Celestyal Journey accidents and incidents

Celestyal Journey cruise ship

Former names
Aegean Goddess (SeaJets Greece), Victoria Amazing (Victoria Cruises Line), Pacific Aria (P&O Australia), Ida Pfeiffer (CMV), MS Ryndam (Holland America)

Length (LOA)
220 m / 722 ft

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CruiseMapper's Celestyal Journey cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 1512-passenger vessel owned by Celestyal Cruises. Our Celestyal Journey 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • sold in 2020
  • fires - 2003, 2013
  • pier collision/allision - 2024 (in Port Kusadasi Turkey)
  • ship listing - 2003
  • propulsion/power loss - 2002, 2006, 2007, 2012
  • sea pollution (Alaska) - 2002, 2012 (3)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2002 (total 356 / 39), 2005 (272 / 37), 2006 (total 166 / 18), 2007 (total 355 / 47), 2008 (113 / 8), 2011 (total 217 / 17), 2015 (NA)
  • deaths - 2011 (Belize snorkeling), 2014 (overboard crew), 2015 (murder-suicide), 2022 (crew)
  • injuries/crimes - 2010 (released anchor), 2017 (rape)
  • medevacs - 2014
  • December 2023 cruises canceled due to the Israel-Palestine war

During its service history, this cruise ship was also known as “MS Ryndam” (1994-2015) being constructed for HAL-Holland America Line. In 2015, the shipowner (Carnival Corporation) transferred the vessel to P&O Australia and renamed it "Pacific Aria". In October 2020, it was sold to Seajets Ferries (Greece) and renamed "Aegean Goddess". In 2023 it was sold to Celestyal Cruises and renamed "Celestyal Journey".

15 April 2024Ship Collision / Allision

Around noon on April 15, 2024, the ship collided with the pier in Port Kusadasi while approaching it for berthing. The collision was due to excessive speed during the maneuvering for docking.

Despite the crew's attempts to drop the anchor, the vessel didn't decelerate adequately and its bow bulb made contact with the concrete structure. No injuries or water ingress/pollution were reported.

The collision caused only minor damage to both the ship and the pier.

The accident occurred at the beginning of the 7-day "Idyllic Aegean Cruise" (itinerary April 13-20, roundtrip from Piraeus-Athens) with scheduled visits to Thessaloniki (Apr 14), Kusadasi-Ephesus (Apr 15), Heraklion Crete (Apr 16), Santorini Island (Apr 17), Mykonos Island (Apr 18) and Milos Island (Apr 19).

Note: Actually, this type of marine accident is called “allision” (striking a fixed object) as opposed to “collision” (striking another vessel).

14 November 2023Other Incidents

On November 14, 2023, Celestyal Cruises canceled five Celestyal Journey voyages scheduled for December (roundtrips from Piraeus-Athens and Limassol) with departures on Dec 2, Dec 6, Dec 9, and Dec 16.

The decision for the cancellations was due to guests' response, travel agents' feedback and an increase in cancellations - all because of the Israel-Palestine war. The itineraries originally visited Ashdod but in November were altered and the Israeli port was replaced with Heraklion (Crete Island, Greece).

Next are listed the canceled itineraries.

  1. (2023 Dec 2) 7-day "Three Continents" roundtrip from Piraeus-Athens to Heraklion Crete, Alexandria-Cairo Egypt, Limassol Cyprus, Rhodes Island Greece, Kusadasi-Ephesus Turkey.
  2. (2023 Dec 6) 7-day "Three Continents" roundtrip from Limassol to Rhodes Island, Kusadasi-Ephesus, Piraeus-Athens, Port Said-Cairo Egypt, Heraklion.
  3. (2023 Dec 9) 7-day "Three Continents" roundtrip from Piraeus-Athens to Heraklion, Alexandria-Cairo, Limassol, Rhodes Island, Kusadasi-Ephesus
  4. (2023 Dec 16) 11-day "Christmas 2023 Cruise" roundtrip from Piraeus-Athens to Thessaloniki Greece, Izmir Turkey, Agios Nikolaos Crete, Antalya Turkey, Limassol, Alexandria-Cairo, Haifa-Nazareth Israel
  5. (2023 Dec 16) 19-day "Christmas and New Year 2023 Cruise" roundtrip from Piraeus-Athens to Thessaloniki, Izmir, Agios Nikolaos, Antalya, Limassol, Alexandria-Cairo, Haifa-Nazareth, Piraeus-Athens, Heraklion, Rhodes Island, Kusadasi-Ephesus, Istanbul Turkey, Volos-Meteora Greece

All affected bookings/canceled itineraries were fully refunded (100%) and additionally received 25% (of the total amount paid/cruise fare plus amenities) in FCC/future cruise credit on any voyage departing before December 31, 2024.

May 2022Crew / Passenger Deaths

(Aegean Goddess) On May 12, 2022,  a 61-year-old male crew was found dead in his cabin.

The man (Greek national) worked as a sailor/deckhand (operating and maintaining the vessel and its deck equipment) and was found by his colleagues. The death was confirmed by the ship's med team.

