Haimark Cancels June 26 Saint Laurent Departure
Haimark Line’s Saint Laurent cruise ship, which was damaged when it hit a lock wall on June 18, is sailing under its own power to the Verreault shipyard in Quebec to undergo repairs.
The June 26 departure has been cancelled. That voyage was chartered by French tour operator Rivages du Monde from Haimark, as was the cruise cut short by the accident. The passengers were mainly of French and Swiss nationality.
“We anticipate the ship will go back into service for the July 5 departure,” Tom Markwell, managing partner of sales and marketing for Haimark, told TravelPulse in a telephone interview. That 10-day “Historic St. Lawrence River and America’s Five Great Lakes” is a Haimark departure with some groups booked through tour operators.
In the accident in the Eisenhower Lock on the Saint Lawrence Seaway, the ship struck a concrete barrier designed to protect the lock doors and indented the hull, Markwell said. Watertight doors closed immediately and the lock was drained to secure the safety of the vessel and the passengers, he explained. All the ship’s services remained operational.
“Our No. 1 concern was the passengers, and they were delightful,” said Markwell, who flew to the scene and assisted with the evacuation. “Our tour operator sent us a note saying how pleased he was with how we handled it. The guests were in very good spirits as they left. At this point, we just need to let the authorities complete their investigation and get to the bottom of it.”
About 20-some passengers and three crew members sought medical attention, though some were treated and released on the scene, while others went to the hospital. Most returned to sleep on the ship. “There were no broken bones or anything like that,” Markwell said.
Haimark Line is operating the 210-passenger Saint Laurent on a long-term charter from FleetPro, the ship’s management company. It is now operating its inaugural season in New England, the Great Lakes and Maritime Canada through the fall foliage season. From late fall to early spring 2016, the Saint Laurent is scheduled to operate in the Caribbean, Central and South America.
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