Middle East Cruise News

Dubai-bound La Belle des Oceans cancels cruises after striking an uncharted rock

The luxury river and expedition cruising line CroisiEurope has canceled upcoming cruises aboard its ocean-going cruise yacht La Belle des Oceans after it struck an uncharted rock near Phi Phi Island.

At the time of writing, La Belle des Oceans was in Phuket undergoing repairs to her hull. It’s unknown whether her planned January, 2020 departure from the UAE will be affected by the accident, which caused the ship to develop a pronounced list to port.

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According to local news reports, the Royal Thai Navy was called to assist the ship after it struck the rock. Some 150 passengers and crew were on-board at the time, and although it was the final night of a voyage around Southeast Asia, all 77 passengers were given hotel accommodation in Phuket.

“Following [Sunday’s] incident, the crew made sure the safety of the passengers was carried out under the required safety regulations and it all went smoothly,” the cruise line said in a statement. “The passengers were not affected.”

“After a few hours without moving, the ship was able to carry on cruising to Phuket and disembark the 77 passengers on board,” the statement added. “The [disembarkation] went perfectly smoothly, under the best possible conditions and the situation is under control.”

CroisiEurope will be offering compensation for passengers, though it has not confirmed what this will be yet.

This is the second time this month that a cruise ship has ran aground, with Celebrity Xpedition running around in the Galapagos Islands with 46 passengers onboard on November 5th.

The pool deck aboard the cruising yacht Le Belle Des Oceans

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CroisiEurope acquired the 120-passenger ship earlier this year, which most recently sailed as the Silver Discoverer.

The 1989-built vessel is also the former Clipper Odyssey, Oceanic Odyssey and Oceanic Grace.

She is due to sail a 9-night cruise from the UAE to Oman in January next year, visiting Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Khasab, Muscat and Sur as she meanders through the Arabian Gulf and Sea of Oman.

It will be La Belle des Oceans first visit to the UAE after she was acquired in October 2019, joining La Belle de l’Adriatique in CroisiEurope’s ocean fleet.

She is one of two luxury cruising yachts using Dubai as a turnaround port during the current cruise season, Crystal Cruises’ ship Crystal Esprit is homeporting in Dubai for a series of cruises in the Arabian Gulf during late 2019 and early 2020.

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