Norwegian Epic accidents and incidents

Norwegian Epic cruise ship


Length (LOA)
329 m / 1079 ft

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CruiseMapper's Norwegian Epic cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 5074-passenger vessel owned by Norwegian Cruise Line. Our Norwegian Epic 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.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 - 2010 (during ship construction), 2019 (sauna room)
  • propulsion/power loss - 2010, 2019 (and pier collision in San Juan Puerto Rico)
  • deaths - 2010, 2017, overboard (2018, 2019)
  • injuries/crimes - drug busts (2018, 2019)
  • medevacs - 2019
  • sea pollution -2023 (oil spill in Split Croatia)

27 August 2023Sea Pollution

On August 27, 2023, while docked in Port Split (Croatia) the ship leaked bilge water. The incident was caused by a pipe that broke during the scheduled pumping out of the wastewater (containing oil).

On August 28th, Split's Port Authority confirmed the incident and stated that it didn't cause serious environmental consequences as the spilled oil was promptly removed by a specialized company. Dams were installed around the vessel and the quay (to prevent the spreading of the spill) then the polluted area was immediately cleaned up.

The incident occurred at the end of the 11-day Mediterranean and Adriatic Cruise (itinerary Aug 17-28, from Barcelona to Trieste) with call ports in France (Cannes), Italy (Livorno, Civitavecchia-Rome, Naples, Messina/Sicily), Greece (Kerkyra/Corfu Island), Montenegro (Kotor) and Croatia (Aug 27/port stay 6:30 am - 4:30     pm).

May 2023Other Incidents

In May 2023, NCL canceled Norwegian Epic’s winter 2023-24 schedule in Europe. The program (December 1, 2023, thru April 9, 2024) included a total of 11x voyages in the Mediterranean and Spain's Canaries.

  • (2023 Dec 1) 11 days from Civitavecchia-Rome to Haifa
  • (2023 Dec 12) 10 days from Haifa to Trieste-Venice
  • (2023 Dec 22) 14 days from Trieste to Lisbon
  • (2024 Jan 25) 10 days "Europe - Spain, Gibraltar & Canary Islands" (roundtrip from Lisbon)
  • (2024 Feb 4) 11 days "Europe - Spain, Morocco & Gibraltar" (roundtrip from Lisbon)
  • (2024 Feb 15) 10 days "Europe - Spain, Gibraltar & Canary Islands" (roundtrip from Lisbon)
  • (2024 Feb 25) 12 days from Lisbon to Civitavecchia-Rome
  • (2024 Mar 8) 11 days from Civitavecchia-Rome to Haifa
  • (2024 Mar 19) 11 days from Haifa to Civitavecchia-Rome
  • (2024 Mar 30 and Apr 9) 10 days "Greek Isles - Santorini, Athens & Florence" (roundtrip from Civitavecchia)

Affected bookings automatically received a full (100%) monetary refund of the fare paid (to the form of payment at the time of booking). Bookings made with FCC/Future Cruise Credit were fully refunded in FCC. All bookings additionally received a 20% discount (in FCC) to be applied towards any published European voyages through April 30, 2024. Also additionally, all canceled bookings received a 10% in FCC (for another future cruise) to be applied towards any NCL voyage departing through December 31, 2024.

The discounts were available to use through June 1st (2023) and were not combinable.

25 December 2019Fire Accident

(CruiseMapper emailed report by Courtney) On December 25, 2019, the Norwegian Epic had a fire in the sauna. They first announced Code Bravo early evening, then 10 minutes later announced that they needed more help. Then about 10 minutes later, announced that there was a fire and that they had it taken care of.

The accident allegedly occurred during the 7-day Southern Caribbean cruise (itinerary Dec 22-29) roundtrip from homeport San Juan (Puerto Rico) and visiting Barbados (Bridgetown),  St Lucia Island (Castries, Dec 25, port stay 8 am - 5 pm), St Kitts Island (Basseterre),  St Maarten Island (Philipsburg) and St Thomas Island (Charlotte Amalie).

