Former P&O Cruise ship sold for scrap

A brave but perhaps optimistic venture that it was hoped would create a community living permanently on a former cruise ship has been abandoned. The Satoshi, formerly the Pacific Dawn, will now be sold for scrap.

The plan had been for P&O Cruises Australia’s former cruise ship Pacific Dawn (IMO 8521232) to be anchored permanently in the Gulf of Panama (IMN, October 14th 2020).

A company called Ocean Builders, with whom a key investor and COO is American bitcoin entrepreneur Chad Elwartowski, intended to create permanent dwellings at sea.

The ship was built in 1991 and operated most of its career with Princess Cruises and P&O Australia. It is being sold by P&O Australia’s parent company Carnival Corporation which is reducing its fleet size due to the impact of the pandemic on the cruising.

Ocean Builders planned to begin auctioning of cabins on “The Crypto Cruise Ship” on November 5th, the day after they take ownership of the former Pacific Dawn.

However, saying that they were unable to obtain insurance for the concept of a community living aboard a former cruise ship, the organizers of the project have now sold the Satoshi for scrap.

In an announcement sent to potential investors, Ocean Builder’s CEO Grant Romundt wrote that “we will not be able to proceed because of archaic big insurance companies that cannot adapt to innovative new ideas.”

Romundt claimed that no P&I insurer was willing to cover the Satoshi.

“Assuming it would be easy to get insurance to use the ship as a stationary residential cruise ship was incorrect,” wrote Romundt.

The Satoshi, which is currently sailing to Panama from Gibraltar, where it had been overhauled, was sold for scrap on December 18. The ship will reach Panama next week where it will fuel and be supplied, before continuing to a scrapyard in India.

In an odd twist of fate, sister ships the former Pacific Dawn and the Pacific Jewel will end their lives at Alang at the same time. The Pacific Jewel was sold and in 2019 became the Karnika, sailing for the start-up company Jalesh Cruises in India. Jalesh ceased to trade in the autumn and the Karnika recently arrived in India to be scrapped.