Cruise Ship

Ambience

Incident Type

Structural and Technical Issues (Drydock Extension)

Date of Accident

December 2023

Location of Accident

Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven GmbH, Germany

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Introduction

In December 2023, MS Ambience of Ambassador Cruise Line faced significant structural and technical issues, leading to an extended period in drydock. Initially scheduled for drydocking from November 18 through December 10, inspections revealed the need for emergency repairs to the ship’s propulsion system, specifically both propeller shafts and their stern bearings. The discovery of these issues and subsequent repair work led to the cancellation of several voyages and schedule adjustments.

Details of the Incident

The damage to MS Ambience’s propulsion system, including metal grinding on the propeller shafts, posed risks of oil leaks and pollution. The propeller shafts, each 20 meters long and weighing over 30 tons, were sent to a Danish company specializing in metal repairs. The drydocking, conducted by Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven GmbH in Germany, required more time than initially planned, affecting the cruise ship’s schedule for the remainder of 2023.

As a result of the prolonged repairs, four voyages scheduled for December were canceled. To manage the impact on passengers, Ambassador Cruise Line switched bookings from MS Ambience to MS Ambition. The company reported over 6,600 bookings for MS Ambience’s December voyages, in contrast to around 800 for MS Ambition’s 38-day Caribbean journey.

Operational Context

The canceled or rescheduled voyages included:

December 10: 5-day “German Christmas Markets” roundtrip from Tilbury-London to Hamburg and Amsterdam.
December 17: 4-day “Festive Market Getaway” roundtrip from Tilbury-London to Amsterdam and Zeebrugge/Bruges.
December 21: 16-day “Christmas New Year Voyage” to the Canary Islands roundtrip from Tilbury-London.
December 22: 16-day “Christmas New Year Voyage” roundtrip from Rotterdam.
MS Ambience was rescheduled to resume operations with the “Grand Around the World Cruise 2024” on January 6, 2024.

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