Majestic Princess accidents and incidents

Majestic Princess cruise ship


Length (LOA)
330 m / 1083 ft

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CruiseMapper's Majestic Princess cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 4272-passenger vessel owned by Princess Cruises. Our Majestic 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • pollution - 2017 (Shanghai China “balloons release” Facebook protest)
  • deaths - overboard (2019), 2023 (crew)
  • medevacs - 2018, 2023 (2)
  • Coronavirus - 2022 (800+)

04 July 2023Crew / Passenger Deaths

On July 4, 2023, a male crew was found dead in his cabin while the ship was operating in Alaska.

The man (British national) was employed as a Digital Specialist. He was found dead in his cabin. Reportedly, he visited the Infirmary on July 3rd, suffering from persistent vomiting.

The incident occurred during the 7-day "Alaska Cruise" (itinerary July 1-8, from Whittier to Vancouver) visiting the Alaskan ports/destinations Hubbard Glacier, Glacier Bay NP, Icy Strait Point/Hoonah, Juneau, and Ketchikan.

28 April 2023Coast Guard Medevacs

At ~10:30 pm California time (~5:30 UTC) on April 28, 2023, a 77-year-old female passenger (with kidney failure) was airlifted by a Coast Guard helicopter crew (approx 500 mi/800 km west of Los Angeles) and flown to USCG Sector San Diego, from where was ambulanced to Scripps Memorial Hospital.

On the next day (April 29th, at ~10 am California/5 pm UTC) a 74-year-old female passenger (with stroke-like symptoms) was medevaced from Majestic Princess by the same helicopter crew and flown to San Diego.

Both medical evacuations occurred during the 26-day Transpacific relocation voyage from NZ/Australia to Alaska ( April 9 - May 5, from Auckland New Zealand to Vancouver BC Canada) with call ports in French Polynesia (Papeete Tahiti/Apr 14-15 overnight), USA Hawaii (Lahaina-Maui/Apr 22, Honolulu-Oahu/Apr 23, Kailua-Kona/Apr 24), and USA California (Los Angeles/Apr 30, San Francisco/May 2).

Curiously, the CG aircrew from San Diego conducted two more cruise medevacs in a 24-hour period (from Carnival Spirit and Carnival Panorama) recording a total of 7.2 hours of flight time.

08 April 2023Coast Guard Medevacs

On April 8, 2023, at at ~8:15 am NZ time (~20:15 UTC), an elderly passenger was medevaced from the ship off Auckland, New Zealand. The man was airlifted and transported to Auckland City Hospital by an aircraft dispatched by the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust.

Due to extreme weather in the region (high winds and heavy seas around NZ's North Island), the current itinerary was previously modified by canceling the visits to the Bay of Islands (Apr 7) and Tauranga (Apr 8). Instead, Majestic Princess sailed directly to Auckland and anchored at sea, staying overnight off Browns Bay suburb's coast) to avoid the weather condition. The arrival and disembarkation in Port Auckland were as scheduled (on April 9th).

The accident occurred during the 31-day Transpacific relocation crossing ( from Sydney NSW to Vancouver BC Canada (itinerary Apr 4-May 5) with scheduled visits in New Zealand (Bay of Islands-Russell/Apr 7/canceled, Tauranga-Rotorua/Apr 8/canceled, Auckland/Apr 9), French Polynesia (Papeete/Tahiti Island), Hawaii USA (Lahaina/Maui Island, Honolulu/Oahu Island, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Island), California USA (Los Angeles, San Francisco) and BC Canada (Victoria, and Vancouver).

Note: The voyage was also available in smaller itinerary segments - 5 days from Australia to New Zealand (Sydney to Auckland) and 26 days from Australia to the USA (Sydney to Los Angeles).

November 2022Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) On November 12, 2022, the ship returned back to homeport Sydney Harbour (NSW Australia) with 800+ COVID-positive cases onboard.

