Cruise Expert Professor Ross Klein has one of the most exhaustive and informative web sites for all of the things that go wrong on cruise ships.  

This weekend I read this comment from a reader of his site about an encounter between a MSC container ship and a MSC cruise ship, the MSC Lirica.  It seems that the Italian shipping company has a tradition of their ship "buzzing" each  other, not unlike "saluting" an island like the Italian cruise ship the Concordia did to the island of Giglio.     

The following are the comments and photographs from a cruise passenger aboard the Lirica who observed the incident.  Very dramatic and potentially very dangerous.  Credit to Professor Klein’s cruisejunkie web site.

"On 25 March the MSC LIRICA was overtaken by a container ship, the MSC LAUREN, in a very close quarter situation. Weather conditions were fine and seas were open. The ship was sailing south of Sicily at about 17 kts on a voyage from Kuwait to Hamburg. As we know since the sinking of the Costa Concordia and the claims of Capt. Schettino, that his company and others like to pass extremely close certain geographical co-ordinates, the same seems to be the philosophy of another cruise ship company too – to meet company ships as well as in a close-up situation of less than 100 meters. The MSC LAUREN approached the MSC LIRICA from starboard aft – she came closer and closer and once the LAUREN was abeam the distance was less than one cable. Whistles were blowing, passengers waving and none of them was aware about the high risk in case of a blackout or engine or rudder-failure on one of the ships. This practice is inconsistent (with) good bridge management practices.

MSC Lirica versus MSC Lauren

MSC Lirica versus MSC Lauren

Anyone else see a maneuver like this between two ships?