Diamond Princess accidents and incidents

Diamond Princess cruise ship


Length (LOA)
290 m / 951 ft

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CruiseMapper's Diamond Princess cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 3247-passenger vessel owned by Princess Cruises. Our Diamond Princess 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • pier collision/allision - 2004 (Victoria BC, Canada)
  • propulsion/power loss - 2004
  • pollution in Alaska - 2008 (twice), 2009 (4 times)
  • injuries/crimes - 2006, 2013, 2015
  • deaths - 2017, 2020 (14 Coronavirus), 2023
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2005, 2 outbreaks in 2006 (total 197 / 7), 2 outbreaks in 2008-China (total 492 / 14), 2009 (100+), 2014 (60+), 2016-Australia (158 pax)
  • Coronavirus outbreak - 2020 (712 infected, 14 deaths)
  • crew shortages - 2022 (11x canceled voyages)

05 May 2023Crew / Passenger Deaths

On May 5, 2023, at ~5:30 Tokyo time (~20:30 UTC), while Diamond Princess was entering the harbor of Nagasaki (Japan), a port pilot fell from the assisting pilot boat into the sea.

The cruise ship immediately deployed a rescue boat a safely retrieved the 69-year-old crew from the water. The man (Yoshihiro Osuga) was wearing a lifejacket but was unconscious when rescued. Unfortunately, two hours later he died in a hospital.

The incident occurred at the end of the 8-day "Golden Week Circle Japan Cruise" (itinerary Apr 29 - May 7, roundtrip from Yokohama-Tokyo) with call ports Aomori City (May 1), Hakodate (May 2), Busan Korea (May 4) and Nagasaki City (May 5/port stay 7 am - 4 pm).

September 2022Other Incidents

In early August 2022, due to crew shortages, Princess Cruises canceled a total of 11x Diamond Princess voyages originally scheduled for the period September 1 thru November 13, 2022.

All affected by the cancellations bookings were provided with the following three options.

  1. Rebooking with US$100 in OBC/onboard credit per person, with protected current fares, incentives, land transfers, and promos if the new fare is higher and the closest equivalent cabin category (subject to availability). All non-cruise-fare purchases made through the company were fully refunded, including flights, tours/shore excursions, specialty dining, spa treatments, gifts.
  2. A full refund (100%) in FCC/future cruise credit plus US$100 in OBC pp. The new booking had to be made by December 31, 2023. Fully refunded were excess payments (Vacation Protection, Gov taxes, port fees, flight- or hotel packages, prepaid shore excursions.
  3. A full monetary refund to the original form of payment, with requests via online form to be made by September 8, 2022, or the money will be automatically transferred into FCC.

Note: Following the COVID crisis, the ship was scheduled to restart operations on Sept 1, 2022 (5-day "West Coast Getaway with San Francisco Cruise" out of San Diego (California USA). Among the canceled sailings was a 16-night Hawaiian Islands roundtrip from San Diego.

30 March 2021Other Incidents

On March 30, 2021, on HBOMax was premiered "The Last Cruise" - an HBO original documentary film themed on the cruise ship's Coronavirus outbreak in 2020. The movie uses original footage recorded onboard by passengers and crew.

Next is the documentary's official trailer released by HBO on March 16, 2021.

February 2020Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(epidemic Coronavirus outbreak) On February 4, 2020, at Port Yokohama the liner was quarantined after 10 passengers tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19). On the new cruise, 273 passengers and crew (experiencing the symptoms) were tested. The 10 infected included 9 passengers (3 from Japan, 3 from Hong Kong, 2 from Australia, 1 from the USA) and 1 crew (from The Philipines). They were disembarked and hospitalized ashore.

The vessel was immediately quarantined for 14 days (resupplied with food) and the two planned itineraries were cancelled. The blocked ship carried a total of 3711 people (2666 passengers plus 1045 crew/staff). Of all passengers, ~1/2 were Japanese and 223 were Australians.

The accident occurred at the beginning of the 8-day Japan and Taiwan cruise roundtrip from homeport Yokohama. Two following itineraries were cancelled (Feb 4-12 and Feb 12-20), both 8-day roundtrips from Yokohama-Tokyo to Japan (Shimizu, Kobe, Naha) and Taiwan (Keelung-Taipei).

All quarantined passengers received a full refund (of the cruise fare paid) including flights, hotels, land transportation, pre-paid excursions, onboard gratuities, onboard purchased items and services (including beverages, Internet, specialty dining, spa treatments, room service, movies-on-demand). All passengers were also provided with a future cruise credit (equal to the cruise fare paid). The ship's staff-crew received their designated gratuities, all their onboard charges (for the voyage) were cleared, charges during the quarantine period were not incurred. Home flights of the crew were also handled by Princess Cruises.

As Japanese health officials continued to screen the quarantined 273 tourists, on January 6th was reported that a total of 20 (of the 102 tested) were infected with Coronavirus. The second 10 cases included passengers from Japan (4), USA (2), Canada (2), New Zealand (1) and Taiwan (1). They were also removed from the ship and ambulanced to medical facilities ashore.

