Norwegian Jewel accidents and incidents

Norwegian Jewel cruise ship


Length (LOA)
294 m / 965 ft

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CruiseMapper's Norwegian Jewel cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2866-passenger vessel owned by Norwegian Cruise Line. Our Norwegian Jewel 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • propulsion/power loss - 2005
  • deaths - overboard (2019)
  • injuries/crimes - 2009 (crew, for child pornography), drug bust (2017 Sydney Australia / 4 pax), 2023 (crew, for sexual assault)
  • medevacs - 2018 (2)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2 outbreaks in 2008 (total 230 / 20)

23 May 2023Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On May 23, 2023, a male crew was arrested on charges of sexual assault of a female passenger during a 7-day Alaskan voyage.

The man (Neeraj Bhatt) was employed on the ship as a cabin attendant. He was also accused of making a false statement during the lawsuit case. After the victim’s report, he was investigated for "abusive sexual contact" and arrested and trialed in Anchorage AK.

USCG and FBI officers boarded the ship in Seward AK on May 22nd (at the end of the voyage) to investigate the case.

According to the victim, on embarkation day (May 15th) the crew member made her uncomfortable by unpacking her luggage after she said that she could do so herself. Then he knocked on her stateroom door and repeatedly called her. On the next day, he followed her into the stateroom and closed the door, which is a violation of NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line's policy. Allegedly, he then commented on her legs and offered to massage them, leaving briefly and returning with two bottles of massage oil.

According to the court documents, the victim "did not know how to say no" and allowed him to begin massaging her, hoping that he would "get it over with" and leave her alone. Then he told her to remove her skort (a pair of shorts with a flap to resemble a skirt) to continue the massage. She threatened to report him if he continued when he hugged her and attempted to kiss her. He eventually left the room after she again threatened to report him.

The encounter was reported to the ship's security on May 17th. NCL provided CCTV footage showing the man entering the cabin three times, spending a total of 20+ minutes inside (alone with the victim) with the door being closed. On May 22nd, during the investigation, the crew member claimed to enter the cabin only twice and also denied closing the door. He repeated both claims even after he watched the surveillance video and was informed that lying is a federal crime.

The incident occurred during the 7-day Alaska Cruise from Vancouver BC Canada to Seward/Anchorage (itinerary May 15-22) visiting Ketchikan (May 17), Juneau (May 18), Skagway (May 19), Glacier Bay NP (May 20) and Hubbard Glacier (May 21).

10 June 2020Other Incidents

On June 10, 2020, NCL cancelled Norwegian Jewel's entire scheduled program (all departures) between September 25, 2020, and February 27, 2021. At the time, NCL didn't elaborate on the ship's new deployment and explained the decision with fleet redeployment changes.

The cancelled program included mainly Australia and New Zealand itineraries with departures from homeports Sydney NSW and Auckland NZ. Next are listed all the cancelled voyages as departure dates and homeports.

  • 2020 Sept 25 - 14-day from Honolulu to Papeete Tahiti
  • 2020 Oct 9- 14-day from Papeete to Honolulu Hawaii
  • 2020 Oct 23- 14-day from Honolulu to Papeete
  • 2020 Nov 6 - 16-day repositioning from Papeete to Sydney NSW
  • 2020 Nov 22, Dec 6 - 14-day Australia New Zealand roundtrip from Sydney
  • 2020 Dec 20 - 14-day from Sydney to Auckland
  • 2021 Jan 3 - 10-day from Auckland to Port Kembla NSW
  • 2021 Jan 13 - 11-day from Port Kembla to Auckland
  • 2021 Jan 24 - 10-day from Auckland to Sydney
  • 2021 Feb 3 - 12-day from Sydney to Auckland
  • 2021 Feb 15 - 12-day from Auckland to Sydney
  • 2021 Feb 27 - 19-day repositioning from Sydney to Papeete

Previously, on the NCL Jewel ship were cancelled all the Alaskan 2020 itineraries (7-day one-ways) leaving from homeports Vancouver (BC Canada) and Seward (Alaska USA). These cancellations were due to Canada's extended cruise ship ban (through October 31, initially until June 1). The cancelled Alaskan departures were Aug 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Sept 7, 14.

Booked customers on the affected voyages received a 110% refund in FCC (future cruise credit) - full refund plus 10% bonus (of the fare paid). The FCC can be used for up to 1 year (through and including June 9, 2021) and applied towards any currently published NCL cruise between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2022.

23 March 2020Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus issues) On March 23, 2020, ~1700 passengers were disembarked in Honolulu despite Hawaii's 30-day ban on cruise ships due to the global Coronavirus pandemic. According to the state's Department of Transportation, the vessel was allowed docking as it was experiencing “propulsion problems that require repairs at the next port, which is Honolulu Harbor". The passenger debarkation was allowed as ship repairs must be made without passengers on board.

Norwegian Jewel arrived at Honolulu Harbor on March 22, but then no crew or passengers were allowed to get off. The ship had no suspected (with flu-like symptoms) or confirmed cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). NCL arranged charter flights (for March 23 and 24) to fly the tourists back home - to Los Angeles, London (England), Sydney (Australia), Vancouver (Canada) and Frankfurt (Germany). The cruisers were isolated from the general public (stayed on the ship until 3 hours prior to their flight departure) and transported directly from the cruise terminal to Honolulu's Daniel K. Inouye Airport.