08 June 2019Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On June 8, 2019, a female passenger was reported missing/overboard while the cruise liner was in the Mediterranean Sea and en-route from Cannes (France) to Majorca Island (Spain). Local authorities were immediately notified. In the conducted search and rescue operation participated a helicopter, a military aircraft, and a rescue boat. The body was not found.

The passenger missing was in pink pyjamas. After checking CCTV camera records was determined that the woman had disappeared at ~5 am (on June 8). Due to the delay, the itinerary had to be altered and call port Palma de Mallorca was skipped.

The incident occurred at the end of 7-day Western Mediterranean cruise (itinerary June 2-9) roundtrip from homeport Barcelona to Italy (Naples, Civitavecchia-Rome, Livorno), France (Cannes) and Spain (Palma de Mallorca/cancelled).

23 March 2019Other Incidents

Due to a medical emergency, the liner delayed its scheduled departure from Port Canaveral (March 23, 2019, planned at 4 pm) to ~1 am (March 24). There was also an itinerary change - the planned for March 24th NCL private island visit (Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas) was canceled due to weather as high winds prevented passenger tendering.

The incident occurred during 7-day Western Caribbean cruise (itinerary March 23-30) roundtrip from homeport Port Canaveral to Great Stirrup Cay (planned port stay 8 am - 5 pm), Ocho Rios (Jamaica), George Town (Grand Cayman) and Cozumel (Mexico).

12 February 2019Propulsion / Power Loss

(pier collision/allision) On February 12, 2019, due to propulsion issues (partial power loss), the itinerary was changed and the liner was re-routed to San Juan (Puerto Rico) for emergency repairs. In Port San Juan, the ship required tug assistance for docking. However, during berthing, it struck the pier. The accident resulted in minor starboard hull damages (scratches and gashes above the waterline) but significant damage to the pier (part of it collapsed).

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

Reportedly, the power loss was caused by a main engine failure which resulted in reduced cruising speed - 11 Kn (20 kph) instead of 23 Kn (40 kph). From the scheduled itinerary, call ports Road Town (Tortola BVI) and Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas USVI) were canceled. On Feb 13 was announced that the itinerary's last stop (Bahamas) is also canceled and the ship returns back to Port Canaveral. As compensation, all passengers received 50% in onboard credit (towards future NCL cruises) but no refunds.

The accident occurred during 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise (itinerary Feb 9-16) roundtrip from homeport Port Canaveral to BVI (Tortola Island / Feb 12), USVI (St Thomas / Feb 13) and Bahamas (Great Stirrup Cay / Feb 15).

The next scheduled 7-day Western Caribbean cruise itinerary (Feb 16-23) was reduced to 5-day. The planned 7-day roundtrip from Port Canaveral included visits to Great Stirrup Cay, Falmouth (Jamaica), Grand Cayman and Cozumel (Mexico).

09 January 2019Drug Smuggling

("Holy Ship 2019") On January 9, 2019, upon boarding the liner in Port Canaveral, a total of 22 passengers were arrested and charged with possession of drugs/ Ecstasy, marijuana and cocaine were found during security checks at Cruise Terminal 10 (dock for NCL ships) before embarkation for the music-themed "Holy Ship 2019" cruise. The voyage was in 2 legs - a 4-day itinerary (Jan 5-9, with overnight on Great Stirrup Cay Island, Bahamas) and a 3-day itinerary (Jan 9-12), both roundtrips from Port Canaveral.

The joint operation was conducted by officers of Brevard County Sheriff's Office, US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and Port Canaveral authorities. In the operation were used sniffer dogs.

The most notable arrests with drug trafficking charges were of David Tran (32-year-old, cocaine and ecstasy pills found inside 2 hairbrushes) and Eric Follmer (33-year-old, 17 pills of ecstasy).

