Norwegian Spirit accidents and incidents

Norwegian Spirit cruise ship

Former names
SuperStar Leo

Length (LOA)
268 m / 879 ft

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CruiseMapper's Norwegian Spirit cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2414-passenger vessel owned by Norwegian Cruise Line. Our Norwegian Spirit 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • fire - 2007
  • pier collision/allision - 2005 (Juneau Alaska, USA), 2008 (NYC New York, USA)
  • deaths - 2008 (zip-line in Roatan), 2009 (robbery in Guatemala), overboard (2018, 2022)
  • injuries/crimes - Bermuda drug busts (2006, 2009), overboard/rescued (2011)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2008 (67/4), 2009 (73/9), 2011 (94/13), 2019 (EU)
  • 2020 - Asia 2020 program was canceled (all cruises April 15 thru December 7) due to Coronavirus concerns
  • 2023 - cruise cancellations (April 2024 thru November 2025)

June 2023Other Incidents

In mid-June 2023, NCL canceled most of Norwegian Spirit's remaining schedule (2024-2025) citing "fleet redeployment moves".

The last departure date listed for 2024 was April 22nd (16-day itinerary from Honolulu to Vancouver) while the first departure date for 2026 was January 4th (13-day from Auckland to Sydney).

Next are listed all canceled voyages as dates and homeports.

  • (Jun 5) 12 days from Papeete to Honolulu Hawaii
  • (Jun 17) 16 days from Honolulu to Vancouver BC Canada
  • (May 8, Sep 25) 16 days from Vancouver to Honolulu
  • (May 24) 12 days from Honolulu to Papeete Tahiti
  • (Jul 3, Jul 17, Jul 31, Aug 14, Aug 28, Sep 11) 7 days from Vancouver to Seward Alaska
  • (Jul 10, Jul 24, Aug 7, Aug 21, Sep 4, Sep 18) 7 days from Seward to Vancouver
  • (Oct 11, Nov 8) 14 days from Honolulu to Papeete
  • (Oct 25) 14 days from Papeete to Honolulu
  • (Nov 22) 14 days from Papeete to Sydney NSW
  • (Dec 7) 14 days from Sydney to Benoa Bali Indonesia
  • (Dec 21) 15 days from Benoa to Singapore
  • (2025 Feb 8) 12 days from Sydney to Auckland NZ
  • (Feb 20) 13 days from Auckland to Sydney
  • (Mar 16) 12 days from Auckland to Sydney
  • (Mar 28) 14 days from Sydney to Papeete
  • (Apr 11, May 7, Jul 2) 13 days from Papeete to Honolulu
  • (Apr 24, Jun 19, Aug 14) 13 days from Honolulu to Papeete
  • (May 20, Jul 15) 15 days from Honolulu to Vancouver
  • (Jun 4, Jul 30) 15 days from Vancouver to Honolulu
  • (Aug 27, Oct 26) 14 days from Papeete to Honolulu
  • (Sep 10) 16 days from Honolulu to Vancouver
  • (Sep 26) 16 days from Vancouver to Honolulu
  • (Oct 12, Nov 9) 14 days from Honolulu to Papeete
  • (Nov 23) 15 days from Papeete to Auckland NZ

All impacted bookings received as compensation a full refund (100%) plus various discounts on rebooking, depending on departure dates.

May 2023Other Incidents

In mid-May 2023, NCL canceled most of Norwegian Spirit's Alaska 2024 schedule citing "a full ship charter". NCL's Alaska 2024 summer program remained based on four other ships - three Seattle-homeported (Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Sun) as well as the Vancouver-Seward-homeported Norwegian Jewel.

A total of 12x 7-day Alaskan voyages out of Vancouver BC Canada and Seward AK (departures July 3rd thru September 18th, 2024) scheduled for Norwegian Spirit were canceled.

All affected bookings automatically received a full/100% refund of the fare paid and in the form of payment provided at the time of booking. Bookings made with previously issued by NCL FCCs/Future Cruise Credits were fully refunded in FCC. Additionally, NCL issued a 50% discount (in FCCs) for select Alaskan 2023 cruises (departing in the period May-September out of Seward or Vancouver) scheduled for the ships Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Spirit. The FCCs were to be used/applied towards any published NCL itinerary through December 31, 2024, but were not combinable with the 50% Alaskan FCCs.

26 October 2022Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On October 26, 2022, a female passenger went overboard while the liner was en route from Hawaii (Maui Island) to French Polynesia (Raiatea Island).

Reportedly, the ship's security went cabin to cabin asking passengers if they had seen the missing woman. There was an anonymous report that she was pushed overboard and that her husband was arrested.