The ship was operating a 21-day Australia to Tahiti cruise (itinerary February 28 - March 20) from Sydney NSW to Papeete, with planned visits in Australia (Brisbane), New Caledonia (Mare Island, Isle of Pines, Lifou Island), Vanuatu (Mystery Island), Fiji (Lautoka, Dravuni, Apia) and French Polynesia (Bora Bora, Raiatea, Moorea).

On March 14, due to port closures globally, NCL suspended shipping operations fleetwide and Jewel's current cruise was cancelled. On March 17, after the ship was denied docking and passenger debarkation twice (first in New Zealand, then in Fiji), NCL made the decision the ship to continue directly to Honolulu Hawaii, spending 5 days at sea.

29 December 2019Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On December 29, 2019, at ~7 pm (NZST), while navigating in New Zealand waters (en-route from Napier to Tauranga), the cruise liner reported a  62-year-old male passenger (Australian) going overboard. The ship immediately changed course, returned to the area (south of Mahia Peninsula, North Island's east coast) and started a search and rescue operation conducted by Maritime New Zealand via RCCNZ (Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand).

After the cruise vessel was released to continue the voyage (at ~8 pm), the operation was assisted by three helicopters (one from Hawke's Bay Rescue Helicopter Trust, one from Eastland Rescue Helicopter Trust, one NH90 from RNZAF Base Ohakea), one boxship (container carrier) and two sailing yachts. The man's body was not found.

The incident occurred during the 12-day Australia to New Zealand cruise (itinerary Dec 22 - January 3) roundtrip from homeport Sydney, NSW and visiting in NZ Port Chalmers (Dunedin), Akaroa, Picton, Napier, Tauranga, and Auckland.

12 June 2018Coast Guard Medevacs

On June 12, 2018, a male passenger was medevaced from the ship off Vancouver Island (close to Haida Gwaii) en-route from Vancouver to Ketchikan AK. The emergency rescue operation was conducted by 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron teams dispatched from CFB Comox (Canadian Forces Base). One AgustaWestland CH-149 Cormorant (helicopter) and one DHC-5 Buffalo (utility transport aircraft) assisted the NCL ship. The man and a crew nurse were hoisted to the helicopter and transported to a Comox hospital, then transported by an ambulance to Nanaimo (BC Canada).

The incident occurred during a 7-day Alaskan cruise (itinerary June 11-18) from Vancouver to Seward AK, visiting Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, and Hubbard Glacier.


18 January 2018Coast Guard Medevacs

On January 18, 2018, at ~8:15 pm, a NZ Northern Coastguard team medevaced a male passenger from the cruise ship en-route from Russell (Bay of Islands ) to Auckland. The ship was on 16-day New Zealand cruise (itinerary Jan 5-21) roundtrip from homeport Sydney, NSW Australia.

The liner was met by NZCG rescue catamaran with a paramedic onboard. The operation was done in rough weather conditions (2 m / 7 ft swells and gale-force winds). The paramedic boarded the vessel via a portal (just 2 m above waterline). The sick passenger was first stabilised on board, then lowered in a lifeboat down into the rescue boat. The man was transported to Marine Rescue Centre, from where was ambulanced to Auckland Hospital.

30 November 2017Drug Smuggling

On November 30, 2017, while the ship was docked in Sydney Australia, using sniffer dogs Border Force officers found onboard cocaine (~30 kg). The operation was a cooperation with the UK Border Force.

The Australian officers searched several staterooms and some public areas. During the search, detector dogs first found a bag with 15 kg of cocaine (hidden under a stairwell), then a second bag with ~15 kg of cocaine hidden in a box with deckchair cushions stacked inside. Then, Australian Federal Police officers boarded the ship and arrested all 4 passengers – a 41-year-old male (Belgian) and three French passengers (a 61-year-old male, a 54-year-old male, and a 32-year-old female). They were all charged with “importing commercial quantities of border controlled drugs”.

The incident occurred during 13-day Australia to New Zealand cruise (itinerary Nov 17-30) roundtrip from Sydney NSW, visiting Melbourne, Burnie (Tasmania), Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, Auckland, Bay of Islands.

24 October 2009Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On October 24, 2009, a 31-year-old male crew was arrested in Halifax NS (Canada) and charged with child pornography. The man (of Filipino origin) worked on the ship as a quartermaster. He was sentenced to 100 days in a Canadian jail, then was deported.

October 2008Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

September-October 2008, CDC reported on the voyage Sept 28 to Oct 8, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 144 passengers (out of 2132, or 6,8%) and 9 crew (out of 1071, or 0,8%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea) and were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours.

On the next voyage (Oct 8-18), another Norovirus outbreak affected a total of 86 passengers (out of 2098, or 4,1%) and 11 crew (out of 1084, or 1%). Both incidents occurred on 10-day Caribbean cruises roundtrip from homeport NYC New York.

30 August 2005Propulsion / Power Loss

On August 30, 2005, the ship experienced power loss due to propulsion problems (portside Azipod malfunction). The incident happened in Europe (Baltic Sea), en-route to call port St Petersburg Russia. The vessel requested assistance and was tugged to call port Tallinn Estonia, where arrived ~5 hours late. On the next day (Aug 31), the Azipod unit was fixed.

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