Tuesday 10 December 2019

A cruise that we are glad that we didn't go on!

When we booked our recent cruise to the Atlantic Islands (i.e. Madeira and the Canary Islands), we had a choice of two ... and chose to go from 17th to 29th November aboard P&O's MV Ventura ... and we are mighty glad that we did!

The ship set out to repeat the trip on 1st December, but two days ago, just after she had left Santa Cruz de Tenerife, she suffered a total loss of her main diesel-electric propulsion system. The ship began to drift towards the northeast of the island of Tenerife, and once it became obvious that the electric engines needed to be repaired in port, two tugs were summoned, and she was towed back into port ... backwards.

According to an announcement made by the ship’s captain that has been repeated on social media, the problem was caused by condensation which had got into the electrical system and which - in turn - had caused the electric part of the propulsion systems to fail. The ship was still able to manoeuvre using her thrusters, and the rest of the ship's systems (e.g. heating, lighting, air conditioning) were still able to function normally as the diesel engines and dynamos were unaffected.

From the news that has been released, the necessary repairs are ongoing, and for the moment Ventura is not likely to leave Santa Cruz for some time, although it is hoped that the repairs will be completed by tomorrow. When she does finally leave port, she will sail directly back to Southampton, where it is hoped that she will dock in a week's time ... four days later than planned.

P&O have had to cancel the ship's next cruise (a short, four-day cruise) and have offered to fly passengers home from Tenerife. They are also putting together a compensation package for the passengers who were on the cruise and for those whose cruise has been cancelled.

Had we been on this cruise, I think that we would have stayed aboard and enjoyed the four extra days of holiday ... but it would have disrupted our Christmas preparations somewhat, so we are glad that we weren't.

This is not the first time that Ventura has experienced a loss of propulsion.

At approximately 6.15pm on 25th October 2014, whilst off the southern end of Tenerife, the ship experienced a fault with two of its six diesel engines and lost power. (When at sea, the ships rarely have all their diesel engines running at the same time. They only run enough engines to supply the power necessary to meet the needs of the ship's systems, including the propulsion system.) After about forty minutes, the engines were re-started, and power was restored.


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