06 March 2018Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(overboard) On March 6, 2018, a female teen passenger fell overboard but was rescued alive. The girl was together with her family on Sun Deck (deck 17) and went overboard while leaning over the railing to take a selfie. The liner was near the Bahamas, en-route from Nassau back to Florida. It stopped, lowered a lifeboat and conducted a successful search and rescue operation for the missing passenger.

The ship was on 4-day Bahamas cruise (itinerary March 3-7) roundtrip from homeport Port Canaveral Florida to Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau.

06 January 2018Drug Smuggling

("Holy Ship 2018") On January 6, 2018, upon boarding the cruise ship in Port Canaveral FL, a total of 24 passengers were arrested and charged with drug possession. Drug charges ranged from ecstasy to marijuana and cocaine. Many of the arrested also carried paraphernalia.

The incident occurred during security checks at the cruise terminal before embarkation for the themed "Holy Ship 2018" cruise (music festival at sea). The 4-day itinerary (Jan 6-10) was a roundtrip from Port Canaveral (Orlando) to Great Stirrup Cay (NCL's private island in the Bahamas).

The most notable arrest was of the 33-year-old Gina Marie Van Scheppingen - the celebrity Gina Turner (from Orangeburg NY). She was charged with 1 felony count of "cocaine possession" and 2 felony counts of "possession of controlled substance without prescription". She was booked in jail with bond set at USD 15,000.

14 February 2017Crew / Passenger Deaths

(murder) On February 14, 2017, unofficially was reported that a 20-year-old female passenger died onboard. Foul play was suspected. The young woman’s stateroom door was taped off and a crew was guarding in the hallway. The accident occurred during 7-night Caribbean cruise from Port Canaveral (itinerary Feb 4-11) visiting Tortola (BVI), St Thomas (USVI) and Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas).

10 February 2017Propulsion / Power Loss

On February 10, 2017, power outage caused an itinerary change – Great Stirrup Cay Island was substituted with Nassau Bahamas. During this cruise, a young woman was allegedly murdered (see the “February 14, 2017” report).

22 February 2013Other Incidents

On February 22, 2013, due to Nassau Port Authority’s scheduling error, the ship was not allowed to enter and dock there. The Captain announced via the PA system that there are 6 cruise ships currently in port, so NCL Epic was denied berthing permission. Passengers were compensated with only US$20 PP (refund for the port fee).

15 August 2010Crew / Passenger Deaths

On August 15, 2010, a 21-year-old male passenger died of a heart attack on the ship, after suffering a severe allergic reaction to food. The young man was travelling together with his family. The incident forced the vessel to return to homeport Miami at 1 am, after leaving the port at 4 pm the previous day on 7-night Caribbean cruise (itinerary Aug 14-21).

04 July 2010Other Incidents

On July 4, 2010, the organized by Macy’s Inc “34th Annual” July 4th-themed Fireworks show took place on the NCL Epic. The NBC’s 1-hour broadcast of the show was aired live from the cruise ship.

21 June 2010Propulsion / Power Loss

On June 21, 2010, a technical issue delayed the ship’s arrival in Southampton England by ~7 hours. NCL announced the cause was a minor propulsion system (propeller shaft) issue. It was fixed in Southampton. On the 2-days long Maiden Voyage (June 24), passenger embarkation in Southampton was delayed by ~2 hours after the ship’s pass card system malfunctioned, and all guests had to be signed in manually.

05 May 2010Fire Accident

On May 5, 2010, when the vessel was still under construction, a fire broke out at the shipbuilder’s yard in St Nazaire, France. The incident occurred at ~11 pm, in an aft area (provisioning section) on Deck 4 (crew deck). The fire was quickly contained and extinguished, damaging mostly the wiring in that area.

Firefighters suspected an arson attack. The accident didn’t affect the Inaugural cruise (scheduled for June 24, 2010) as the vessel was delivered to NCL on time.

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