Arcadia accidents and incidents

Arcadia cruise ship


Length (LOA)
285 m / 935 ft

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CruiseMapper's Arcadia cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2458-passenger vessel owned by P&O UK (P&O Cruises). Our Arcadia accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • propulsion/power loss - 2008, 2009
  • mooring failure - 2018 (in King’s Wharf, Bermuda)
  • deaths - 2010 (crew suicide)
  • injuries/crimes - drug busts (2008, 2017)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2008 (80/11), 2019 (~150), 2023 (84/10 + 88/20)
  • medevacs - 2019

June 2023Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(CruiseMapper-emailed report from Tracey Venner/edited)

P&O cruise 306 (6th -22nd June) Norovirus and Covid riff on the Arcadia (.......)

Boarded the Arcadia fit and healthy. Left feeling dreadful after being in isolation with Noro and Covid with the staff not having a care in the world (........)

Lots of us were infected and just left in our cabins and had to isolate. The ship was in terrible condition - toilets and air con not working, buckets to catch water dripping from smoke detection units (.......)

The report is about the 16-day "Northern Europe And Scandinavia Cruise" (booking code J306N, itinerary June 6-22, roundtrip from Southampton, England UK) that visited ports in Norway (Alesund/Jun 9, Olden/Jun 10, Stavanger/Jun 11, Oslo/Jun 13), Sweden (Gothenburg/Jun 14), Poland Gdynia-Gdansk/Jun 16), Denmark (Copenhagen/Jun 18) and Germany (Hamburg/Jun 20).

April 2023Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In April 2023, CDC reported that during the World Voyage (January 3 through April 13) a Norovirus outbreak affected a total of 88 passengers (out of 1752, or 5,02%) and 20 crew (out of 815, or 2,45%).

The predominant were vomiting and diarrhea.

The gastrointestinal illness outbreak occurred during the 100-day "World Cruise 2023" (roundtrip from Southampton, England UK) visiting multiple islands and ports in the Caribbean, South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Arabia, and Europe/Mediterranean.

January 2023Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In January 2023, CDC reported an outbreak of Norovirus infecting 84 passengers (out of 1986, or 4,23%) and 10 crew (out of 818, or 1,22%). The predominant symptoms of the patients were vomiting and diarrhea.

The gastrointestinal illness outbreak occurred during the 5-day "Short Break New Year Cruise" (itinerary Dec 29 - Jan 3, roundtrip from Southampton, England UK) with call ports in Germany (Hamburg/Dec 31-Jan 1 overnight) and Belgium (Zeebrugge-Bruges/Jan 2).

December 2022Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Norovirus, hygiene issues) CruiseMapper emailed report by Margaret Taylor

I went on Arcadia 19th /29th December 2022 voyage. A lot of gastroenteritis, a lot of food undercooked (ie chicken), cold scrambled eggs, insects crawling on toast, a lot of toilets blocked right to top of bowel water in it brown.

The reported issues occurred during the 10-day "Scandinavia Christmas Cruise" (itinerary December 19-29, roundtrip from Southampton England) that visited Denmark (Copenhagen /overnight), Holland (Amsterdam /overnight) and Belgium (Zeebrugge/Bruges).

April 2022Other Incidents

On April 9, 2022, P&O canceled a total of 7 cruises scheduled for Arcadia between April 12th and June 23rd/including. The ship had just restarted services (after a 2-year pause) on March 27th, with a 16-day sailing to the Canary Islands.

The cancellations were made as the company had to move crew members from Arcadia to other fleetmates, as well as because of airlines changes/flight cancellations and general travel disruption caused by the COVID crisis.

Next are listed the canceled voyages, all roundtrips from homeport Southampton (England).

  • booking code J205 (departure April 12) 19-day Mediterranean
  • J206 (May 1) 16-day Baltic
  • J207 (May 17) 3-day Short Break (to St Peter Port, Guernsey Channel Islands)
  • J208 (May 20) 12-day Norwegian Fjords
  • J209 (June 1) 19-day Mediterranean
  • J210 (June 20) 3-day Short Break (to Guernsey Island)
  • J211 (June 23) 12-day Norwegian Fjords

Arcadia was rescheduled to restart operations on July 5th, with a 14-day roundtrip to Iceland.

June 2019Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(CruiseMapper emailed report by Trevor knights) P&O Arcadia cruise J909 (booking code) Norovirus c150 passengers and crew. Prop seal repair work delayed cruise as spent 3,5 days stuck in Malaga (Spain). Lack of info for passengers as only notified of this 3 days prior departure. Missed call port Messina (Sicily Island, Italy). No credit just tour refund and claim on own insurance. Sailing at 22/23+ knots (cruising speed 25 mph / 41 kph) to make up time. Won't sail with p&o again ever.

The accident occurred during the 19-day roundtrip UK to Mediterranean cruise (itinerary June 24 - July 13) roundtrip from Southampton (England) to Malaga (June 28), Messina (July 1), Venice Italy, Split Croatia, Dubrovnik Croatia, Cagliari (Sardinia Island, Italy) and Gibraltar.

Note: When the itinerary doesn’t include US cruise ports, the ship is not required to report to CDC, thus no official illness report would be issued.

