Stranded Carnival Triumph to be Towed to Alabama

Tugs have connected with the ship; passengers complain of foul shipboard conditions due to the loss of power.

By The Maritime Executive 02-12-2013 12:01:00

The Carnival Triumph, while on a four-day cruise that departed Galveston last Thursday, experienced an engine room fire on Sunday morning and has been without propulsion in the Gulf of Mexico since that time.  The ship’s automatic fire extinguishing systems activated and the fire was successfully extinguished.  Fortunately, there were no injuries to guests or crew members.

Early Monday evening, the first of two tugboats arrived and is tied up to the ship with the second expected in the early hours of Tuesday morning.  The original plan was to tow the ship to Progreso, Mexico, the closest port to the ship’s location early Sunday. Since that time, the ship has drifted about 90 miles north due to strong currents.  This now puts the ship nearly equidistant to Mobile, Alabama and given the strength of the currents, it is preferable to head north to Mobile, rather than attempt to tow against them.

The cruise ship is now scheduled to arrive in Mobile sometime on Thursday; roughly the same time the ship would have arrived in Progreso given the distance the ship has traveled.  From there, necessary transportation will be provided to get guests home.  Mobile also provides simpler re-entry, particularly for the 900 guests onboard traveling without passports.

Carnival Cruise Lines have maintained constant contact with the ship’s officers.  Guests are safe, but quite uncomfortable. The ship has maintained emergency generator power since the fire occurred and the technical team on board has been successful in gradually restoring auxiliary power to operate some basic hotel functions. Currently, public and cabin toilets are operational in certain sections of the ship, power has been restored to a limited number of elevators, and some power in the Lido dining area is providing for hot coffee and limited hot food service.

Gerry Cahill, President & CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines stated: “All guests on the current Carnival Triumph voyage will receive a full refund for the cruise, along with transportation expenses.  In addition, they will receive a future cruise credit equal to the amount paid for this voyage, as well as reimbursement of all shipboard purchases during the voyage, with the exception of gift shop and casino charges. We’re terribly sorry for the inconvenience, discomfort, and frustration our guests are feeling.  We know they expected a fantastic vacation, and clearly that is not what they received.  Our shipboard and shoreside teams are working around the clock to care for our guests and get them home safely.”