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Prosecutors Detain "Dirty" Cruise Ship Chartered to House Italian Police

A police union alleges that the vessel had "terrible sanitary conditions"

Neonyx
Courtesy Neonyx

Published Jun 12, 2024 2:53 PM by The Maritime Executive

A cruise ship that was chartered to house thousands of security officers for this week's G7 summit has been detained by police over allegations of poor onboard hygiene. 

The vessel Goddess of the Night (ex name Mykonos Magic) was scheduled to provide temporary lodging for about 2,000 police officers near Borgo Egnazia, a resort where G7 leaders will gather for a summit beginning Thursday. Officers and their union representatives complained that the conditions on board were unlivable, including broken heads, inoperable HVAC and leaking pipes. The secretary of the police union, Domenico Pianese, told local media that the ship "was in terrible sanitary conditions, with dirty and damaged accommodation, unusable toilets, dilapidated showers, flooded cabins."

The personnel who were stationed on board have been moved to other lodging locations. 

While onboard deficiencies might be treated as a matter for port state control inspection in other circumstances, this vessel was chartered to a government agency, and the conditions affected law enforcement personnel. Local prosecutors in Brindisi are looking at the conditions of the lodging service provided, and they have issued an order for the vessel's detention. 

According to La Stampa, the Central Operational Police Service and the Brindisi police station are investigating. The Brindisi police told Italian media that their investigative units found hygiene, health and accommodations shortcomings on board, and that the conditions are serious enough to hypothesize "the crime of fraud in public supplies." 

Goddess of the Night (ex names Mykonos Magic, Costa Magica) is a 2004-built cruise ship with a capacity of 2,700 passengers. According to cruise industry media, the vessel's beneficial owner is Seajets, a Greek-Cypriot ferry operator based in Piraeus. The firm began acquiring and trading used cruise ships during the pandemic-era industry downturn, and reportedly purchased Goddess of the Night last year. As is standard in the industry, the registered owner is a holding company with a mailing address matching a third-party shipmanager.

The Goddess of the Night was reported to be in drydock in Turkey last month, preparing to enter service for adults-only startup line Neonyx Cruises. Travel-industry media have identified Neonyx as a Seajets-related enterprise.

Neonyx has advertised a series of cruises headlined by well-known DJ entertainers, with departures starting in July. The effects of the detention on the ship's schedule are not clear, and Seajets and Neonyx have not yet commented on the police unions' allegations.