The ship was sold at auction on February 18, 2012 for a low sales price of $275,000. Although at the time of her sale, there was limited information available of future use, other than being sold to Caribbean buyers.
It now appears that the 1975 - Yugolsoalvia built expedition ship has been sold for scrap. Laid up in St. John, the Lyubov Orlova has accrued $200,000 in berthing fees and is said to be badly listing. It now appears that she may be embarking on her final voyage. Reports indicate that the ship has been sold for scrap - but the named destination of the Dominican Republic - is not a location where ships are normally scrapped or an intermediary for Indian or Turkish breakers. Her current owner is believed to be an Iranian National living in Toronto Canada.
In her heyday the Lyubov Orlova was chartered by numerous cruise operations in the Arctic and Antarctic including Quark Expeditions. She was refurbished in 1999 and underwent extensive renovations in 2006. She carries a maximum of 110 passengers in 59 outside cabins and 2 suites, all with either a porthole or window and private bathroom facilities.
The Lyubov Orlova has an ice-strengthened hull, a window-lined dining room, lounge and bar, forward lounge for lectures and presentations, library, small gym, clinic and a small shop.
The ship boasted an international expedition staff, assisted by an experienced Russian captain and crew and European chefs.
I am saddened to see this ship come to an end. The design is probably one of the best externally designed small ships of their time. The Lyubov Orlova is named after a famous Russian actress of the 1930s.
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