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Saturday, September 14, 2013

MS Henna detained in the prot of Jeju....

In Jan 2013, news was abuzz in China of the maiden voyage ceremony for mainland China's first luxury cruise ship "Henna" with the theme of "Movement of the Sea, Sailing of the Heart".  In that  maiden voyage ceremony and inauguration for Henna. Ms. Xu Ying, 2009 Miss Asia champion, smashed bottles for the maiden voyage as the "Sailing Goddess" of Henna. It marked Chinese brand's official entering into the cruise tourism market, breaking the monopoly of foreign cruise companies in the Chinese market and providing Chinese tourists with a brand-new choice among cruise tourism products. Henna is the first and largest luxury cruise liner in mainland China, with 739 passenger cabins and a maximum passenger capacity of 1,965, including nine suites with balconies, 432 ocean-view staterooms and 298 interior staterooms.
Photo courtesy : shipparade.com
Jeju Province  is one of the nine provinces of South Korea. The largest  island  Jeju lies in the Korea Strait; became a separate province in 1946. Its capital is Jeju City. The island contains the natural World Heritage Site Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes … this tiny island is in news now…

MS Henna was built in 1986 by Kockums Varv, Malmö, Sweden, for Carnival Cruise Lines as Jubilee, along with near-sister ship Celebration. In 2004, the vessel was transferred to P&O Cruises Australiaand renamed Pacific Sun. On 13 September 2012, HNA Tourism Cruises announced that Pacific Sun's new name is Henna.

BBC reports that a  South Korean district court on Friday afternoon detained the Chinese luxury cruise liner Henna  in the port of Jeju, stranding more than 2,300 passengers and crew members. The Chinese tour operator HNA Cruise said late on Saturday that the ship, MV Henna remained in Jeju and that it is providing free entertainment and around-the-clock food and drinks to its passengers while trying to work out a solution.

HNA said the Jeju court acted upon a request of a Chinese company over legal disputes but did not elaborate. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said a Chinese creditor has entrusted an unidentified South Korean company to submit the court request.  HNA is quoted as blaming that it is an act that restricted personal freedom of those onboard and one severely infringing upon the rights of innocent passengers.  It is clear that it is a legal dispute…  the local court has  ordered the Henna not to leave after a request from a Chinese shipping company. It is not clear what the dispute centres on. Chinese Consulate General in Jeju Island and HNA Cruise are negotiating with the ROK side for an earliest possible departure of Henna, it is stated.

Meanwhile, the company said in an online statement that it is making plans to compensate passengers appropriately for their losses. Dai Bin, a researcher at the China Tourism Academy, said no commercial dispute should infringe upon tourists' legal interests. According to the International Convention on the Arrest of Ships, a ship may be only arrested in respect of maritime claim but in respect of no other claim. Maritime claim means a claim arising out of one or more of the following such as loss or damage caused by the operation of the ship, salvage operation, and damage caused by the ship to the environment.

Tailpiece :  Henna  is a flowering plant; the name henna also refers to the dye prepared from the plant and the art of temporary tattooing based on those dyes. Henna has been used since antiquity to dye skin, hair, and fingernails, as well as fabrics including silk, wool, and leather.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
14th Sept. 2013.

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