Canada seizes Russian cruise ship

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Canadian authorities have seized a Russian cruise ship over an unpaid 250,000-dollar debt to the Canadian company that chartered it, the Russian embassy in Ottawa said Friday.

The Lyubov Orlova's 51 crew -- 49 Russians and two Ukrainians -- have been stuck in Saint John's, Newfoundland since September 25.

For now, "the sailors have adequate food supplies and water and the ship has enough fuel for heating," Russian diplomat Igor Girenko told AFP. As well, a Russian consular official is in Saint John's to monitor the situation.

The embassy, meanwhile, has sent a note to Canada's foreign ministry asking for information on the vessel's legal situation.

Charter company Cruise North Expeditions could not be reached for comment.

It had reportedly used the ship during the summer for adventure tours of northern Labrador.

According to Russian media, the ship flew a Cook Islands flag and the owner is Russian.

© 2010 AFP

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