Norwegian Star accidents and incidents

Norwegian Star cruise ship

Former names
SuperStar Libra

Length (LOA)
294 m / 965 ft

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CruiseMapper's Norwegian Star cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2813-passenger vessel owned by Norwegian Cruise Line. Our Norwegian Star 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.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 - 2012 (NYC New York, USA), 2016 (Singapore)
  • mooring lines failure/collision - 2012 (Bermuda)
  • ship collision - 2012 (with Explorer of the Seas in Dockyard Bermuda)
  • propulsion/power loss - 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2015 (2), 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2006 (115 / 12), 2007 (177 / 7), 2008 (228 / 32), 2014 (130 / 12)
  • deaths - overboard (2006)
  • injuries/crimes - 2001, sexual (2012), overboard-rescued (2018)
  • medevacs - 2003 (crew), 2017, 2018, 2019

08 December 2022Crew / Passenger Crimes

(robbery) On December 8, 2022, while the ship was docked at Port Recife (Brazil), two elderly passengers were violently attacked and robbed ashore. The married couple was attacked while taking pictures and the assailants took their phones and glasses.

Reportedly, the victims (81-year-old Werner Duysen Gurkasch and 79-year-old Wolfgang Duysen Gurkasch) were attacked during a sightseeing tour in the city. The incident occurred in the Santo Antonio neighborhood's Avenida Dantas Barreto (a downtown avenue) and near Igreja Nossa Senhora do Carmo (17th-century church). Werner was stabbed in the head (hit with a knife) and ambulanced to Hospital Santa Joana Recife (in a serious condition (he was hospitalized on December 12th), while Wolfgang sustained only minor injuries. A witness of the crime reported that Werner suffered a cut on the head after he was knocked down by one of the robbers. During the assault, he fell and hit a step of a snack bar.

Norwegian Star was on a 14-day Transatlantic relocation crossing ( from Europe to South America (Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro/itinerary Nov 27 - Dec 11) visiting Cadiz (Spain), Arrecife (Lanzarote Island, Canary Islands Spain), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands), Mindelo (Sao Vicente Island, Cape Verde) and Recife (Dec 8/port stay 8 am - 5 pm).

02 November 2019Propulsion / Power Loss

Due to "mechanical issues" affecting the ship's max cruising speed, the 7-day Greek Isles cruise (itinerary Nov 3-10, roundtrip from Venice Italy) was significantly changed. From the planned visits to Montenegro (Kotor, Nov 4), Corfu Island, Santorini Island (Nov 6), Mykonos Island (Nov 7), Kefalonia Island, and Dubrovnik (Croatia) were cancelled 3 ports (Kotor, Santorini, Mykonos) and Dubrovnik was replaced with Split (Croatia).

All passengers were notified about the itinerary changes in the early morning on Nov 3 ~12 hours prior the scheduled departure at 5:30 pm). As compensation, NCL offered USD 200 in OBC (per cabin, non-refundable) and plus 20% future NCL cruise booking discount.

The cruise liner suffered an engine issue at ~1 am on November 2. According to passenger reports, following a loud and shuddering noise the vessel stopped and code "Bravo Bravo Bravo" was announced via the PA system. On cruise ships, code Bravo is issued only for the crew and when a serious onboard accident occurres. According to annonimous crew reports, after one of the engines broke down, in the engine room ensued a fire.

31 January 2019Coast Guard Medevacs

On January 31, 2019, a 68-year-old male passenger (experiencing heart problems) was medevaced from the liner approx 320 km (200 ml) off Southern California's coast (west of San Diego CA). The ship was navigating approx 500 km (310 ml) from shore but diverted to meet a USCG helicopter team dispatched from San Diego CA. The man was airlifted and transported to UC San Diego Health (aka Hillcrest Medical Center) in stable condition.

The incident occurred at the end of 14-day Panama Canal Cruise (itinerary Jan 18 - Feb 1) from Miami to Los Angeles, visiting Colombia (Cartagena), Costa Rica (Puerto Caldera/Puntarenas), Nicaragua (Corinto), Guatemala (Puerto Quetzal) and Mexico (Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas).

06 November 2018Structural and Technical Issues

(CruiseMapper email from HP Baumeister) On November 6, 2018, due to "repairs”, the cruise liner arrived 12 hours early in call port Barcelona. According to the email, there were large chunks of the crankshaft (engine part) sitting on the pier in homeport Civitavecchia (Rome) and being hauled away, presumably to the junkyard.

