Discovery Cruise Lines is to suspend all operations for an indefinite period in order to drydock their ship, the 44-year-old Discovery Sun (1968/11,979gt), on 7 September. She has been operating day cruises from Port Everglades to the Bahamas for 18 years and has carried an average of 200,000 passengers a year.
The company said that, while the ship is in safe operational order and complies with all United States Coast Guard and SOLAS requirements, she requires extensive dry-docking and refurbishment, and the timetable for the ship’s return to operation will be announced once additional inspections are carried out on the ship at Freeport. Discovery Cruise Lines has been losing money for several years, and industry observers believe this is the end of the line for the ship.
Discovery Sun was built as Freeport jointly for United Freight Corporation and the Bahamas Development Corporation for a cruise-ferry service between Miami and Freeport. She was subsequently regularly shifted back and forth between the Bahamas and the Baltic until 1994.