On February 7th were confirmed 41 new Coronavirus cases (to 61 total) on the quarantined ship. Further details were not provided. On Feb 9th were confirmed 3 more Coronavirus cases (to 64 total). Over the weekend Feb 8-9, ten non-Coronavirus passengers were disembarked and ambulanced to local hospitals for treatments.

On February 10th were reported 66 new cases bringing to total 130 infected (including 6 crew). On Feb 12th were reported 44 more infected (total 174). On Feb 13th were added 44 more cases (43 passengers, 1 crew / to 218 total) from 221 new tests. Five people from Diamond Princess were hospitalized in serious conditions. As of Feb 13th, were conducted a total of 713 tests, with max of 300 people tested per day.

On Feb 15th were added 67 more infected (total 285), on Feb 16th - additional 70 (total 355).

On Feb 15th, the US embassy in Tokyo announced that all US citizens currently on Diamon Princess would be offered seats on a Government-chartered flight on Feb 16th. Prior to boarding the home flight, all American cruise tourists were screened for Coronavirus. The aircraft flew to Travis Air Force Base (in Fairfield CA) where some passengers stayed in quarantine for 14 days. Among the hundreds of Americans on the liner, 24 were diagnosed with the deadly On Feb 17 were added 98 new cases (total 453) and 14x Americans were disembarked from the ship and flown to the USA. On Feb 18 the infected totalled 542 (89 new cases).

On Feb 15th, China officially reported a total of 1523 Coronavirus deaths. Meanwhile, Diamond Princess cancelled two more 8-day Japan and Taiwan cruises (same call ports, itineraries Feb 20-28 and Feb 28 - Mar 7).

International medias questioned (many openly criticized) the effectiveness of the quarantine, with dozens of new cases diagnosed daily. Medical experts commented that the ship quarantine was a failure as the vessel became an incubator for the COVID-19 virus, instead of an isolation facility preventing the outbreak. All passengers stayed confined to their staterooms and were required to wear masks and keep their distance from each other during the brief periods when allowed to walk the open decks.

The Diamond Princess outbreak started with an 80-year-old male passenger. The elderly Chinese man visited mainland China on Jan 10. Together with his daughters, he flew into Tokyo on Jan 17 and 2 days later developed a cough. He boarded the ship in Yokohama on Jan 20 and debarked the ship in Hong Kong on Jan 25. On Jan 30 he sought medical attention and was diagnosed with Coronavirus shortly after.

The ship was released from quarantine on February 20th, with finally reported 621 infected. Japan’s Health Ministry also confirmed 2 deaths. The two elderly cruise passengers died ashore (Feb 20) after being hospitalized in serious conditions. Both were Japanese and with existing chronic diseases (heart ailments and bronchitis). They were hospitalized on Feb 11th (87-year-old man) and Feb 12th (84-year-old woman). Allegedly, both became infected before Feb 5th when the ship was quarantined.

On Feb 20th, when the vessel's quarantine was lifted, were reported a total of 3063 tested (for COVID-19) and 634 infected (excluding 4 deaths). On Feb 21, 129 Canadian cruisers evacuated from Diamond Princess were flown to Trenton (Ontario). On Feb 22nd were disembarked 23 passengers without being tested for Coronavirus.

On Feb 23, four Diamond Princess passengers were tested positive for COVID-19 in England, after flying back to the UK from Japan (total 625 cases). Two more Japanese cruise passengers died from Coronavirus in hospitals ashore (one on Feb 23, the other on Feb 25). A total of 81 infected remained hospitalized in Japan. On Feb 26th were reported 4061 tested with total 705 infected. Three more Diamond Princess passenger deaths were reported on Feb 28 (British), March 1 (Australian) and March 21 (Canadian). The elderly tourists died after returning home from the cruise.

On Feb 27th, Indonesia announced that all the Indonesian crew from two cruise ships (Diamond Princess and World Dream) will be repatriated (evacuated by plane) and quarantined on the uninhabited Sebaru Island (in Indonesia's Thousand Islands district). The evacuation from World Dream included a total of 188 crew (172 men, 16 women).

During the COVID outbreak, the ship was commanded by Captain Gennaro Arma. He, together with 15 other Italian officers arrived in Italy (Rome's Fiumicino Airport) on March 16th.

Date / TimePort
20 Jan 17:00Departing from Yokohama, Japan
22 Jan 07:00 - 21:00Kagoshima, Japan
25 Jan 07:00 - 24:00Hong Kong, China
27 Jan 07:00 - 16:00Chan May Port (Da Nang, Hue Vietnam)
28 Jan 08:00 - 18:00Hạlong City, Vietnam
31 Jan 07:00 - 17:00Keelung/Taipei City (Taiwan)
01 Feb 12:00 - 23:00Port Naha/Okinawa City (Japan)
03 FebArriving in Yokohama

The above table shows the 14-day itinerary on which the vessel disembarked passengers in China (Hong Kong) and in Port Naha (Okinawa City) were reported the first COVD-19 cases. Next table shows the number of conducted daily tests and confirmed Coronavirus cases.

