Ready for more adventures ... alongside in Avonmouth Docks 16th November 2020 ... photo courtesy of David Trevor-Jones 

Welcome to our MARCO POLO updates ... as the ship sails south to a new role in Dubai ... 

... 25th November 2020 ... 

Marco Polo passes Lisbon ... and Vasco da Gama ...   as MP passed Lisbon southbound towards Dubai, the ship also passed VdG which arrived in Lisbon today to start her new future. Regarding MP's new future, I'll wait for more information - meanwhile, I'll suspend these updates ... 

...  ...

For members of the wider Marco Polo enthusiast community ... I've done what I can to promote the positive potential for the ship under new owners Highseas Ltd.  ... I've no further "inside" information at present - so we await an official statement from the new owners ...

... 23rd November 2020 ... 

So near ~ yet so far ... As Marco Polo enters the Bay of Biscay this morning - look who is about 18 hours ahead! Also travelling southbound through the bay at around 11 knots is former CMV "fleet-mate" Vasco da Gama (entered service for Holland America Line 1993 / gross tonnage 55,451 / length 219m) ... VdG is on her way to a new adventure in Lisbon - we wish her well ,,, 

... 22nd November 2020 ... 

Marco Polo departs Falmouth ... Marco Polo took on bunkers in Falmouth anchorage this today 08.00-19.00 from tanker Desert Oak (built 2008 / gross tonnage 8,505 / length 128m) photographed here by Mark Rowles in Weymouth Bay, March 2020.

Desert Oak cast-off at 20.05 … the pilot guided her safely out of the anchorage before returning to pilot Marco Polo … after weighing anchor, Marco Polo set a southerly course out of Falmouth Bay, dropping the pilot at 20.50 ... 

... 22nd November 2020 ... 

Marco Polo at anchor - Falmouth ... Marco Polo early this morning awaiting her bunkering operation ...

Lovely image take by Ben Turner Photography, Falmouth ... 

... 21st November 2020 ... 

Marco Polo at Falmouth ...   arrived Falmouth this morning just after 8 o'clock under the guidance of a local pilot and anchored to take on bunkers for the voyage ... thanks to Geoff Hoather (TSS/Falmouth) for the photo ... currently scheduled to depart at midday tomorrow for Dubai ...  

... Suspicious Minds ... & Rumours ...

For members of the wider Marco Polo enthusiast community ... the new owners Highseas Ltd. assure me they are focussed on extending her working life and remain hopeful that I'll  be in a position to provide further updates via https://www.shipsdorset.org/resources/c6jz7  ... until now I have been working from informal conversations with a company representative. I am continuing to encourage the new owners to issue an "official" update that the Marco Polo community can rely on ... meanwhile the very real risks of whispers and misplaced comment about her future remains ... we will try to keep the faith while we wait to learn more ...

... 19th November 2020 ... 

Marco Polo departs Bristol ...   In the lock at 22.00 ... bound for Falmouth to take on bunkers for the voyage ... thanks to Bristol Ports for the photo ...

... 19th November 2020 ... 

Marco Polo is "Shipshape and Bristol fashion" ...   Ready alongside S Berth at Avonmouth for the pilot to board at 21.30 this evening .... Two tugs standing by to assist - Svitzer Moira on the Bow - with Svitzer Hawk  on the Stern. The weather doesn't look too inviting with seas in the Celtic Sea and Lands End areas forecast moderate to rough with winds up to Force 7. We wish her a safe voyage and look forward to regular updates of her progress ... 

... 18th November 2020 ... 

Marco Polo ETD ...   The Bristol Port Company have confirmed my earlier reports and now have the Marco Polo listed as departing Berth S in the Avonmouth Docks at 21.00 on Thursday 19th November and leaving on the late evening tide tomorrow ... the new adventure is about to commence ... 

... 18th November 2020 ... 

Marco Polo has been "released" by the MCA. ...   After a couple of days of thorough working with the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, Survey & Inspection officers - today the ship has received it's Notice of Release. With Det Norske Veritas classification society inspectorate also aboad - everything is now coming together allowing the ship to set out on her new venture. I enjoyed a 25 minute conversation with Ben yesterday evening - he was understandably very tired having had to juggle so many crewing and administrative matters - but its all now coming together for new owners Highseas. 

... 17th November 2020 ... 

Marco Polo sea trials awaited ... owner, captain, surveyors and inspectors worked late last night continuing to fill-in all necessary paperwork to the satisfaction of insurers and maritime authorities. Meanwhile, how do the new owners of Marco Polo and the ~Ships~Dorset~ site administrator know each other?

... owner circled left ... our site administrator circled right ...

Photo (before I messed about with it) courtesy of fellow navigating cadet Mike Line. Warsash School of Navigation's sail training vessel "Halcyon" moored inside Cherbourg harbour, 1971. 

... 16th November 2020 ... 

At the invitation of Marco Polo's new owners, our ~Ships~Dorset~ correspondent was able to visit the ship in Avonmouth today and we look forward to news and pictures soon ...  

... 16th November 2020 ... 

Much loved cruise ship Marco Polo has currently dodged the breakers yard and there is every reason to be hopeful about a trading future. The new owners are Highseas Ltd and in the midst of a hectic handover period in Avonmouth, Highseas' director Ben found a few minutes to speak with ~Ships~Dorset~’s Steve Pink. The new owners are planning sea trials on week commencing 16th November prior to sailing south, bound for Dubai. There, the ship is to be operated by a Joint Venture Partner as an accommodation ship pending recovery of the cruise market. The new owners are retaining her name and registry as well as maintaining her in class as a passenger ship. There is plenty of encouragement, given the high level of interest in the ship, supporting an expectation that her value will appreciate post-Covid due to the numbers of ships being scrapped in 2020. 

 

~Ships~Dorset~ will endeavour to bring you further updates, insights and images as Marco Polo sets out on a new adventure ~~

~ ~ www.shipsdorset.org/resources/c6jz7 ~ ~ https://www.facebook.com/groups/793594508125618 ~ ~ info@shipsdorset.org ~ ~