Return of Impounded Russian Cruise Ship Delayed

The MV LYUBOV ORLOVA was seized as St. John’s seaport in Newfoundland on September 25, and was expected to be allowed to return to Russia Wednesday; a trip that has now been delayed.

The ship is being held due to a suit by a haulage contractor for $251,000 of debt.

Russian officials report that a majority of the ships 49 crewmembers will fly home on October 27, while 16-20 will remain onboard to ensure the vessels safe return.

The Lyubov Orlova, named after the famous Russian actress, was originally built for the Soviet Union based Far Eastern Shipping Company. She now serves as an expedition cruise ship, operated by Quark Expeditions. With a hull built to withstand impacts with ice, she often sails in Antartica and other polar regions.

There are reports that the debt is unlikely to be paid off and the ship will go to auction.