MS Hamburg is a 15,000-ton, 420 passenger, luxury cruise ship owned by the Conti Group and is now operated by Plantours Kreuzfahrten. She was built in 1997, in Wismar, Germany. Her relative small size allows her to transit the Great Lakes in North America, where she cruised seasonally between 1997 and 2011, as well as other cruises worldwide as travelling the Mediterranean for cultural cruises with Martin Randall Travel, the north Atlantic and at Asia. Her crew consists of 170 members, and her top speed is 16 knots. She was previously known as Columbus for Hapag-Lloyd, she was since replaced by Columbus 2.
In April 2015, the vessel suffered damage due to an oil leak. The following trips were canceled in Tanger.
On 5 May 2015, a fishing net became tangled in the ship's propeller off the South East coast of England. The ship was diverted to Southampton to be inspected.
On 11 May 2015, the ship grounded on charted rocks near the New Rocks buoy in the Sound of Mull, Scotland. The official accident report states that Hamburg’s bridge team failed to apply Bridge Team Management tools effectively.