru/Sapporo, Rebun Island), Okinawa Island, Taiwan (Keelung).
- Asian-themed voyages include "Taiwan Grand Cruise" (visiting Keelung-Taipei City, Kaohsiung, Hualien) and "Gourmet Cruise" (to Hong Kong, Keelung, Kaohsiung).
- "South Pacific Islands Cruise" itineraries from Kobe visit Yokohama, Guam Island (USA), Tahiti Island (French Polynesia), Hawaii (USA).
Due to the Coronavirus crisis, in 2020 the Nippon Maru ship suspended all Mitsui OSK Line cruises scheduled for the period March-November. The revised program (mainly Japanese coastal voyages) between November 2020 and August 2021 included a total of 37 departures. The vessel's passenger capacity (398 lower berths) was limited to 40-60%. A total of 20 cabins were allocated for onboard quarantine purposes.
Nippon Maru - user reviews and comments
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Nippon Maru ship related cruise news
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International cruise shipping restarts in Japan after ~3-year COVID-related pause
International cruise shipping restarted in Japan on Thursday, December 15th, after an almost 3-year suspension due to the COVID crisis. Operations...December 17, 2022
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Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines to launch 2 new cruise ships
Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL/containership company) announced it is looking to diversify into the cruising business. The company's Board of...November 28, 2022
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Cruise ships are back in Japan with COVID safety measures
Japan's cruise business is getting back on track as ships gradually resume sailings with COVID safety measures in place after canceled voyages due to...November 16, 2021
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Japan cruise ships resume domestic services
Japanese cruise ships are resuming domestic operations following long service suspensions caused by the pandemic. The Nippon Maru ship operated by...October 26, 2020
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Japan opens new Tokyo International Cruise Terminal
Tokyo International Cruise Terminal was officially opened on September 10, welcoming as its first cruise ship Nippon Maru (owned by Mitsui OSK...September 21, 2020
Alcohol Detected from Nippon Maru's Captain After Collision
The captain of the Japanese cruise ship Nippon Maru that hit a pier in Guam in December was found to have an alcohol level exceeding the legal limit...January 9, 2019
Nippon Maru Collides with US Navy Fuel Pier at Apra Harbor
The japanese cruise liner Nippon Maru collided with Delta Pier Sunday night, December 30, resulting in damage to the pier and the vessel, Guam Port...December 31, 2018
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Nippon Maru Wiki
Ship's powerplant is based on two Mitsubishi marine diesel engines (model 8UEC52LA) with combined power output 15,7 MW. The propulsion system (hybrid contra-rotating) includes bow thruster and two controllable pitch propellers (1x forward CPC plus 1x aft propeller / Kamome rudder). The propulsion employs one conventional CPC (fore-located, driven by the main engine) with a motor-driven "rudder propeller" (aft-located).
In addition to its Japanese officers and key service staff, 130 Filipino crew also work on the ship. The shipowner MOL was founded in 1884. MOL's passenger shipping services started in 1908, with Transpacific crossings between Japan and Central-South America. In 1939 were launched two newbuild ocean liners - Argentina Maru and Brazil Maru. Mitsui OSK Passenger Line was founded in 1970.
On December 13, 2018, in an official ceremony, Mitsui OSK Passenger Line was awarded for its "Nippon Maru One Night Cruise". This program offered 3 themed voyages in 2018:
- (September 21-22) "Yokohama-Kobe Bread Festival Cruise" with various fresh-baked bread
- (October 22-23) "Autumn Setonaikai Inland Sea" with food specialties from 9 prefectures in the Seto Inland Sea (Setonaikai) and special breakfasts showcasing local delicacies from each prefecture
- (December 25-26) "Kobe-Yokohama C to Sea Cruise" with various themed onboard events
"The Cruise of the Year" award recognized MOL Group for its contribution to Japan's cruising industry by developing new products and enhancing services. The annual award is issued by "Japan Oceangoing Passenger Ship Association" and "Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism", and sponsored by "Japan Tourism Agency" and "Japan Association of Travel Agents".
Nippon Maru ship refurbishments review
On July 12, 2019, the shipowner MOL announced a scheduled drydock refurbishment of Nippon Maru.
The February-April 2020 drydocking project resulted in the following deckplan changes:
New bow-facing family cabins with large (non-opening, floor-to-ceiling) slanted windows were added forward on decks 4 and 5. Most of these staterooms (Ocean View Suites) are Triple (max capacity 3 people) and some are for families and groups (accommodating max 6 people).
Neptune Bar was relocated to Horizon Lounge (forward on Deck 7).
The Wi-Fi coverage was upgraded to shipwide - except only the Dolphin Hall.
Some of the interior spaces and all passenger staterooms received new carpeting.
The vessel's main machinery equipment was upgraded - including the old engines running on HDDDEO (Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Oil) were replaced with new engines running on LSFO (low-sulfur marine fuel oil). The works also included hull cleaning and repainting.
Nippon Maru's last major refit was in 2010 when more passenger staterooms were added to Deck 6, along with the venues Horizon Lounge (bow-facing/forward Bar Lounge on Deck 7) and the wellness complex "Spa and Salon". During drydock 2010, the hull was also repainted with MOL's new livery (royal blue color) and round-shaped porthole windows were installed.