A number of Portuguese newspapers are reporting that the Thomson Spirit, with over a thousand passengers aboard, became grounded while attempting to dock in the port of of Portimão, Portugal earlier this week. Portimão is located in the Algarve region of southern Portugal. 

On the day in question, the Thomson Cruises ship sailed down the Arade River to dock at around 8:00 A.M. but spent approximately one hour and-a-half stuck in the silt. The cruise ship managed to dock at 9:20 A.M.  

Problems concerning silting in the Arade River are reportedly known to the local port administration. The riverbed has not been dredged for almost a decade.

Crew Center was the first website to report on the incident. 

Photo credit: Portimaocruises Blogspot

Bahamas CelebrationThe Bahamas Celebration ran aground ten days ago and sustained a breach in the hull which permitted water to enter the lower deck.  

I am receiving many messages from the crew that they were required to work in dangerous conditions after the ship ran aground and returned to port in Freeport. Now the majority of the crew has been sent home and there are doubts that the cruise ship will sail again anytime soon. 

The company appears to be paying only the basic salary of the crew for two months. Waiters and cabin attendants who earn a basic salary of only $50 a month (and rely on tips to earn a living) will receive only $100 in the next two months.

The Bahamas Celebration Facebook page was updated yesterday with a cover photo saying "Caribbean Vacation Option Beginning November 13" with a toll free number.

This seems very misleading as the cruise ship can’t sail and the crew was just sent home.

If you have information about the extend of the damage to the vessel or the status of the crew, please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Photo Credit: Top – WPTV.

November 11 2014 Update: A number of cruise passengers and agents have contacted us today. Many passengers feel that they were treated improperly by the company. Agents, who have not worked since the first of November, feel that the company is keeping them in the dark.  They have not heard anything from the company, management, or staffing agency. One person told me: "The company is wrong in the way they are treating everyone guest, crew,and agents. Leaving people who go to work everyday with no communication, answers or even a reason, we have families! We are required to give reasons and communicate if something happens in our life but we do not get the same respect."  

Bahamas Celebration

Bahamas CelebrationWPTV reports that the Bahamas Celebration was forced to return to Freeport after the cruise ship "touched bottom" while leaving port last night.

The Bahamas Celebration sails between the Port of Palm Beach and Freeport.

Although there have been no reports of whether the cruise ship sustained damage, it sounds like there may have been damage to the ship’s hull.  I’m not sure what "touched bottom" means. It may be a nice way of saying that the ship smashed a reef. 

Update: The Nassau Tribune reports that the ship sustained a hole in the side of the vessel, and is listing 10 degrees. Initial reports suggested that the ship was in danger of sinking.  Passengers were instructed to wear life preservers.  Photo Credit: Nassau Tribune.

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The Marco Polo cruise ship is back in the news after it ran aground while trying to dock at a pier in Norway.  It previously ran aground in March 2013 in Norway. News accounts estimate that somewhere between 750 and 1,000 passengers were aboard. 

The AP says that maritime rescue services are hoping to pull the cruise ship free at high tide later today, after tugboats and a coast guard vessel failed to push it free. 

The ship is chartered by U.K. based Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

Marco Polo was last in the news in February of this year when it proceeded to sail in extremely rough weather.  A wave crashed through a window in the vessel’s dining room and killed a passenger.  

Have a thought?  Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Photo Credit: AP

Marco Polo

MSC Magnifica PiraeusA number of news sources in Greece are reporting that a MSC cruise ship ran aground (note correction below) today at the southeast Greek port of Piraeus. Greek port authorities released the information. 

There were no injuries or major damage arising from the accident with the Panama-flagged ship Magnifica, the port authorities said. Bad weather conditions were apparently a factor in the incident. 

One news account says that maritime experts are currently investigating the accident, while most of Greece continued to be swept by storms today. 

The cruise ship’s bridge cam at this time (image below) shows the cruise ship docked in Piraeus with calm conditions. In addition to the Magnifica, other cruise ships at the port of Pireaus today include the Rotterdam, Ruby Princess and the Constellation.

The Magnifica was reportedly carrying 2,469 passengers and 976 crew members.

If you have any information about the grounding, please leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.

November 20 2013 Update: A number of readers informed me that the cruise ship allided with the left breakwater at the port of Piraeus and sustained slight damage to the portside hull above the waterline. This Greek newspaper article confirms an allision and not a grounding.  (Definition of "allision:" when a vessel strikes a fixed object; versus a "collision" when two vessel strike each other.)

You can see another photo of damage to the breakwater/pier here.

Very clear views of the damage to the breakwater and damage to the cruise ship can be seen here.

See video of the damage here.

See our additional photos of the damage to the interior of the cruise ship are here.

Photo credit top: http://www.tanea.gr/

MSC Magnifica Cruise Ship Web Cam