The incident occurred while the vessel was docked at Port Heraklion (Crete Greece) and without passengers on board.

29 May 2017Crew / Passenger Crimes

(P&O Pacific Aria/sexual) On May 29, 2017, an Australian news media reported that a 33-year-old male passenger was arrested and charged with raping. He allegedly abused his cabin-mate (travel companion) – a woman in her 40s, The incident occurred while the ship was off Queensland Australia’s coast, operating on 4-day Cruise to Nowhere from homeport Brisbane.

30 December 2015Structural and Technical Issues

(P&O Pacific Aria) On January 7, 2016, an Australian news media reported an iPhone video footage of stormwater cascading down stairs and spilling into the corridors of the ship. The incident was video recorded on December 30, while the ship was en-route from Cairns to Brisbane. According to P&O Australia, the accident was due to a huge downpour during the storm. As compensation, on Dec 31 the ship provided free drinks for a period of 6 hours.

02 April 2015Crew / Passenger Deaths

(MS Ryndam) On April 2, 2015, a couple was found dead in their cabin. The murder-suicide accident occurred while the ship was berthed in call port San Juan Puerto Rico. The couple (man and woman in their 50s) were from Cleveland Ohio (USA). How they died remained unclear. The bodies were found by the crew. The ship was on 14-day Southern Caribbean cruise roundtrip from homeport Tampa to Key West FL, followed by 2 sea days before San Juan.

January 2015Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(MS Ryndam) On July 1, 2015, the vessel was forced to shorten a 14-day roundtrip voyage from Harwich, UK, due to Norovirus (gastrointestinal illness) outbreak. The ship returned to homeport Harwich a day early (on July 3), so the staff could perform deep cleaning before the next voyage (14-day "Voyage of the Midnight Sun", departure July 4).

According to the cruise company's official statement, during the 14-day "Northern Isle" cruise from Harwich (departure June 20), a "high number of guests" reported to the infirmary Norovirus symptoms (stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea).

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.

21 December 2014Crew / Passenger Deaths

(MS Ryndam / overboard) On December 21, 2014, a 27-year-old male crew (from Thane India) was reported missing and presumably overboard. The accident occurred in the Caribbean Sea, while the ship was returning to homeport Tampa Florida. The man’s body was found on December 26 - along Sand Key Park (Clearwater Beach, Florida).

10 June 2014Coast Guard Medevacs

(MS Ryndam) On June 10, 2014, while en-route to call port Stavanger Norway, due to a medical emergency the ship had to turn back to call port Kristiansand Norway, ~30 min after departure. A male passenger (suffering from acute illness) was disembarked and taken by an ambulance to Sorlandet Hospital Kristiansand.

07 June 2013Fire Accident

(MS Ryndam) On June 7, 2013, the vessel suffered a fire accident during 7-day Norwegian Fjords cruise (itinerary June 1-8) roundtrip from homeport Dover (England UK). The accident occurred at ~ 0:20 am when the ship’s fire alarm sounded. The fire was in the funnel’s exhaust pipe. Flames were soon extinguished. The whole incident lasted ~40 min. The itinerary was not affected.

18 November 2012Propulsion / Power Loss

(MS Ryndam) On November 18, 2012, USCG reported the vessel experiencing maneuverability problems.

December 2011Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(MS Ryndam) In December 2011, CDC reported on itinerary December 11-18, a Norovirus outbreak affected 69 passengers (out of 1298, or 5,3%) and 6 crew (out of 574, or 1,1%).

November 2011Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(MS Ryndam) November 2011 CDC reported on itinerary November 3-20, an epidemic Norovirus outbreak infected 148 passengers (out of 1188, or 12,5%) and 11 crew (out of 574, or 1,9%).

02 February 2011Crew / Passenger Deaths

(MS Ryndam) On February 2, 2011, a 60-year-old female passenger died ashore while the ship was berthed in call port Belize City. The accident occurred at ~2 pm in the waters of Goff’s Caye, where the snorkeling woman got caught in the tour boat’s propeller, cutting her in pieces. Badly injured, she was taken by an ambulance to Belize Medical Associates (private hospital) where she succumbed to the injuries. The woman and her husband were on a snorkeling excursion on a 65-ft catamaran boat. The woman was snorkeling with 3 other cruise ship tourists when went under the tour boat.

27 November 2010Crew / Passenger Crimes

(MS Ryndam) On November 27, 2010, a 44-year-old male passenger (while in an intoxicated condition) broke into a control room (at 5:25 am) and released the cruise ship’s stern anchor. The vessel was in the Caribbean Sea, en-route from Mexico (Costa Maya) back to homeport Tampa Florida.

The man (Rick Ehlert, from Thousand Oaks California) was traveling together with his girlfriend and admitted to the crime. He was charged with a 3-count indictment – for attempting “damage, destroy, disable, or wreck a vessel”. Releasing the anchor on a moving ship could have damaged its navigation and propulsion (rudder and propeller), thus, disabling its ability to maneuver. Also possible was hull damage (by the anchor) causing flooding or even sinking.