The accident occurred at the beginning of the 14-day Transatlantic repositioning cruise (itinerary Nov 5-19) from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Miami, with call ports Barcelona (Nov 7), Funchal (Madeira Island) and Philipsburg (St Maarten Island). Next, we publish the email as it is.

I can't tell what happened specifically, but we noticed big, cut-up chunks of the crankshaft on the dock in Civitavecchia. Now in Barcelona (12 hours earlier than scheduled, and staying a few hours longer), we observed a big operation whereby a large hole was cut into the hull near the waterline, to access the engine room directly. Then, a semi with a new crankshaft (about 30 ft / 9 m long) was unloaded, and 2 large cranes moved the crankshaft into the hole, where it was clearly lowered further down into the engine room. Then the hole was closed.

Bits and pieces from the crew confirmed that one engine was being completely replaced. What we could not yet find out was what exactly had happened to the "old engine" / crankshaft. Some of the photos we took seemed to show that it may have broken in one place. Despite one engine clearly out of service, we cruised at up to 20 knots (23 mph / 37 kph).

Due to "high waves in the Atlantic", the itinerary was altered with call port Funchal (Madeira) cancelled and substituted with an extra day in Barcelona (overnight Nov 7-8), and call port Philipsburg (St Maarten) skipped and replaced with a sea day. Mr Baumeister commented: "Best I could determine, there is no substantial wave activity around Madeira, and the going assumption is that they needed more time to take care of that engine... At our expense..."

(CruiseMapper email from Jim Lannin) I was there. Some of your report is incorrect. Firstly, there was no accident in Civitavecchia. There very likely was a recycling of the pieces of the broken drive shaft, which I believe connects one of the two diesel engines to a generator. I have photos and videos of the replacement operation. We were notified by NCL on October 23rd (about 2 weeks in advance) that there would be a modification to the itinerary re Barcelona. This was a planned repair. Also, the ship did not skip Sint Maarten. My wife and I had a wonderful day there.

18 August 2018Coast Guard Medevacs

(overboard / rescued) On August 18, 2018, while the liner was navigating in the Adriatic Sea (the Mediterranean, approx 95 km / 60 ml off Croatia's coast), a 46-year-old female passenger (British) fell overboard. Fortunately, the woman (Kay Longstaff, former flight attendant) managed to survive and was rescued by a Croatian coastguard patrol boat, some 10 hours after falling off the ship. The woman was transported by an ambulance to a hospital in Pula (Croatia) in stable condition.

It was rumoured that woman's rescue operation cost NCL around USD 600,000, as the ship had to alter its route.

The incident occurred around midnight on Aug 18. The ship was en-route from Dubrovnik (Croatia) back to homeport Venice (Italy) ending a 7-day cruise (itinerary Aug 12-19) roundtrip from Venice to Kotor, Corfu Island, Santorini Island, Mykonos Island, and Dubrovnik.

19 November 2017Coast Guard Medevacs

On November 19, 2017, due to a medical emergency, the ship returned to homeport Miami ~10 hours early (on Sunday, Nov 19 at 6 pm instead on Monday, Nov 20 at 4 am). The incident occurred during 15-day Transatlantic repositioning crossing from Europe to USA (Rome to Miami, itinerary Nov 5-20) with call ports Marseille, Barcelona and Funchal (Madeira).

09 February 2017Propulsion / Power Loss

On February 9, 2017, while en route from Australia to New Zealand, the ship’s main propulsion engines broke down. The accident resulted in drifting, approx 70 km (45 ml)  off the coast of Victoria state, and approx 20 km (13 mi) south of Inverloch. The ship had power (diesel generators were working). Its bow thrusters were functioning, allowing limited manoeuvrability, so tugboat assistance was needed.

The accident occurred in the Tasman Sea, soon after the NCL ship left Melbourne. Norwegian Cruise Line officially announced the company notified the authorities and arranged the ship to be towed back to Port Melbourne (Station Pier) for repairs. As compensation, all passengers received a full refund, plus 50% future NCL cruise booking discount. The current 13-day cruise (itinerary Feb 6-18, Sydney to  Auckland) was cancelled.