04 March 2019Coast Guard Medevacs

On March 3, 2019, at ~9:45 pm, HSC-25 (USA Guam's Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron) were notified by USCG about a male passenger on P&O Arcadia ship experiencing a medical emergency. The medevac was launched at ~5:45 am (on March 4), after the cruise liner transited within helicopter range of Guam (US unincorporated territory). The operation was conducted by an HSC-25 (Island Knights) helicopter crew. The passenger in distress was hoisted (airlifted) and flown to US Naval Hospital Guam (Tutuhan, Hagatna).

The incident occurred during 17-day Australia to Asia cruise (itinerary February 23 - March 12, Brisbane to Hong Kong) with ports of call in Australia (Yorkeys Knob QLD), PNG (Rabaul, New Britain Island) and Japan (Kagoshima, Nagasaki). The voyage was a segment of Arcadia's 100-day "Western Circumnavigation" (World Cruise 2019) roundtrip from homeport Southampton UK (itinerary January 6 through April 16).

17 December 2018Structural and Technical Issues

(mooring failure) On December 17, 2018, while berthed overnight in Royal Naval Dockyard (King’s Wharf, Bermuda), due to strong winds, the ship broke free from its mooring lines. As a result, at ~3 am, the liner drifted away from the dock and floated sideways for a short time before the crew responded and brought it under control. No hull damages or injuries were reported.

The incident occurred during 20-day Bermuda and Caribbean cruise (itinerary December 9 - January 6) roundtrip from homeport Southampton (England UK) visiting Kings Wharf (Dec 16-17 overnight), Nassau (Bahamas), Grand Turk Island, Philipsburg (St Maarten), St Johns (Antigua), Castries (St Lucia), Bridgetown (Barbados) and Praia da Vitoria (Azores).


05 January 2018Structural and Technical Issues

On January 5, 2018, while docked in Ponta Delgada (Azores, Portugal), one of the ship's lifeboats broke from its cabling and fell from its davits (cranelike devices) into the sea. The boat's back was ripped off and hanging from its cradle. The 5 crew members in the boat sustained injuries and were hospitalized. The accident occurred during a 24-day Transatlantic cruise (itinerary Dec 16 - Jan 9) roundtrip from Southampton UK to Caribbean (Antigua, Guadeloupe, Grenadines, St Lucia, Barbados).

31 October 2017Drug Smuggling

On October 31, 2017, a 55-year-old male passenger was arrested by Border Force officers and charged with drug trafficking upon disembarkation in homeport Southampton (England UK). The British man (Kevin Enright, from Dunstable, Bedfordshire, England) was caught with approx 3 kg of cocaine (street value around GBP 200,000). The drugs were hidden in his luggage (two suitcases).

The incident occurred during the liner's Transatlantic cruise to Caribbean roundtrip from the UK. The drugs were picked up in call port Castries (St Lucia  Island). The investigation also showed that the crime involved liaison with Caribbean police officers.

(law news) On April 7, 2018, a Southampton Crown Court sentenced the man to 9,5 years in prison. The man had a previous 4-years sentence for drug dealing in 2005.

21 September 2010Crew / Passenger Deaths

(suicide) On September 21, 2010, a 22-year-old male crew was reported dead by suicide. The man (Sumith Gawas, from India) was working on the ship as a junior waiter. He was found hanged in his cabin, after being caught (on July 16) stealing gratuities from the buffet restaurant.

The incident occurred while the liner was berthed in homeport Southampton, England.

03 January 2009Structural and Technical Issues

On January 3, 2009, due to mechanical problems (emergency back-up generator), the liner had an extended port stay in Barcelona. The accident resulted in itinerary change - next call port Vigo Spain was canceled, and the ship continued directly back to Southampton (arriving on January 5)). To fix the problem, spare parts from Italy were flown to Southampton.

As compensation, all passengers received GBP 100 pp in cash. The ship was on Mediterranean roundtrip cruise from homeport Southampton England.

19 October 2008Drug Smuggling

On October 19, 2008, when the ship docked in homeport Southampton (England UK), a drug raid was conducted, resulting in 7 passengers arrested and charged with drug smuggling. In 4 of the arrested passengers were found a total of 20 kg of cocaine (street value ~GBP 1,75 million), with packages strapped to the bodies.

The arrested passengers were all of the British origin (from Birmingham and Manchester). The incident occurred during  23-day Transatlantic cruise from the UK to the Caribbean, roundtrip from Southampton. The drugs were collected in call port Castries (St Lucia Island).

(law news) On December 15, the other 3 arrested were released on bail. Eventually, the 4 passengers were sentenced to 12 years in jail (each).

08 August 2008Propulsion / Power Loss

On August 8, 2008, propulsion problems (stern thruster failure) affected the next scheduled 5 cruise itineraries. Booked passengers were notified about the itinerary changes. Repairs were made in November (2008), during the vessel's scheduled drydock refurbishment.

07 July 2008Propulsion / Power Loss

On July 7, 2008, the ship experienced engine problems resulting in reduced speed. The itinerary's pre-scheduled port times were altered, but the ports of call were not changed/cancelled.

January 2008Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

On January 24, 2008, when the ship docked in homeport NOLA New Orleans, was reported a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) with infected 80 passengers (or 4,1% of all) and 11 crew (or 1,2% of all). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (stomach cramps, predominantly vomiting and diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins.

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