The company confirms that a cruise due to leave for Iceland on July 14 and a second headed for the Baltic on July 28 have both been cancelled. The eight-night Fjordland Adventure, scheduled for August 11, will depart as normal.
The 9,570-ton ship, which is on a cruise to the North Cape at the moment and due back in Dover on Wednesday, July 14, hasn't broken down as such, but has developed a fault in one of its two engines. This means its top speed is reduced. Engineers have been flown out to inspect the vessel and a replacement part already found for the engine.
"We could have repaired the engine at Sea but Robin Shaw, our chief executive, took decisive action to take the ship out of service, fix it, and do some sea trials to make sure everything was perfect," Spirit of Adventure spokesman Carl Catterall told Cruise Critic today. "We all really want the product to work."
The ship will go into dry dock, although Catterall is unable to confirm at which shipyard at this stage.
All passengers affected by the two cancellations have been contacted and either offered a refund, an alternative cruise on Spirit of Adventure or a cruise on either Saga Pearl II or Saga Ruby, operated by over-50's-focused Saga Cruises, which shares a parent company, Acromas Holdings, with Spirit of Adventure.
Those who don't meet the age criteria for Saga (minimum 50, or 40 for partners) are sticking with Spirit of Adventure, Catterall says; the minimum age on Spirit is 21.
The ship last made headlines almost exactly a year ago when a small amount of oil was accidentally spilled in Norway's Geiranger Fjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
--by Sue Bryant, Cruise Critic Contributing Editor