Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Update on Zenith Fire

Royal Caribbean's Spanish brand, Pullmantur, reports that m/v Zenith safely docked in Marghera, Italy (near Venice) yesterday (June 25) and as of 7:08am this morning (June 26, local time in Madrid) all 1,672 passengers have been repatriated to Spain when the last of the charter flights from Italy landed in Madrid.

Zenith experienced an engine room fire on June 25 at 3:48am while in the Lagoon of Venice. The ship initially anchored 17 nautical miles south of Venice Harbor. The line said the fire was quickly extinguished, but as a precaution passengers and crew members were mustered on open decks. One engine was disabled, and the vessel was towed to Marghera.

In addition to the cruise line, Pullmantur also operates charter air packages to resorts in various locales in Europe and the Caribbean with a fleet of their own charter aircraft. The company immediately sent six of their aircraft to Venice to return passengers to Spain when the ship arrived at Marghera. Pullmantur CEO Gonzalo Chico Barbier traveled to Marghera to personally meet with passengers and crew and offer his support. A special Passenger Service Team was also dispatched from Spain to assist passengers with any needs they had.

Pullmantur said they will begin issuing full refunds to passengers on June 27. The company will also refund all passengers' travel costs. Passengers will also receive a 25% discount on a future cruise.

The company is still assessing damage and repair possibilities. The ship is currently in the Port of Marghera where Fincantieri has a shipyard. 

Zenith was on a Mediterranean itinerary, sailing from Ravenna to Venice, when the incident occurred.

The 47,000-gross ton Zenith was originally constructed for Celebrity Cruises in 1992. It was transferred to the Pullmantur brand in 2007, and it is scheduled to be transferred next year to RCCL’s French brand, CDF. All of the brands are owned by Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.