It has been a month since the public learned that the fire-resistant panels used during the construction of the new Explora I cruise ship, owned by MSC Cruises and operated by Europa Journeys, failed safety certification. The Financial Times (“FT”), which broke the story, reported that a total of around forty-five cruise ships had incorporated the defective panels in their construction.

Since then, I have been trying to determine which cruise ships have the Paroc panels which failed safety certification last month. The cruise industry has remained mum, refusing to inform journalists (or the pubic) of this basic safety information. Last week, we reported on the marine underwriters’ pleas for information from the industry: Insurers of Dozens of Cruise Ships With Potentially Dangerous Fire Panels Seek Transparency: “We Demand Names of All Ships Equipped With Paroc Panels.”

Due to this lack of transparency by the cruise industry (including the manufacturers/suppliers, shipowners, cruise operators, trade organization, certification societies and governmental agencies), no one knows exactly what products failed and why.

Images Credit: Paroc

Yesterday, I located a list of cruise ship titled “Examples of latest Paroc Marine References” which lists the vessel where Paroc marine products were installed through 2017. The FT article refers to Paroc fire-resistant “panels” which failed safety certification. The Paroc literature references various fire-resistant “wall panels, ceiling panels and floor panels.” Paroc primarily advertises that its products include a wide range of “marine wired mats” and marine fire slabs” which can be covered with aluminum foil or different types of glass fiber facing. We do not know exactly which of these specific fire-resistant products failed safety certification. (Paroc also make fire insulation for air ducts and pipes).

The list mentions one-hundred and eighty-three (183) vessels with Paroc fire-resistant products installed, including cruise ships, passenger and car ferries, oil and LNG carriers, container and cargo ships, roll on / roll off (“ro ro”) carriers, tug boats and at least one “missile boat.” There are fifty-nine (59) cruise ships listed, excluding ferries and cruise ferries, which I highlighted here.

The list mentions twenty-six (26) cruise ships owned by Carnival Corporation, including nine cruise ships operated by Carnival Cruise Line: Carnival Vista, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Valor, Carnival Victory, Carnival Spirit, Carnival Pride, Carnival Legend, Carnival Conquest and Carnival Glory; four cruise ships operated by Princess Cruises: Crown Princess, Star Princess, Crown Princess, and Royal Princess; four cruise ships operated by Holland American Line: Zaandam, Koningsdam, Amsterdam, and Westerdam; five cruise ships operated by Costa Cruises: Costa Atlantica, Costa Mediterranea, Costa Diadema and two unnamed ships; two cruise ships operated by AIDA Cruises: AIDAvita and AIDAaura; one ship operated by Peninsular Oriental (P&O) Cruises: Britannia; and one cruise ship operated by Seabourn Cruise Line: Seabourn Encore.

The list includes sixteen (16) cruise ships owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.: ten (10) cruise ships operated by Royal Caribbean: Adventure of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, and Liberty of the Seas; and four ships operated by Mein Schiff, a joint venture between Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. and German shipping and travel giant TUI AG: Mein Schiff 3, Mein Schiff 4, Mein Schiff 5 and Mein Schiff 6; and two cruise ships operated by Silver Seas Cruises: Silver Shadow and Silver Mirage.

There are five cruise ships on the list owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings: three operated by Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Escape and two cruise ships operated by Seven Seas Cruises: Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Voyager.

The list contains three cruise ships owned and operated by Viking Cruises: Viking Star, Viking Sea and Viking Sky.

The list also includes the following nine cruise ships with Paroc products installed:

  • MSC Meraviglia (MSC Cruises)
  • Midnattsol (Hurtigruten)
  • Birka Paradise (Rederi AB Gotland)
  • Genting Dream (Resorts World Cruises)
  • The World (Residences at Sea)
  • Trollfjord (Trollfjord Cruises)
  • Le Lyrial (Ponant Cruises)
  • Olympic Spirit (Mada Cruises)
  • Viking Grace (Viking Line)

A couple of comments about this list prepared by Paroc: It is not current (i.e., through 2023). It shows the vessels where Paroc fire installation products were installed from the years 2000 through 2017. The list fails to mention the names of several cruise ships discussed by FT in its articles Luxury Cruise Liner’s Launch Delayed As Dozens of Ships Face Potential Safety Hazard published on July 8th (which mentioned that 45 cruise ships were equipped with the faulty fire panels) and Cruise Liner Supplier Halts Sales of Deficient Fire-Resistant Panels published on July 21st. The Explora I, for example, was mentioned in one or more of these articles. Two ships in the MSC Cruises fleet were also mentioned. One is the MSC Euribia (photo above), which was previously delivered by shipyard Chantiers de L’Atlantique and is currently at sea with guests. The other cruise ship remains unidentified in FT’s original reporting. It may be the MSC Meraviglia which is on this list.

Also missing from the list are two Royal Caribbean cruise ships, Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas. which are listed by Paroc on its website.

Images Credit: Paroc

As previously stated, another issue to keep in mind is that the initial FT article did not mention the precise Paroc fire-resistant products which failed safety certification or the exact nature of the failures. The list of 59 cruise ships with Paroc products does not necessarily mean that the products, whether they include panels, slabs or wired mats, failed certification. Due to the lack of transparency, the cruise industry is content to let this uncertainty continue to exist while as many as fifty-nine cruise ships are sailing with tens of thousands of passengers who have no reason to be confident of their safety if a fire breaks out on the high seas.

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Image Credit: Paroc marine product MSC Euribia By ND44 – CC BY-SA 4.0, commons / wikimedia.