Spanish cruise line Pullmantur’s Atlantic Star, now docked in Marseille, France, will not leave the port until at least January 1, 2010. Originally built as FairSky for Sitmar Cruises in 1984, she became the Sky Princess after Sitmar was bought by Princess Cruises in 1988. She left the Princess fleet to become the Pacific Sky of P&O Australia from 2000-2006. Then she was transfered to Pullmantur Cruises in 2006. After a short lay-up in Greece between April 2009 and March 2009, she was renamed Atlantic Star to sail exclusively for Portugal. Spain’s recession, with 18% unemployment, made this venture a tough one from the start. This is most likely what led to the decision to lay her up.
This should come as a welcome to what many consider “the unluckiest ship in the world.” Here is her history and decide for yourself:
- January 2002 -A passenger died after contracting meningococcal disease
- September 23, 2002 – A 42 year-old Australian mother of three, died apparently of an overdose of a date-rape drug. See more HERE
- January 2005 – Pacific Sky was due to begin a scheduled cruise off the Indian coast, but could not sail after a swarm of jellyfish blocked a cooling water intake. The engines had automatically shut down, leaving the vessel stuck fast at its Brisbane River berth. The shutdown also triggered the automatic dumping of vast quantities of distilled water used by the ship’s boilers – and a fresh supply had to be trucked.
- January 8, 2005 – A 24-year-old man jumped overboard.
- April 01, 2005 – P&O Cruises was forced to cancel another two Pacific Sky cruises to allow extended work on the ship’s troublesome starboard gearbox. P&O Cruises said the two-month layoff would lead to the cancellation of five cruises but was confident problems would have been fixed in time for its scheduled June 4 cruise. This propulsion problem was a common occurrence with her dating back to her days with Princess.
- August 23, 2005 – A man jumped overboard after an intoxicated argument with his wife.
- March 07, 2006 – Hundreds of passengers on a seven night cruise were left stranded for about 30 hours after the vessel broke down in the Malacca Strait near Singapore.
- March 07, 2006 – About five hours after the previous incident in Singapore, the ship experienced problems with its starboard engine and came to a halt with more than 1300 passengers on board. Crew tried to fix the problem but were unsuccessful.
- June 25, 2006 – Claims were made by a woman that she “was the victim of drink-spiking aboard the … cruise ship.”
- January 18, 2007 – Early in the morning, the Sky Wonder with 1600 passengers ran aground on a sandbar in Argentina.
- March 25, 2008 – Sky Wonder once again ran aground in Turkey. One of the tugs in attendance malfunctioned, and subsequently control was lost, allowing the vessel to drift towards the shore. The local tugs were unable to move her. Help arrived the next day in the form of two similar tugs, however, these too proved insufficient. Finally the next day she was rescued from the sandbar.