Five Cruise & Maritime Voyages ships have been detained by the UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency after surveyors found expired and invalid seafarers employment agreements, late payment of wages and crews on board for more than 12 months.

All these matters are in breach of the Maritime Labor Convention.

Four ships in Tilbury and one in Bristol

Detained were Astoria, Astor, Columbus and Vasco da Gama at Tilbury and Marco Polo at Bristol. All five are operated by Global Cruise Lines Ltd. Four of the vessels are flagged with the Bahamas and one with Portugal (Madeira).

‘The welfare of seafarers is of the utmost importance and we take any reports of safety concerns around crew incredibly seriously,’ Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said. ‘This is a very concerning situation and I am pleased that the MCA has been able to act swiftly over the last few days. The well-being of all seafarers is an absolute priority.’

Director of Maritime Safety and Standards Katy Ware, the UK’s permanent representative to the International Maritime Organization, said the detention ‘sends a very clear message that crew welfare remains a top priority for us both as a flag and a port state. We must care for the well-being and health of our seafarers who work so hard in the industry.’

The ships will remain detained until the MLC breaches are resolved and the MCA is invited back to reinspect.

Magellan not detained

A sixth CMV ship, Magellan, which also belongs to Global Cruise Lines Ltd., was not detained after no significant deficiencies were found.

Astoria had been scheduled to sail last Thursday for Lisbon for minor repairs and to have certificates renewed.

Company is seeking additional funding

CMV has been in discussion with potential lenders and investors after the Essex-based company was unable to secure a £25m loan from Barclays bank under a COVID-19 business interruption loan scheme.