MSC Opera (2004/58,600gt) suffered a complete power failure due to a malfunctioning electrical panel on 14 May when she was about six miles from Visby on the Baltic island of Gotland. She was on the homeward leg of a ten-day round-trip sailing from Southampton, the first of 13 cruises planned by MSC between May and September aimed at the British and Dutch markets. She was carrying 1,716 passengers, 400 of whom were British, and had already called at Amsterdam, Stockholm, Helsinki and St Petersburg.
The ship was left drifting without lighting, water and working toilets for nearly 24 hours. Tugs towed the vessel to the Swedish port of Nynashamn, near Stockholm, where all the passengers were disembarked and flown home. MSC Opera was subsequently towed to Gdynia for repairs and returned to service on 27 May, having cancelled her next cruise.
This is the third in a string of similar problems on cruise ships. On 16 April a generator fire left Ocean Star Pacific (1971/23,149gt) drifting off Mexico’s west coast. On 8 November 2010 Carnival Splendor (2008/112,000gt) was similarly disabled for three days while on a Mexican Riviera cruise with 3,300 passengers. She was subsequently repaired in San Diego.