A once grand cruise liner which was set to make an appearance as a floating hotel for Aintree races this year will instead meet a sad end on an Indian beach.
The Magellan, capable of carrying around 1,300 passengers, will be scrapped in what has been dubbed the “world’s largest ship graveyard” on a stretch of coastline near Mumbai after the collapse of its owners, Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV), in July last year.
Bookings had been advertised for the 2021 Grand National at Aintree Racecourse.
The 46,000 tonne vessel, built in 1985 and previously named the MS Holiday, was once used in relief efforts offering supplies and accommodation for stricken residents in New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
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The eight-deck liner, which visited Liverpool regularly on its cruises, was bought by a Greek firm at auction in November.
However the BBC reports that a new operator could not be found and it was sold for scrap, and has been sent to the ship breaking yards in Alang, India.
The yards, alongside similar facilities in Asia, have been associated with poor health and safety records, including the deaths of workers.
In better times the Magellan was a well known and popular cruise liner – boasting two pools, three whirlpools and a spa and ‘wellness centre’, along with several bars and a two level cinema/theatre.
The liner generated positive headlines when it became Liverpool’s biggest ever “turnaround” cruise ship in 2017 – meaning it was the largest ever ship to start a completely new journey from the city.
At the time Peter Murney, Liverpool’s then cruise and operations manager, said: “What better way to launch our tenth year than with a record-breaking start to a record-breaking season?
“The near non-stop schedule of arrivals will certainly invoke memories of the Mersey’s maritime hey-day and with these special concerts we aim to give everyone a reason to celebrate the arrivals of these very special visitors to our river.
“We’re delighted to be welcoming newcomers such as the Silver Whisper and Celebrity Eclipse and the Magellan is a highly notable landmark as it hints at the turnaround potential of the terminal over the coming decade.”
The Magellan will now be dismantled by an army of construction workers and sold for scrap.