MSC Opera was returning to Venice following a Mediterranean cruise when she collided with a moored Uniworld river ship before crashing into the dock itself as well.
Four people were injured according to local officials, with two passengers taken to hospital “as a precaution”, it wasn’t immediately clear which ship the passengers had been aboard.
River Countess is a 130-passenger river cruise ship operated by Uniworld, while MSC Opera is a 2600-passenger Lirica-class cruise ship operated by MSC Cruises.
The accident occurred at 8.30am local time on the Giudecca Canal, a major route leading to Venice’s famous St Mark’s Square.
— Beppe Caccia (@beppecaccia) June 2, 2019
Video posted to twitter showed onlookers running away as the immense bow of MSC Opera loomed over the dock and crashed into River Countess, sending her backwards along the dock.
The 65,000-gross ton cruise ship continued to scrap along the side of the dock until coming to a stop.
— Iain Reid (@beanotownphoto) June 2, 2019
In a statement released by MSC Cruises the line said that Opera was attempting to dock at the passenger terminal in the city when she suffered mechanical failure.
Two tug boats assisting the ship tried to stop her, but were unable to. Officials said the cable connecting one of the tugs to the ship snapped, exacerbating the problem.
MSC Opera departed Venice on May 26th, visiting Kotor, in Montenegro, and Mykonos, Santorini and Corfu in Greece. She was returning to Venice at the end of the cruise when the accident occurred.
The city is hugely popular with tourists and cruise ships, which has caused tension with residents in the last couple of years.
The city’s relationship with cruise ship in particular is a love-hate one. There have long-been calls to ban cruise ships from the city centre and officials recently put a limit on the size of vessels they’ll allow into the main canal leading to the city.
This latest incident has renewed calls to ban cruise ships in Venice.
The collision between MSC Opera and River Countess and the dock comes just days after a Viking river cruise ship crashed into a pleasure boat on the Danube in Budapest, killing seven people and leaving 21 missing, presumed dead.