The outbreak occurred during the 12-day "New Zealand Cruise" (itinerary Oct 21 - Nov 12, roundtrip from Sydney) visiting NZ's ports/destinations Fiordland NP, Port Chalmers-Dunedin, Lyttelton-Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, and Russell/Bay of Islands.

Princess Cruises officially confirmed the COVID outbreak on Majestic Princess but didn/t specify the exact number of active cases during the voyage. According to the company, the infected passengers were either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic (all were quarantined to their staterooms), while for the unimpacted passengers was mandatory to wear masks and to maintain a 1,5-m/5-ft distance from people in a different travel group.

Prior to boarding the ship (on Oct 31st) all passengers and crew were required to present negative COVID tests, and all the crew and passengers 12 years of age and older were fully vaccinated.

07 August 2019Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On August 7, 2019, a 45-year-old male passenger (of Chinese origin) intentionally jumped overboard while the liner was en-route from China to Japan, approx 110 km (70 mi) from Jeju Island (Korea). The man jumped into the sea at ~7:50 pm as the incident was captured on CCTV cameras. His wife was the first who alerted ship's security staff about the overboard.

The cruise ship immediately changed its course and started a search and rescue operation with 2 of its lifeboats. The operation (coordinated by the Japanese and South Korean coast guard agencies) was soon joined by 5 other vessels in the area. Man's body was not found.

The incident occurred during the 4-day Japan Cruise (itinerary August 6-10) roundtrip from homeport Shanghai (China) to Nagasaki (Japan).

12 September 2018Coast Guard Medevacs

On September 12, 2018, a 68-year-old male passenger (suffering "serious internal bleeding") was medevaced from the ship off central Queensland's coast. The man (from South Australia) was airlifted by RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter crew and flown to Townsville Hospital (Townsville QLD) in stable condition.

At ~6:30 am, the coastguard helicopter met the ship approx 80 km (50 mi) southeast of Mackay QLD. On liner's helipad were lowered rescue crew, critical-care paramedic and a stretcher. The patient (initially treated by ship's medical crew) was winched into the chopper, which after refuelling at Hamilton Island flew some 400 km (250 ml) to Townsville, arriving at ~10:50 am.

The incident occurred at the end of 22-day Asia to Australia repositioning cruise (itinerary Aug 24 - Sept 13) from  Shanghai to Brisbane, visiting Busan (Korea), Hong Kong, Vietnam (Nha Trang, Saigon), Singapore and Darwin.

04 July 2017Sea Pollution

On July 4, 2017, before departing port Xiamen China (during the “Inaugural Cruise” from Europe to Asia), there was a dockside celebration event which included hundreds of balloons (coloured in yellow, red, blue and pink) released from the ship.

There was a strong social media reaction on the cruise line’s Facebook post about the publicity stunt, calling it “environmentally-harmful” and criticizing the company’s conduct as “disgraceful” and “irresponsible”. The main argument was that these plastic balloons will end up in the ocean (and land) causing harm to marine species (mammals, fish, turtles) that could mistake them as food and consume them.

Princess Cruises responded by claiming that balloons used in the event were “eco-friendly biodegradable”. This was opposed with negative comments about the up to 5-year period needed for a balloon to actually begin to disintegrate. Then, these smaller parts will be consumed by more marine animals causing their death.

Note: In December 2016, the company was fined USD 40 million (GBP 32 million) by the “US Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division” for illegally dumping oil into the sea from the ship Caribbean Princess (plus 4 other fleet mates) since 2005. The cruise company was charged with sea pollution.

Princess Cruise Lines Ltd was accused and found guilty of by-passing the vessel’s oily water separator (using a “magic pipe”), log falsifications, lying to USCG. Princess pleaded guilty to 7 charges. The USD 40 million payment was the world’s largest penalty imposed on any company for marine pollution done deliberately by ship at sea.

As part of the plea agreement, company’s owner Carnival Corporation agreed to submit 78 vessels across its global fleet to a 5-year environmental compliance program. Following the lawsuit, Princess company’s president Jan Swartz published an official apology.

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