July 10, 2001
For the second time this year (on these shores, anyway), a U.S. government agency has grounded a ship in a U.S. port for failing an inspection. Following NCL’s Norway, which was recently given a “no sail” for safety violations, the lesser known MTS Arcadia, the first ship in a while to sail a full season on the Great Lakes, was found non-compliant by the Centers for Disease Control and Sanitation’s Vessel Sanitation Program. The VSP officials, which had, two months ago, checked out the Greek-based ship before it even made the transatlantic trek west -- and had found a sizable number of problems -- reinspected the ship in June in a U.S. port. At that time, the Arcadia scored a truly frightening 59 (86 is passing) and the CDC recommended the ship halt voyages until it was cleaned up. Instead, it continued to sail -- and as a result the CDC took the relatively unprecedented move of “beaching” the ship when it returned, forbidding it to take on any more passengers until the problems were resolved. The 224-passenger ship was, last weekend, re-inspected and -- and it (finally) passed --but charter operators have halted sailings and filed for bankruptcy. The ship remains at dock at Sault Ste. Marie, Canada. Great Lakes Cruise Inc. of Waukesha, WI, should not be confused with the Great Lakes Cruise Company of Ann Arbor, MI, which is offering assistance to passengers that were booked on the MTS Arcadia for a Great Lakes cruise.