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One of the maiden visits to the port of Stornoway for cruise season 2022 has been wiped off the calendar, as the vessel itself was impounded by maritime safety inspectors.

Polartours’ Ocean Atlantic has been detained in Greenock, where she will now undergo rigorous checks and required rectification work after surveyors found defects with her fire-fighting, pollution prevention and crew training, among other problems.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s survey and inspection team went aboard the vessel on Sunday (22 May) and found what were described as ‘serious deficiencies’ in a number of areas.

Ocean Atlantic was due to spend a morning in the islands on Friday (27 May) as part of an eight-day exploration of the Scottish islands. The whole cruise has now been cancelled.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) spokesperson said: "The MCA's survey and inspection team inspected the vessel Ocean Atlantic (IMO number 8325432) on 22 May under the Paris MOU Port State Control regulations and the vessel has been detained.

“It was detained as a result of deficiencies covering a variety of international convention requirements, including but not limited to, maintenance of fire-fighting equipment, crew familiarisation with drills, load line requirements, pollution prevention requirements, and Maritime Labour Convention requirements. 

“MCA inspectors will reinspect when invited to do so by the company, and when the vessel is ready to demonstrate compliance with the requirements."

Stornoway’s cruise season continues today with the maiden visit of Silversea’s Silver Moon, currently anchored outside Stornoway harbour while some of her 500 guests come ashore by tender.

Yesterday Hurtigruten’s MS Maud made the latest of her calls to Stornoway on what was one of the best weather days enjoyed in a wet and unsettled month.

Pictures show the Ocean Atlantic arriving at Greenock Ocean Terminal before she was detained on Sunday (Paul Paterson Photography) and MS Maud passing Point in picture-perfect conditions on her way into Stornoway yesterday (Kristina Campbell).