Celestyal Crystal accidents and incidents

Celestyal Crystal cruise ship

Former names
Louis Cristal, MS Silja Opera, MS Albatross, Sally, Viking Saga

Length (LOA)
162 m / 531 ft

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CruiseMapper's Celestyal Crystal cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 1452-passenger vessel owned by Celestyal Cruises. Our Celestyal Crystal 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • fires - 1990 (during reconstruction at Finnboda Shipyard / Nacka, Sweden), 2022 (Rhodes)
  • aground - 1994 (on ice in the Gulf of Finland)
  • ship collision - 2003 (with 3 cargo ships, 1 Russian icebreaker), 2007 (with a tugboat), 2008 (with Lissos ferry), 2015 (with an oil tanker)
  • injuries/crimes - 2015 (during the collision)

During its service history, the vessel was operating under the names Viking Saga (1980-1986 by Viking Line), Sally Albatross (1986-1990 by Sally Cruises), Leeward (1990-2000 by Crown Jewel Inc), SuperStar Taurus (2000-2002 by Star Cruises), Silja Opera (2002-2006 by Silja Cruises), MS Opera (2006-2007 by Citron Navigation Corporation), MS Cristal (2007-2011 by Citron Navigation Corporation), Louis Cristal (2011-2015 by Louis Cruises) and Celestyal Cristal (since 2015 by Celestyal Cruises / rebranded from "Louis Cruises").

13 September 2022Fire Accident

On September 13, 2022, while docked at Greece's Rhodes Island, the boat reported a small fire on Hera Deck (pool deck/deck 9) which flames engulfed some of the padded sunbeds and deckchairs. No injuries were reported.

The ship's firefighting team responded immediately and extinguished the fire within ~10 minutes.

Two of Rhodes Fire Service's trucks arrived at the ship's entrance but their teams didn't have to intervene. The Hellenic Coast Guard was also on standby.

Rhodes Port Authority conducted a preliminary investigation and later Celestyal Crystal was cleared to continue the voyage.

The accident occurred during the 7-day "Idyllic Aegean Cruise" (itinerary Sept 10-17, roundtrip from homeport Piraeus-Athens) visiting Thessaloniki, Kusadasi/Ephesus (Turkey), Rhodes Island (port stay 9 am - 6 pm), Heraklion (Crete), Santorini Island, Mykonos Island, and Milos Island.

27 June 2015Ship Collision / Allision

(MS Louis Cristal) On June 27, 2015, the ship was on an Eastern Mediterranean cruise itinerary visiting ports in Greece and Turkey. While en-route from Mykonos Island to Istanbul, and passing through Canakkale (Dardanelles Strait, off Gallipoli Turkey’s coast), the vessel (carrying 854 passengers) collided with the oil tanker STI Pimlico (23300 GT, 37000 DWT). The cargo ship was en route from Russia to Malta (Tuapse to Valletta). Reported with minor injuries were 3 people.

The collision occurred at ~1:30 am and at the canal’s Northern entrance, right in front of the Lighthouse. The cruise vessel suffered serious structural (bow) damage, while the tanker sustained midship-portside hull damage, and one of its cargo tanks was breached. As result, the tanker leaked naphtha cargo into the water and started to list.

All the 1234 cruise passengers were ferried to Gallipoli. As compensation, all passengers received a full refund, plus a free Celestyal cruise (2015-2016 itineraries).

27 June 2015Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On June 27, 2015, during the collision near Gallipoli Turkey, 1 passenger and 2 crew suffered minor injuries and were treated at the ship’s infirmary.

November 2014Other Incidents

In November 2014, the ship “Louis Cristal” was renamed to “Celestyal Crystal” (following the line’s rebranding) and also received its new Celestyal livery.

01 August 2008Ship Collision / Allision

(MS Louis Cristal) On August 1, 2008, the ship was on 7-day Mediterranean cruise itinerary to Greek Isles and Turkey. While maneuvering in call port Piraeus-Athens (Greece), the vessel (carrying 955 passengers) collided with MF Lissos (Anek Lines-owned ferry to the Greek islands Chios and Lesbos).

No injuries were reported, but both vessels sustained material damages.

26 September 2007Ship Collision / Allision

(MS Silja Opera) On September 26, 2007, while maneuvering in homeport Helsinki (Finland), the ship collided with a docked tugboat. As result, all the portside lifeboats were damaged, and one of them even fell into the sea, completely destroyed.

May 2007Other Incidents

In May 2007, the Silja Opera ferry was sold to Louis Cruises, in which fleet the ship replaced the sunk MS Sea Diamond. After drydock refit at Piraeus shipyard (Athens, Greece), the redesigned vessel was renamed to “MS Cristal”, starting cruise operations in July.

12 November 2003Ship Collision / Allision

(MS Silja Opera) On November 12, 2003, upon leaving call port St Petersburg Russia, the vessel (carrying 449 passengers and 164 crew) collided with the Russian icebreaker Yermak anchored in Morskoy Canal (length ~2,3 ml / 3,5 km, width 330 ft / 100 m). The accident occurred ~1 hour after the ferry passengers were embarked. No injuries were reported, but half of the ferry’s lifeboats were seriously damaged. The ship was cleared by local authorities to continue with the itinerary ending in homeport Helsinki Finland.

17 September 2003Ship Collision / Allision

(MS Silja Opera) On September 17, 2003, the vessel was involved in 3 collision incidents, damaging a total of 3 cargo vessels berthed at St Petersburg harbor’s quay (Russia). The investigation report (done by the Sjofartsinspektion) blamed for the collisions the weak communication between the assisting pilot and the ship’s navigation bridge crew, as well as the bad weather conditions (strong wind) and Morskoy Canal’s water stream and shallow water effect.

04 March 1994Ship Grounding

(MS Sally Albatross) On March 4, 1994, the vessel ran aground in the ice-covered Gulf of Finland (near Porkkalanniemi Peninsula). The ship was towed to shallow waters where all passengers were evacuated.

After grounding, the vessel was left on site, badly listing. Due to harsh weather conditions, refloating succeeded on April 16. Then it was towed to Vuosaari shipyard (arriving on April 20) where the most urgent repairs were made.

After hull inspection, it was determined the repairs cost would be ~FIM 200 million (USD 35 million).

January 1990Fire Accident

(MS Sally Albatross) In January 1990, the vessel was docked at Finnboda Shipyard (Nacka, Sweden) for refurbishments of the onboard restaurants, disco nightclub, and conference rooms. During the refurb, a fire accident at the shipyard severely damaged (beyond repair) the ship's superstructure.

The fire started from drops of liquid metal which sparkle on flammable material. The sprinkler/fire protection system was turned off during drydocking. Other factors contributing to the damages were that fire hydrants were dry, the fire water supply was temporarily disconnected, plus at that time the fire watchman was not on duty (left for lunch).

Due to the danger of explosion (gas bottles used in the vessel's refit), the fire brigade withdrew from the interior, after rescuing 2 crew. Thus fire fighting was from the outside, the above decks and from below the refitted decks. The result was that the vessel remained on fire for 3 days.

All shipyard workers and crew were rescued by the dispatched fire brigade and without any casualties or injuries.

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