2009Sea Pollution

(MS Ryndam) In 2009 (July 21) and 2010 (May 20, August 20) the vessel was reported for water pollution in Alaska – exceeding the monthly allowable levels for ammonia and E-coli bacteria.

February 2008Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(MS Ryndam) In February 2008, CDC reported on itinerary February 15-25, an epidemic Norovirus outbreak infected 113 passengers (out of 1226, or 9,2%) and 8 crew (out of 556, or 1,4%).

11 April 2007Propulsion / Power Loss

(MS Ryndam) On April 11, 2007, at ~1 pm, the ship shuddered, slowed and eventually stopped. After a while, it continued at reduced speed. The accident resulted in ~4-hours late arrival in homeport San Diego CA, where the vessel was assisted by tugboats during entering and berthing. As the incident was caused by Azipod (propulsion unit) malfunction, an ABB specialist was flown from Finland to fix the problem.

March 2007Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(MS Ryndam) In March 2007, CDC reported on itinerary March 3-13, a Norovirus outbreak affected 61 passengers (out of 1209, or 5,1%) and 7 crew (out of 593, or 1,2%).

On March 13, 2007, due to cleaning procedures following the gastrointestinal illness outbreak, the ship’s scheduled March 13 departure was changed to March 15. All booked passengers were allowed to cancel (with a full refund) or receive a 2-day refund in addition to onboard credit per person.

March 2007Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(MS Ryndam) February-March 2007, CDC reported on itinerary February 21-March 3, an epidemic Norovirus outbreak infected 184 passengers (out of 1260, or 14,6%) and 26 crew (out of 579, or 4,5%).

February 2007Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(MS Ryndam) January-February 2007, CDC reported on itinerary January 22-February 21, an epidemic Norovirus outbreak infected 110 passengers (out of 1153, or 9,5%) and 14 crew (out of 573, or 2,4%).

09 December 2006Propulsion / Power Loss

(MS Ryndam) On December 9, 2006, due to the engine and electrical problems, the ship remained anchored overnight in Tampa Bay. Engine problems occurred ~1 hour after the departure from homeport Tampa Florida. After the ship’s power was restored, the USCG forced the vessel to remain moored overnight for further investigation.

01 August 2006Propulsion / Power Loss

(MS Ryndam) On August 1, 2006, the vessel suffered propulsion motor failure while navigating in Alaska (en-route from Ketchikan to Juneau). Operating with just 1 Azipod motor, the ship continued on the voyage while the crew unsuccessfully tried to make repairs. On Aug 2, the technical team from the unit’s manufacturer (ABB) was sent to Juneau and fixed it.

June 2006Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(MS Ryndam) May-June 2006, CDC reported on itinerary May 28 - June 4, a Norovirus outbreak affected 64 passengers (out of 1230, or 5,2%) and 5 crew (out of 574, or 0,9%).

May 2006Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(MS Ryndam) In May 2006, CDC reported on itinerary May 14-21, an epidemic Norovirus outbreak infected 102 passengers (out of 1279, or 8%) and 13 crew (out of 570, or 2,3%).

January 2005Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(MS Ryndam) In January 2005, CDC reported on itinerary January 13-29, an epidemic Norovirus outbreak infected 272 passengers (out of 1223, or 22,2%) and 37 crew (out of 574, or 6,4%).

February 2004Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(MS Ryndam) In February 2004, CDC reported on itinerary February 7-14, a Norovirus outbreak affected 73 passengers (out of 1260, or 5,8%) and 9 crew (out of 550, or 1,6%).

July 2003Fire Accident

(MS Ryndam) In July 2003, during its Alaskan inaugural cruise season, the ship reported a fire accident. It occurred in an onboard storage area on service deck 3 (B Deck) during berthing in call port Juneau Alaska. Damages were minor and the fire was quickly extinguished. The itinerary was not affected.

13 March 2003Ship Listing

(MS Ryndam) On March 13, 2003, at ~6:30 pm, the ship listed portside. The accident resulted in crew and passenger injuries, broken tableware, damaged furniture, empty swimming pool, flooded elevator shafts (damaged lifts portside). The accident was caused by a mechanical failure during switching between manual navigation and autopilot.

17 August 2002Sea Pollution

(MS Ryndam) On August 17, 2002, the vessel was reported for water pollution in Alaska – sewage sludge was discharged into Juneau harbor.

August 2002Propulsion / Power Loss

(MS Ryndam) In August 2002, while in Alaska (Lynn Canal) the ship lost power (including all propulsion). The vessel drifted for ~20 min as the sea was too deep to anchor. It was tugged to Auke Bay, where was inspected by USCG. As a result, the scheduled Glacier Bay was replaced with Tracy Arm Fjord and Sawyer Glacier.

2002Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(MS Ryndam) In 2002, CDC reported 3 norovirus outbreaks – itinerary April 7-24 (NA), itinerary July 1825 (167 passengers, 9 crew), itinerary July 25-August 1 (189 passengers, 30 crew).

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