Satoshi, the first crypto ship, is sold for scrap

Ocean builders has issued a statement to potential investors to inform them they will not be able to proceed with the Satoshi-project. The former Pacific Dawn, now MS Satoshi, was to be turned into a floating residence and tech hub for small businesses.

According to a statement from Ocean Builders, which was aiming to setup a floating tech hub for small businesses aboard the MS Satoshi, the project is dead. After buying the former Pacific Dawn and completing a drydock operation before sending the ship towards the coast of Panama, the company says it has hit an insurance roadblock.

In the statement the company says: “After an exhaustive search for an insurance group to insure the Satoshi we have hit the roadblock of having no insurance company willing to insure the MS Satoshi upon dropping anchor in the Gulf of Panama.”

The statement continues: “The closest we came was a company toying with us with a million dollar premium for a maximum of $5 million in coverage. Nothing close to the coverage we would need to be legally compliant. We did not foresee that the big boys club would be against such a small operation such as ours.”

Without insurance the ship cannot have a crew, which means the ship would lose its class rating and flag and the possibility of running any of the planned onboard businesses.

Ocean builders had requested the Panama Marine Authority to consider Satoshi a non-seagoing vessel. This would have lessened the burden for insurance and eliminated the requirement to comply with about 32 of the 35 international maritime treaties which Panama has agreed to. However the Marine Authority informed Ocean Builders that because the vessel has an engine and a flag, Satoshi is considered seagoing. 

Ocean Builders also claims they did not have the support from the very communities which they created this project for, namely the seasteading community and the Bitcoin community. On the contrary, “we were constantly attacked by the very people that we were trying to help,” according to Ocean Builders.

As a result the company has decided to sell the MS Satoshi and go back to focusing on its floating homes in Panama. The ship will now sail to India to be scrapped.

With the first residents scheduled to move in early 2021, bidding on cabins for residency aboard Satoshi had opened in November. The company has promised to refund potential buyers.

Two sisters sold for scrap

Satoshi was built in 1991 by the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone (Italy) as Regal Princess. In 2004 Regal Princess was planned to join her sister ship A’Rosa Blu (ex-Crown Princess) in the fleet of A’Rosa Cruises, P&O Cruises’ brand aimed at the German market, but the transfer was cancelled. Regal Princess was then due to transfer to the fleet of Ocean Village in 2006 but this too was cancelled. Instead, Regal Princess was transferred to the fleet of P&O Cruises Australia in late 2007. The ship received a multimillion-dollar refurbishment and was renamed Pacific Dawn.

In 2020, Pacific Dawn left the P&O fleet. In her 13 years with P&O, Pacific Dawn carried an astonishing 1.2 million guests and sailed 2.2 million kilometres – the equivalent of nearly three times to the moon and back or 56 times around the Equator.

She was intended to be handed over to Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) and renamed as Amy Johnson, but this never happened as CMV went into administration. Ocean Builders took ownership of the ship in November 2020 and renamed it Satoshi.

Satoshi was a sister ship to Pacific Jewel, which debuted as Crown Princess for Princess Cruises in 1990. After 12 years the ship began a turbulent period. She was transferred to A’Rosa Cruises for two years, then joined German AIDA Cruises as AIDAblu, only to be transferred to Ocean Village in 2007. In 2009 the ship was again transferred. This time to P&O Cruises Australia where she sailed as Pacific Jewel. In 2018 the ship was sold to Zen Cruises and operated by Jalesh Cruises. After Jalesh Cruises ceased operations in October 2018 the ship was sold for scrap.

Also read: Introducing Satoshi, the first crypto cruise ship

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