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World Maritime

 Sharks on Cruise Ship

This is not what I had in mind when creating this blog. Nothing of the sort has ever entered my imagination, not for a second.  Apparently though, this idea was more than a fleeting thought for Hannibal Gaddafi, a trained seaman who ran Libya’s maritime industry and the fourth son of Col. Gaddafi.

Hannibal Gaddafi commissioned the building of his own cruise ship with its own shark tank. The vessel named PHONECIA was to include a 120 tonne chamber filled with approximately 32,000 gallons of sea water for two white sharks, two blacktip reef sharks and two sand tiger sharks. The ship was to entertain 3,500 guests with elaborate architectural features including marble pillars, giant statues, gold frame mirrors and the shark tank was to be its centerpiece.

The sharks would have four full-time biologists and a dedicated food source on board. Luckily the contract for this stranger than fiction fish tank was terminated after the fall of Gaddafi’s regime and the cruise ship was put on sale. The vessel, now called the PREZIOSA, was bought nine months later by one of the largest cruise companies in the world, MSC Cruises. The 570 million Euro ship set sail on its maiden voyage in March of this year (2013). No longer black in colour, the white ship is cruising now with 4,300 people without sharks on board.


 Mallorca Private Tour

This photograph of the PREZIOSA was taken in April 2013 when it was docked in Messina, Sicily. Pictured in the foreground, the PREZIOSA at 139,000 tonnes is the tenth largest cruise ship in the world and dwarfs the 88,000 tonnes Carnival Legend seen here.

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A close view of the bow of PREZIOSA showing the ship’s name.

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Here is a distant shot of the two ships showing the full scale of the Preziosa. It appears to be twice the size of the Carnival Legend. Click on it to see the image in full size.

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