Passengers on a Halloween cruise to the Bahamas got more excitement than anticipated when Celebration Cruise Line’s, 1000-passenger BAHAMAS CELEBRATION struck an unknown object after departing Grand Bahama for Palm Beach.
Passengers were called to muster stations with life jackets over their Halloween costumes while the ship returned to Grand Bahama Island following the incident on October 31st. Passengers described a loud bang followed by flickering lights.
Eye witnesses reported the presence of a cargo vessel nearby just before the loud bang and shudder. There were rumours that the engine room had flooded, and power was lost after the incident. The ship remained without power for the next six hours. Tugs arrived to tow the ship back to port where there was a long delay getting passengers off due as the gangway could not be easily connected to the listing ship. By 4am the following morning most passengers were ashore, then housed in local resorts.
Celebration Cruise Line said in a statement that passengers were evacuated from the ship and placed in several resorts pending their return to Florida. There were no reported injuries.
Crews were assessing damage to the ship and the line said it would cancel at least the next two cruises. Passengers were returned to Miami, Florida on the Bimini Superfast vessel which arrived at 5:00 pm the following day. Many had to remain on deck for the crossing as the vessel was full. Buses then returned passengers back to Palm Beach, where the cruise had begun.
BAHAMAS CELEBRATION remains tied up in Grand Bahama with a noticeable list to port.
The 35,855 gt BAHAMAS CELEBRATION was converted to a party oriented ship from the cold weather Jahre Line ferry PRINSESSE RAGNHILD built in 1981.
MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.