Multiple news sources are reporting that the Celebrity Infinity cruise ship allided with a dock in Ketchikan, Alaska  

As you can see in the video below, posted on YouTube by Maria Harvey, the cruise ship slowly smashes into a dock at Berth 3.  The Alaska Dispatch News says that "longshoremen, port security personnel and Celebrity employees noticed something was wrong with the ship’s approach and moved out of the way." 

News accounts state that there was damage to the hull of the Infinity including a hole in the ship above its waterline. The harbor director reportedly estimated the damage to the dock will cost $2-3 million to repair. 

Wind in the area was reported to be gusting to around 45 miles per hour, although the Coast Guard did not yet release a determination of the official cause of the incident. 

Mishaps between cruise ships and docks like this are infrequent but they do happen from time to time. Usually, a pilot is at the helm when the ship is docking at port.  One of the last such incidents occurred back in 2011 when a MSC cruise ship, the Opera, struck a dock in Buenos Aires. It was also caught on video which was posted on YouTube.

Fortunately. there were no reports of injury of either the crew members or passengers.  Seven years ago, the Costa Europa cruise ship smashed into a concrete pier in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The collision ripped a hole in the hull of the cruise ship and flooded a crew cabin, resulting in the death of three crew members.

Video Credit: YouTube video Maria Harvey

  • Owen

    fortunately no one was hurt………and with the wind blowing the way it was, which is very evident in the video. It was just a unfortunate accident…..

  • Lorna Nau

    It didn’t “slam” into dock it just slowly drifted in and took out part of the dock!

  • Marcos

    Thank you Capt. Recap on your principles of Hydrodinamics and your ship capabilities could have been avoided! Negative mark for the Capt!

  • Judith Johnson

    Was the ship able to take off today and get the passengers to there destination?

  • Origoxy

    There is never “a pilot at the helm” when cruise ships docks.

    Have not been on a single cruise ship where the officers not choose to do the docking them selfs.

    Pilots are only advisors and, the main reason that cruise ships use them is because it’s mandatory, not that they need the pilots advice.

  • Tony R.

    The ship didn’t “drift” into the dock as Lorna Nau has written, the impact was very evident on board…everyone was jarred and knew something wrong had just happened. There were no immediate announcements as to what happened for a little while, then reports were more frequent. Needless to say, the Ketchikan port of call was a bust and all excursions were cancelled…the cruise line gave all a small credit for everyone’s loss of this part of our cruise. We’re on our way back now to Vancouver and it is very concerning to learn that there was a hole above water line as result from the impact, we learned this via reading news reports from internet as well as by speaking to crew members…none of this was divulged to the passengers at any time…only that “repairs have been made”. Panic control I guess…The captain did address everyone over the intercom and apologized for what happened. Glad nobody was hurt, it’s obvious it could have been much worse. Many are wondering why in the world we were pulling into dock with such bad storm conditions? Opposed to waiting out in the bay until things got better? Well…guess we’ll never know that answer to that one.

  • Michael Haase

    I seriously doubt that any of this mess ends up in court. I have no doubt that Celebrity has great liability insurance. The dock will be repaired asap, and the city of Ketchikan will receive a sizable check from the insurance company and that will be that.

    And all of the passengers on board will be telling their, “Did I tell you what happened to us in Alaska?” story for the rest of their lives!

  • I was sitting in the pilot house of our boat watching as this happened. We were moored at a dock on the city float directly behind the dolphin piling that took the brunt of the impact, so I had a front-row seat.

    It was clear for a long time (at least a copule of minutes) that the approach was bad. The vessel was coming MUCH faster than the ships we’ve been watching come and go in berth 3 all week. The crash was incredibly violent. At least one of the enormous (~3 ft diameter) cylindrical metal pilings supporting the dolphin sheared off. The entire dolphin went about 3 feet up on impact and came back down completely out of place. The gangway broke loose and fell into the water. Apparently the longshoremen waiting in the berth to receive the ship saw that things were going wrong and got out of the way, so nobody was injured. Usually, there are people standing on the gangways to catch the lines when a ship docks. One of the gangways that usually has people broke and fell into the water.

    I don’t believe the wind was the problem. We were measuring 40 knot gusts on our boat before the incident, but the wind direction was a headwind for the ship’s approach and slightly off-dock, so the wind should have been slowing the ship and pushing it away from the berth. I heard from someone that they dropped an anchor a few hundred yards before they hit, probably trying to slow the approach. I didn’t see that myself, so I can’t verify it.

    I would not be surprised if this turned out to be a mechanical failure, maybe another problem with the notorious Rolls-Royce Mermaid pods that these ships use to maneuver. This was not just a “slightly hard” arrival at the berth. The vessel was clearly out of control and struggling for awhile before the impact.

  • Gigi pilcher

    The wind was blowing but the ship was reported to be coming in hot. Maybe a mechanical issue. I feel bad for the folks who missed out on their tours of Ketvhikan but they have a great vacation story to tell. The video in its entirety is actually a bit funny only because of what the people on the boat were saying right before the ship hit. I a. So grateful that no one was hurt! I hope this won’t affect other ships scheduled to come in.

  • Sharon

    It was my first cruise, my cabin mate had been on many others. I heard the impact and asked her what that noise was. She teasingly replied they were getting the lifeboats ready. Accidents happen. The cruise was lovely. The passengers and staff were delightful, the food was delicious, the scenery was unforgettable. I am safely home and would do it all over again.

  • Jo

    I too was on this ship at the time. I was in the theatre collecting my shore excursion number. Whilst walking from the stage I felt the jarring but thought nothing of it because i thought it had just docked. Then it became evident we hadn’t. I was kind of upset that my excursion was cancelled as it was my birthday and it would have been fun, but obviously safety is paramount. We were told it was minor damage and at no point were we told there was a hole in the ship. As it was getting late, we decided not to leave the ship at all so I have no idea what Ketchikan is like. I enjoyed the last chic night instead and used the small credit we received for a blow out meal in Vancouver before we left.

  • Carlos Arbelaez

    hink there is a safety issue with this ship. 4 years ago we complain with the company because they took their port stuff along with pasanger in the tenders in a port in southamerica. They did not pay attention to security issues. I still have the pictures of the tenders been crowded with many thing making it impossible for evacuation in case of emergency. We had also an emergency in this cruise in which sailing out of Punta del este de boat was in a sand trap for several minutes. They came out with a lie that it was the winds but it was not true 5,000 dishes broken and many damages with decorations.