The incident happened during the 12-day Transpacific relocation voyage from Honolulu to Papeete (itinerary Oct 19-31) visiting ports in Hawaii (Hilo, Nawiliwili, Lahaina) and French Polynesia's Society Islands (Raiatea, Bora Bora, Moorea).

In November, major news media revealed that the missing/overboard woman is Dilek Ertek (the 71-year-old owner of Tiffany’s shops in Turkey). Reportedly, she fell overboard off the Tahiti's coast. She was on a vacation to celebrate her 72nd birthday (on Nov 5th) with friends and shared a stateroom with a 74-year-old boyfriend (unnamed Swiss national). Tahitian police questioned the man when Norwegian Spirit docked in Papeete (on October 29th) and he was released without charge. Dilek Ertek's family took legal action against NCL as they claimed that the CCTV footage had shown the woman falling on October 26th but she was reported missing after 20 hours and a search and rescue operation was not conducted.

Note: Dilek Ertek opened Turkey's first Tiffany jewelry shop in Turkey (Istanbul) in 1995 and since then was the brand's official dealer/supplier in Turkey. Tiffany & Co (aka Tiffany's) is an 1837-founded, Manhattan NYC-headquartered luxury jewelry retailer, particularly popular for its diamond and sterling silver jewelry collections. In 2020, the company had 326 stores worldwide (93 in the USA) and 14000+ employees.

March 2020Other Incidents

Due to the global Coronavirus pandemic, the ship was denied entry to several call ports of the 20-day Dubai to Cape Town cruise (itinerary March 2-22). After spending 17 days at sea, on March 22 the liner docked and disembarked its passengers in Port Cape Town (South Africa).

Of the original itinerary remained (were visited) only Abu Dhabi UAE (Mar 3), Fujairah UAE (Mar 4) and Muscat Oman (Mar 5). The other destinations were cancelled due to port closures or country lockdowns, including Seychelles (Victoria Mahe), Madagascar (Nosy Be Island), Mauritius (Port Louis), Reunion (Saint-Denis) and South Africa (Richards Bay, Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay).

February 2020Structural and Technical Issues

In February 2020, NCL was forced to cancel the scheduled "preview cruise" of Norwegian Spirit, The vessel was drydocked at Chantier Naval de Marseille Shipyard (in Marseille France) for a USD 100 million refurbishment (January 2 - February 11, 2020).

The voyage was planned for February 11th but had to be cancelled due to ongoing labour strikes in France, which delayed the drydocking project. The preview cruise was rescheduled for February 14th, leaving out of Port Civitavecchia (Rome, Italy).

Also in February (on Feb 7) NCL officially cancelled the ship's Asia 2020 program (April 15 through December 7) due to Coronavirus concerns. All bookings received a full refund (automatically processed to the form of payment at booking time) plus 10% future NCL cruise credit. NCL also covered up to USD 300 pp in any flight change fees associated with the affected voyages.  Next are listed the cancelled itineraries (departure dates, lengths, homeports).

  • (Apr 15) 16 days from Singapore to Yokohama
  • (May 1) 8 days roundtrip from Yokohama
  • (May 9) 15 days from Yokohama to Hong Kong
  • (May 24) 15 days from Hong Kong to Yokohama
  • (Jun 8) 15 days from Yokohama to Hong Kong
  • (Jun 23) 13 days from Hong Kong to Yokohama
  • (Jul 6) 9 days roundtrip from Yokohama
  • (Jul 15) 13 days roundtrip from Yokohama
  • (Jul 28) 14 days from Yokohama to Tokyo
  • (Aug 11) 14 days roundtrip from Tokyo
  • (Aug 25) 16 days from Tokyo to Yokohama
  • (Sep 10) 15 days from Yokohama to Hong Kong
  • (Sep 25) 5 days roundtrip from Hong Kong
  • (Sep 30) 5 days roundtrip from Hong Kong
  • (Oct 5) 6 days roundtrip from Hong Kong
  • (Oct 11) 12 days from Hong Kong to Tokyo
  • (Oct 23) 13 days roundtrip from Tokyo
  • (Nov 05) 9 days roundtrip from Tokyo
  • (Nov 14) 9 days roundtrip from Tokyo
  • (Nov 23) 14 days roundtrip from Tokyo
  • (Dec 7) 14 days from Tokyo to Hong Kong

On February 20, NCL's parent company NCLH (Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings) cancelled all Asian voyages (a total of 40 scheduled itineraries across its 3 brand fleets) due to Coronavirus outbreaks and temporarily removed all ships from the region. The 40 voyages were either cancelled or modified and included 24 on NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line, 10 on Oceania Cruises and 6 on RSSC-Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Norwegian Spirit (with 21 of all cancelled Asian cruises) was redeployed to Eastern Mediterranean for summer 2020.

