Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Maxim Gorki Arrives Off Alang India for Scrapping

It is with a saddened heart, that I report the Maxim Gorki has arrived in Alang, India. Earlier reports which stated the ship was still anchored off Egypt, appear to be false. There were rumours that due to the lack of demand for steel, the ship breakers in Alang, were no longer buying ships and that the Maxim Gorki would probably not be sold to scrappers. This does not appear to be the case.

There have been several attempts by private investors to bring the ship back to Germany as a tourist center, hotel and museum, but it appears that it may be too late.

Reports state that the ship was originally slated to be intentionally beached on February 24th. for the scrapping process to commence, but due to tidal conditions, the beaching has now been delayed until February 26th.
The Maxim Gorki, with her unique funnel design, originally entered service in 1969 as the Hamburg for German Atlantic Line. Deemed the "Space Ship" for her large cabins and vast passenger space, life under German ownership was short. In 1974, she was sold to the Black Sea Shipping Company/Scomflot and sailed from New York on economical cruises to the Caribbean. In her life, she was damaged by a bomb, was star of the film "Juggernaut" and actually struck an iceberg on a North Cape Cruise and began sinking. She was later repaired and was deloyed on worldwide cruises under charter to Germany's Phoenix Seereisen. She sailed for Phoenix until November 2008.
Her Russian owners had found further employment for the ship. A new cruise operator, in Florida was formed, which intended to re-introduce the Orient Lines brand name and market the Maxim Gorki under the name Marco Polo II. The Marco Polo II was to undergo a brief refit which would update furnishings and complete the final touches on making the ship SOLAS 2010 compliant. Due to the slump in the economy, Orient Lines ceased operation, before sailing their first cruise. The refit never took place.
The following message appeared on their website: " November 19, 2008 - Orient Lines has announced that due to the current world economic climate, it shall delay the launch of its cruises currently scheduled to commence in April 2009."
With her fuel hungry steam engines, lack of immediate employment and a reduced interest in cruising, the Maxim Gorki made her way to the breakers on January 28, 2009, after a short lay-up in Piraeus.
The number of classic ship is quickly dwindling and with the slump in the economy, any older ship which is laid-up, will probably go to breakers quickly.
Her futuristic design hides her age -at 40 years old - shes definitely does not look her age. I hope that the Maxim Gorki finds a last minute reprieve from the breaker's torch and will continue to sail but I am not aware of any ship to date, which arrived at Alang and at the 11th hour had her fate changed. Let's hope this is the first.

1 comment:

  1. I have seen this movie "juggernaut"... I love this movie because of this ship. Why she???