MS Melody

MSC Melody photographed in April 2008.
  • 1982—1988: Atlantic
  • 1988—1997: StarShip Atlantic
  • 1997—2013: Melody[1]
  • 2004—2013: Had been reported as being renamed MSC Melody[2] but this appears never to have happened. Source:
  • 2013 onwards: Qing
  • 1982—1988: Home Lines
  • 1988—1997: Premier Cruise Lines
  • 1997—2013: MSC Cruises[1]
Port of registry:
Builder: CNIM, La Seyne, France[3]
Cost: $100 million[4]
Yard number: 1432[1]
Launched: 9 January 1981[1]
Acquired: 2 April 1982[1]
Maiden voyage: 14 April 1982[1]
In service: 14 April 1982[1]
Out of service: 2013
Identification: IMO number: 7902295[1]
Status: Retired January 2013
General characteristics [1]
Type: Cruise ship
Length: 204.81 m (671 ft 11 in)
Beam: 27.36 m (89 ft 9 in)
Draught: 7.80 m (25 ft 7 in)
Decks: 9 (passenger accessible)[4]
Installed power:
Propulsion: 2 propellers[4]
  • 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph) (maximum)
  • 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph) (service)[5]
  • 1,062 (double occupancy)[5]
  • 1,600 (all berths)[4]
Crew: 535[5]
MSC Melody at La Goulette (Tunisi) in Tunisia

MS Qing is a cruise ship, formally owned and operated by MSC Cruises. She was built in 1982 by the CNIM shipyard in La Seyne, France for Home Lines as Atlantic. Between 1988 and 1997 she sailed for Premier Cruise Line as StarShip Atlantic.

In 1997, the vessel entered service for MSC Cruises as Melody.[1][4] She was renamed MSC Melody in 2004, and was retired in January 2013.[2] She accommodated 1,076 passengers in 532 cabins. Her crew complement was approximately 535.[5]

Pirate attack[6]

While on a repositioning cruise from Durban, South Africa to Genoa, Italy with some 1,000 passengers and 500 crew members[7] on board, MSC Melody was attacked by Somalian pirates on 25 April 2009 when approximately 300 km off Seychelles at around 11:25 PM local time (19:35 UTC). A speedboat with six people on board drew alongside the ship, fired at the bridge with an automatic rifle and subsequently the pirates attempted to board the ship. Media reports indicate passengers fought off pirates by throwing tables and deck chairs overboard before the ship's security personnel could be mobilized.

Later, the ship's Israeli private security detail attempted to repel the pirates by using the ship's fire hose and, when this failed, pistols. Pistol fire was successful in forcing the pirates to retreat, although after boarding their speedboat they continued to fire at the ship for another ten minutes.[8][9][10][11] As a security precaution MSC Melody's original itinerary had been altered to allow her to circumvent some of the more pirate-infested waters.[12] Additionally the Spanish auxiliary military vessel Marques de la Ensenada was scheduled to provide escort to MSC Melody through the Gulf of Aden, but she did not rendezvous with MSC Melody until the afternoon after the attack.[8][11] The pirates that attacked MSC Melody were pursued and eventually captured by the Spanish frigate SPS Numancia (F83) on 27 April 2009.[13] The suspected pirates were turned over to authorities in the Seychelles.[14]


In July 2012, there was speculation that MSC Melody was to be chartered to new operators in Japan.[15] The following month, it was reported that she had been sold to a South Korean company, Lotus Mine, and that as from February 2013 she would operate a regular service between Shanghai and Jeju Island, South Korea.[16] However, she was de-commissioned following her final voyage for MSC Cruises in September 2012.[17]

On 7 January 2013, MSC Cruises announced that MSC Melody had been retired effective immediately, despite being scheduled to sail through the summer season, and was listed for sale.[18] In November 2013, she was sold for an undisclosed price to Sahara India Pariwar, a multinational group involved in finance, leisure, hotels, construction, property and industrial activities. Under the new name Qing, she was to be delivered in Goa, India, and converted into floating accommodation.[19][20]

On 29 June 2016, the ship partially sank while docked in Goa, India. The sinking was caused by heavy monsoon rains. Nobody was on board at the time the ship sank.[21]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Asklander, Micke. "M/S Atlantic (1982)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Retrieved 2008-03-19.
  2. 1 2 Boyle, Ian. "MSC Crociere Italiane". Simplon Postcards. Retrieved 2008-03-19.
  3. Miller, William H. Jr. (1995). The Pictorial Encyclopedia of Ocean Liners, 1860-1994. Mineola: Dover Publications. p. 12. ISBN 0-486-28137-X.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Ward, Douglas (2006). Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships. Singapore: Berlitz. p. 408. ISBN 981-246-739-4.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Ship Fact - MSC Melody". MSC Cruises. Retrieved 2008-03-19.
  6. Incidents
  7. "Italian Cruise Ship Fires on Somali Pirates". Fox News. 2009-04-26. Retrieved 2012-04-25.
  8. 1 2 Niemelä, Teijo (2009-04-27). "MSC Melody attacked by pirates". Cruise Business Review. Retrieved 2009-04-27.
  9. Hooper, John (2009-04-26). "Italian cruise ship fends off pirates with gunfire". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
  10. "Italian cruise ship foils pirates". BBC. 2009-04-26. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
  11. 1 2 Winfield, Nicole (2009-04-26). "Cruise ship fends off pirate attack with gunfire". Retrieved 2009-04-27.
  12. Reinikainen, Kari (2009-04-20). "MSC Cruises amends MSC Melody itinerary due to security concerns". Cruise Business Online. Retrieved 2009-04-27.
  13. "La fragata española Numancia apresa a 9 piratas somalíes acusados de atacar un crucero italiano" (in Spanish). 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
  14. "Spanish capture 'Somali pirates'". bbc. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
  15. "MSC Melody Set for New Home?". Cruise Industry News. 10 July 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2014. External link in |newspaper= (help)
  16. "Ports & Ships Maritime News: Cruise News: MSC Melody Sold". Ports & Ships, South Africa. 10 August 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2014. External link in |newspaper= (help)
  17. "Ex-Melody Heading for India?". Cruise Industry News. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2014. External link in |newspaper= (help)
  18. "End of era at MSC Cruises as oldest ship retired". USA Today. January 8, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
  19. "MSC Crociere sells the Melody in India". Ship2Shore. 18 November 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2014. External link in |newspaper= (help)
  20. "Sahara India: New role for Melody". Ships Monthly. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014. External link in |newspaper= (help)
  21. "Lashed By Rain, Ship In Goa Hits Sea Bed, Nobody Injured". NDTV. 2016-06-30. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
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