Last month, MSC Cruises made headlines in South Africa when MSC Musica was stuck outside Cape Town harbour for two days due to strong winds, now an incident involving Norwegian Epic has shown how docking manoeuvres in windy conditions can easily go wrong.
Norwegian Epic was docking in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Tuesday when she collided with part of the dock, because the dock was not itself moving, the incident is technically called an allission, similar to what happened to Carnival Horizon last year.
— TweetsWithTito (@dunard2) February 12, 2019
Just like the Horizon incident, Norwegian Epic suffered very little damage, while the dock was badly damaged. The allission was caught on video by a passenger aboard Celebrity Edge, which was docked alongside Epic.
“Today as Norwegian Epic was manoeuvring into Port of San Juan, Puerto Rico with a local pilot on board & the help of two tug boats, prevailing winds caused the ship to veer towards the pier, damaging two mooring points at Pier 3 East,” the cruise line said in a statement via Twitter.
“No injuries have been reported and guests are currently disembarking the ship as previously scheduled. We are working closely with local authorities to assess the damage.”
Today as Norwegian Epic was maneuvering into Port of San Juan, Puerto Rico with a local pilot on board & the help of two tug boats, prevailing winds caused the ship to veer towards the pier, damaging two mooring points at Pier 3 East.
— Cruise Norwegian (@CruiseNorwegian) February 13, 2019
While the incident itself did not impact cruise passengers’ experience, indeed one passenger on-board tweeted that they were still having “a great time” after the crash, the cruise line has reportedly offered a partial refund for other reasons.
On ship now, they had 2 tugs because the Engines were down. We are still having a great time!!
— Jennifer Swanson (@mousemom20) February 13, 2019
The cruise ship reportedly sustained power loss to one or two engines (reports via social media vary), which reduced its speed to around 11 knots. Norwegian Epic has three diesel-electric generators that supply power to twin propellers.
I was on this ship when this happened. Norwegian was very professional & never were we ever in danger & they have compensated its passengers with a very nice discount on our next cruise. I think they handled it the utmost care & professionalism
— Frank DeLuca (@FrankCincy) February 13, 2019
Norwegian Epic wasn’t scheduled to be docking in San Juan on Tuesday, she was meant to be mid-way through a 7-night Caribbean cruise out of Port Canaveral, but due to engine failure, the ship was forced to cancel port calls in Tortola and St. Thomas and head directly for San Juan, where passengers were disembarked and flown back to Port Canaveral.
Norwegian Cruise Line has not indicated whether or not Epic’s next scheduled cruise departure from Port Canaveral on February 16th will be impacted by the accident or the mechanical issues.