Cruise liner breaks down in Baltic Sea

A cruise ship carrying about 2,000 passengers and crew spent much of Sunday adrift in the Baltic sea after an electrical failure, the Swedish sea rescue said.

Last Updated: May 16, 2011, 10:05 AM IST

Stockholm: A cruise ship carrying about
2,000 passengers and crew spent much of Sunday adrift in the Baltic sea after an electrical failure, the Swedish sea rescue said.

The liner operated by the Swiss-Italian company MSC
Cruises broke down off the Swedish island of Gotland.

"It appears that there was a complete electrical
failure. In that situation, the engines do not work," Birger
Knutsson of the rescue centre said.

In a statement last evening, the cruise firm said the
boat would be towed to the port of Nynashamn near Stockholm
overnight, where it would organise the repatriation of its
1,800 passengers.

Travellers would be offered another cruise, valid
until December 2012, the Geneva-based company said.

The MSC Opera left Southampton on May 7 for a 10-night
trip taking in Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg and
Copenhagen, and was due to return to Southampton on Tuesday.

The massive ship began drifting at about 11:00 am
(0900 GMT) and by 1730 GMT was approximately 10 kilometres
(six miles) from Visby, Gotland`s main town, Knutsson said.

It was scheduled to arrive in Nynashamn towards the
end of Monday morning, MSC said.

A company representative said the majority of the
passengers were thought to be Europeans.

PTI