A temporary goodbye to cruise but hopefully not for long at Bristol Port

Monday, March 8, 2021 - 14:53 by bristol

It was an emotional goodbye back in November as MS Marco Polo finally set sail from Avonmouth Dock after 8 months of laying up on S berth, awaiting her fate due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sadly Cruise and Maritime Voyages went into administration in July, but after a period of uncertainty in which some feared the scrap yard for the 55-year-old vessel, she was sold at auction for $2,7M to UAE company, Highseas Ltd.

Built in 1965 for the Soviet Union’s Baltic shipping line, she was modified into a cruiser in 1993 and became regarded as one of the star ships in the CMV fleet, popular with holidaymakers and at Bristol Port in particular, for Christmas Lunch and Dinner evenings, giving a one-day-only taste of cruising.

She set sail with the cruise team and cruise volunteers from the local area, historical enthusiasts and the Seafarers Mission team waving her off. As the crew waved back, atmospheric classical music could be heard coming from the speakers and fading gently as she disappeared out of the lock and into the Bristol Channel for the final time.

Bristol Cruise Terminal looks forward to the return of the cruise industry when the go ahead is given.
A temporary goodbye to cruise but hopefully not for long at Bristol Port
Marco Polo leaving Bristol Port for the final time. (c) Katherine Lovell

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