DateTests NrCases Nr
Feb 53110
Feb 610220
Feb 727361
Feb 827964
Feb 933670
Feb 10439135
Feb 12492174
Feb 13713218
Feb 15930285
Feb 161219355
Feb 171723454
Feb 182404542
Feb 193011621
Feb 203063634
Feb 264061705
Mar 53618696

The total number of infected grew to 712 following the debarkation and repatriation.

On March 31, Diamond Princess completed a Level-3 deep cleaning project (conducted by Belfor USA - recovery and restoration services corporation, 1946-founded). The Yokohama-docked vessel was fully cleaned and disinfected, with the operation being constantly monitored by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Following the extensive cleaning, the ship was certified and cleared to leave the country. While in Japan, the liner also entered wetdock (at a local shipyard) for interior refurbishment (all mattresses, pillows, linens, draperies and curtains were replaced) plus previously scheduled regular maintenance works.

Upon leaving the cruise berth at Port Yokohama, using the staterooms' lights was constructed the message "ARIGATO JAPAN".

28 December 2017Crew / Passenger Deaths

On December 28, 2017, an 80+ years old male passenger died on the ship docked in call port Napier New Zealand. The elderly man suffered a medical emergency onboard. The ship’s medical team was unable to revive him. The incident occurred during 11-day "Christmas Cruise" (itinerary Dec 19-30) from Sydney to Auckland NZ, also visiting Tasmania (Hobart).

26 March 2015Coast Guard Medevacs

On March 26, 2015, a male passenger (suffering from an undisclosed condition) was medevaced while the ship was en-route from New Zealand to homeport Sydney Australia.

19 September 2013Coast Guard Medevacs

On September 19, 2013, a 72-year-old female passenger was medevaced by USCG helicopter when the ship was in Icy Strait Alaska. The woman was airlifted and transported to Sitka Community Hospital.

23 September 2011Other Incidents

On September 23, 2011, during an Alaskan cruise, 68 passengers were transported to next call port Juneau AK from Haines AK via the ferry Malaspina. Due to bad weather, the Princess passengers, along with other tourists, found themselves stranded in Haines and unable to join the cruise ship in Skagway AK. They were on a sponsored by Princess Cruises shore excursion in Haines, arriving there by water taxi.

June 2009Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

On June 16, 2009 (no CDC report), although not experiencing an outbreak, the ship issued an illness report about (unspecified number) passengers with Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea). All sick were 48-hours quarantined to their cabins for fear of spreading the Norwalk virus on the ship. The crew started sanitizing procedures. According to unofficial data, passengers affected by the gastrointestinal illness were well over 100.

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.

2009Sea Pollution

Four times in 2009 (on Aug 14, Sept 1, Oct 23, and Nov 2), while cruising in Alaska, the ship was reported for sea pollution, with higher levels of zinc and ammonia in its wastewater than allowed by Alaska’s wastewater standards.

November 2008Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

On November 5, 2008, the ship was operating in Asia (China roundtrips) when over 400 UK passengers and 13 crew were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours for experiencing Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea). 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.

April 2008Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

On May 1, 2008, the ship reported a Norovirus outbreak affecting 92 passengers (3,4% of all) and 5 crew (0.5% of all) during 14-day Hawaii cruise roundtrip from Los Angeles CA.

2008Sea Pollution

Twice in 2008 (on Sept 25 and Nov 3), while cruising in Alaska, the ship was reported for sea pollution, with higher levels of zinc and ammonia in its wastewater than allowed by Alaska’s wastewater standards.

07 October 2006Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On October 7, 2006, a 58-year-old male passenger was arrested and charged with child molestation. The arrest was done when the ship docked in homeport Long Beach CA. The man was accused of molesting two minors (boys, aged 12) in the onboard sauna room. FBI investigation exonerated him of the charges.

September 2006Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

September 2006, CDC reported during the Alaskan cruise (itinerary Sept 2 to 9), a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 127 passengers (out of 2643, or 4,8%) and 4 crew (out of 1120, or 0,4%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea) and were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours.

August 2006Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

On August 27, 2006, an online news media reported a Norovirus outbreak affecting at least 60 people (passengers and crew), all being quarantined in their cabins for 48 hours. 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.

November 2005Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

On November 30, 2005, a total of 58 passengers (out of 2650) were reported suffering from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea). 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.

January 2005Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

On January 14, 2005, passengers reported between 30 and 40 people suffering from Norovirus illness outbreak on the 7-day Mexico cruise from Los Angeles ((itinerary Jan 7-14). 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 May 2004Ship Collision / Allision

(pier collision) On May 21, 2004, the ship collided with the pier in call port Victoria BC, resulting in technical problems and late departure due to conducted underwater hull damage inspection.

The results were minor hull damages, reduced cruising speed, and itinerary changes. The propeller’s blade tips were also bent.

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

10 March 2004Propulsion / Power Loss

On March 10, 2004, technical problems caused ~5 hours late arrival in homeport Los Angeles CA. The ship was on 7-day Mexico Riviera cruise (itinerary April 3 – 10). There were rumours about the vessel suffering an engine failure. On the previous voyage were reported 3 temporarily power loss incidents (each lasting less than 5 min).

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