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Cruise North's Russian crew still stuck in St. John's

The AFP news agency reported that the 51 crew members — mostly Russian — are seeking “several month” of unpaid wages as the ship’s owner, the Lyubov Orlova Shipping Company of Malta, seeks to borrow money to repay hundreds of thousands of dollars in debts.

Cruise North's Russian crew still stuck in St. John's
11 October 2010 - 21:53

The Russian crew of an Arctic cruise ship are still stuck in St. John’s as they wait for the Lyubov Orlova’s owners to sort out a financial dispute that pits them against the Makivik-owned Cruise North Expeditions.

The AFP news agency reported that the 51 crew members — mostly Russian — are seeking “several month” of unpaid wages as the ship’s owner, the Lyubov Orlova Shipping Company of Malta, seeks to borrow money to repay hundreds of thousands of dollars in debts.

“The owner of the ship is seeking to obtain a bank loan and as soon as it’s approved, the issue will be resolved,” Igor Girenko, a Russian diplomat, told AFP.

One of those owed money is Cruise North Expeditions, a subsidiary of Makivik Corp., which is waiting for $250,000 they’re owed after problems with a piping system on board forced the cancellation of a trip to Labrador earlier this summer.

The Lyubov Orlova is seen at anchor off Somerset Island during a Cruise North tour of the High Arctic in Sept. 2009. The ship is now barred from leaving the port of St. John’s because of its owner’s unpaid debts. (FILE PHOTO) The Lyubov Orlova is seen at anchor off Somerset Island during a Cruise North tour of the High Arctic in Sept. 2009. The ship is now barred from leaving the port of St. John’s because of its owner’s unpaid debts. (FILE PHOTO)

In a news release, Cruise North said the ship is being held in St. John’s by court order because creditors, including Cruise North, were worried the Lyubov Orlova would disappear without paying those debts.

“The ship is berthed very close to the city centre, and her crew is free to come and go as they please,” Cruise North said in a news release. 

“Cruise North has ensured their comfort and safety by providing them with all the fuel and other necessities to operate the ship, as well as cash for spending money and all the food they need.”

The CBC in St. John’s reported Oct. 5 that the Salvation Army brought the crew a van full of produce and meat and was trying to arrange for medical and dental checkups.

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