Attempts to tow away the former CMV cruise ship Astoria from the Thames were made on 23 November 2020. She initially set off at 0700 from Tower Wharf, Northfleet, under tow by the tug Brent, with SD Dolphin, RT Ambition and Svitzer Vidar in attendance.
A previous attempt to tow the cruise ship away, involving the tug Monte De Luz, was made, but the tug was having difficulties and so returned to Gravesend, with Astoria, because of safety concerns.
However, this second attempt also had to be abandoned and Astoria, with her tugs, was forced to return to Tower Wharf after she started listing to port. She had not got very far when she was forced to turn round. It is believed that she was to be taken to Portugal.
The cruise ship has been laid up in Tilbury Docks since spring 2020 following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic which caused the Astoria’s operators CMV to go into administration.
The ship avoided further detention because she was chartered, and not owned by CMV, and now Nina SpA have reclaimed their cruise ship.
Astoria was launched in 1947 and is one of the oldest passenger liners still sailing. In July 1956, under her previous name, Stockholm, she was involved in a fatal collision that caused the sinking of the Andrea Doria off the coast of Nantucket.
Photo and report by Fraser Grey show Astoria departing in the early morning, and then returning.