The Maxim Gorkiy has been sold for scrap, just months after the 40-year-old ship was slated to enter service for the relaunch of Orient Lines, according to MaritimeMatters.com.

The 25,000-ton, 650-passenger ship was to be transformed into the Marco Polo II for the rebirth of Orient, the cruise brand purchased by Wayne Heller last summer. The revival, originally set for April 2009, was put on indefinite hold due to the economic downturn.

According to MaritimeMatters.com, the Maxim Gorkiy was sold for $5.7 million to Indian scrap merchants. Efforts to preserve the vessel by converting it into a hotel, restaurant or shopping center fell through due to lack of investment.

The ship has been laid up since the end of its long-term charter to Phoenix Seereisen of Bonn, Germany, the report said.

The vessel is owned by Sovcomflot, a Russian company that was to turn the vessel over to Orient in April after a two-month drydock. It is currently laid up in Athens awaiting transfer to India, according to reports.  

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