January 2019Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(CruiseMapper email from Alison Smith) Just got off NCL Spirit at Barcelona from a 10-day cruise starting on 24 Jan 2019. There was a norovirus outbreak resulting in major sanitary procedures. We were unaffected and can't judge the size of it, but clearly significant. Wonder how it will affect the new passengers going aboard at Barcelona today.

The incident occurred during the 10-day "Canary Islands, Spain and Morocco" cruise (itinerary Jan 24 - Feb 3) roundtrip from homeport Barcelona to Morocco (Casablanca), Canary Islands (Gran Canaria, Tenerife), Madeira Island (Funchal) and Spain (Malaga, Alicante).

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.

03 April 2018Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On April 3, 2018, a 34-year-old male passenger was reported missing. The man (from Saudi Arabia) went overboard from the ship at ~2 am. In the conducted search and rescue operations were involved vessels from Guardia Civil and Salvamento Marítimo (Spanish coast guard), including 2 helicopters and 1 plane.

The accident occurred in the waters near Mazarron (southeastern Spain), approx 30 mi / 50 km south of Cartagena. The ship was en-route from Malaga to Alicante, completing a 10-days roundtrip Barcelona to Morocco and Canaries cruise (itinerary March 25 - April 4) to Casablanca, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Madeira, Malaga, Alicante.

December 2011Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

December 2011, CDC reported on voyage Dec 18 to 25, a Norovirus outbreak affected 94 passengers (out of 2409, or 3,9%) and 13 crew (out of 945, or 1,4%). The ship was on 7-day Caribbean cruise from homeport NOLA New Orleans.

20 June 2011Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(overboard) On June 20, 2011, a male passenger jumped overboard in Mississippi River but was rescued alive. The incident occurred at ~8 pm, 3 hours after the ship left homeport NOLA New Orleans on 7-day Western Caribbean itinerary. One of the rescue boats was deployed to recover the man. He suffered injuries and was disembarked for further treatment ashore.

06 November 2009Crew / Passenger Deaths

(murder) On November 6, 2009, a male passenger was shot during a robbery in Guatemala (call port Santo Tomas de Castillo). He and his friend were on a taxi tour. They stopped at the town cemetery to take pictures when were approached by 2 armed men trying to steal their cameras. During the incident, the man was shot and 2 days later died in the hospital. The robbers (gang members) were arrested.

17 October 2009Drug Smuggling

On October 17, 2009, a 34-year-old male passenger was arrested and charged with marijuana smuggling. The man said in court he was given the cruise tickets plus USD 10,000 to drop off a suitcase with the drugs in Bermuda.

October 2009Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

October-November 2009, CDC reported on the voyage Oct 23 to Nov 8, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 73 passengers (out of 1991, or 3,7%) and 9 crew (out of 965, or 0,9%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea) and were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours. The ship was on 16-day Transatlantic repositioning cruise to homeport NOLA New Orleans.

25 May 2008Ship Collision / Allision

On May 25, 2008, at ~9 am, upon docking at Pier 90 (NYC New York), the vessel hit the pier.

The collision resulted in bow hull damage and damaged support beams of the parking garage.

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

18 March 2008Crew / Passenger Deaths

On March 18, 2008, a 44-year-old female passenger died on NCL-sponsored shore excursion on Roatan Island (Honduras). The woman fell down ~65 ft / 20 m during a jungle zip line excursion in Gumbalimba Park, when the zip line snapped. Suffering a severe head injury, she was transferred to a local hospital where died on the next day.

January 2008Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

On January 13, 2008, CDC reported 67 passengers (or 3,2% of all) and 4 crew (or 0,4% of all) suffering from Norovirus.

15 December 2007Fire Accident

On December 15, 2007, while en-route to homeport NOLA New Orleans, the ship reported a small engine room fire. The incident occurred at ~ 8:45 pm and lasted for ~15 min. All 4 diesel engines were shut down, and the ship drifted for ~15 min.

13 November 2006Drug Smuggling

On November 13, 2006, a female crew was charged with drug smuggling and sentenced to 5 years jail in Bermuda. The woman worked on the ship as a cleaner and was caught while trying to smuggle heroin and cannabis with a street value over USD 311,000.

19 January 2006Ship Listing

On January 19, 2006, while returning from a Southern Caribbean cruise back to homeport NYC New York, the ship encountered heavy seas with rogue waves (some over 50 ft / 15 high). The ship reported listing, broken windows and 11 flooded passenger cabins. Affected passengers were relocated and given a free NCL cruise.

05 July 2005Ship Collision / Allision

(pier collision) On July 5, 2005, upon docking in call port Juneau Alaska, the vessel hit a pier.

The incident resulted in minor hull damage (starboard dent) and broken windows in 4 passenger staterooms.

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

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