25 January 2017Propulsion / Power Loss

On January 25, 2017, while at sea (en-route from Singapore to Bali Indonesia), the ship experienced propulsion problems (Azipod failure) resulting in reduced speed. In Port Benoa (Bali) was announced an itinerary change – 4 call ports were skipped (Komodo Island, Cairns, Airlie Beach, Brisbane) and replaced with sea days to allow the vessel in-time arrival in Sydney Australia.

As compensation, all passengers received AUD 200 in onboard credit plus 50% future NCL cruise booking discount. The accident occurred on 22-day Asia to Australia repositioning cruise (itinerary Jan 16 – Feb 6) from Hong Kong to Sydney NSW. All passengers received as compensation AUD 1,000 per cabin in onboard credit, plus 100% future NCL cruise booking discount PP (based on the fare paid) within the next 5 years.

The next scheduled 13-day cruise (itinerary Feb 6-18) from Sydney to Auckland New Zealand was also changed – Melbourne AU (overnight was added – Feb 8-9), while Burnie Tasmania (Feb 9), Napier NZ (Feb 16) and Milford Sound NZ (Feb 12) were dropped.

As compensation, all booked passengers received AUD 250 PP in onboard credit plus 25% future NCL cruise booking discount PP (based on the fare paid) within the next 5 years. Cancelled bookings were compensated with 100% future NCL cruise booking discount.

10 December 2016Propulsion / Power Loss

On December 11, 2016, due to mechanical issues, the ship’s departure from Singapore was delayed for almost 21 hours. Mechanical issues related to one of the main diesel engines and also to the propulsion system (Azipod issues). The incident coincided with a delayed immigration process at the cruise terminal, causing some passengers to stay at the terminal for ~5 hours. And this was just before the machinery malfunction to be announced by the Captain.

As compensation, all passengers were fully refunded and additionally given 50% future NCL cruise booking discount. The incident occurred at the beginning of 12-day Asian cruise (itinerary Dec 11-22) from Singapore to Hong Kong, visiting ports in Thailand (Koh Samui, Bangkok), Vietnam (Saigon, Nha Trang) and China (Sanya). The restricted cruising speed resulted in itinerary changes. Departure was on Dec 13, and the call ports were reduced to Nha Trang, Cham May, and Sanya, with all 5 days at sea.

17 October 2015Propulsion / Power Loss

On October 17, 2015, the ship experienced a propulsion problem during the 13-day Transatlantic repositioning crossing from Europe to the Caribbean. The itinerary (Oct 6-19, from Dover UK to Tampa Florida) had call ports in the Azores (Ponta Delgada) and Florida (Miami). PortMiami was dropped as a result of the reduced cruising speed.

The ship arrived in homeport Tampa FL earlier than scheduled (on Oct 17), with disembarkation of all passengers on Oct 18. Passengers with scheduled disembarkation in Miami were provided with free transportation to PortMiami, plus 15% future NCL cruise booking discount. Passengers with disembarkation in Tampa were also given 15% future NCl booking discount, plus partial (1 day) refund.

All flights booked through NCl were adjusted free of charge. Passengers with independent travel arrangements were given free unlimited internet and free of charge external phone calls to change bookings of hotels and transportation. All flight change fees (up to USD 300 PP) and all hotel bookings (for Oct 18) were also covered by Norwegian Cruise Line.

12 April 2015Propulsion / Power Loss

On April 12, 2015, Azipod (propulsion unit) problems forced NCL to take the ship out of service for drydock repairs. As a result, the scheduled 15-day Panama Canal cruise (itinerary Apr 12-27) from Los Angeles to Miami was cancelled.

As compensation, all booked passengers received a full refund, plus a 50% future NCL cruise booking discount. During the 2-week long drydock in Freeport Bahamas, along with the ABB (propulsion) unit replacement, the vessel’s hull was repainted with a new type of silicone paint (improving fuel efficiency).

January 2014Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

January 2014, CDC reported on voyage Jan 5 to 19 from homeport Miami Florida, Norovirus outbreak affected 130 passengers (out of 2318, or 5,6%) and 12 crew (out of 1039, or 1,2%).

14 September 2012Ship Collision / Allision

On September 14, 2012, at ~2 pm, due to gale force winds (~50 mph / 75 km/h), the vessel broke two of the mooring lines. In Dockyard (Bermuda) the ship was berthed port side to the Royal Caribbean ship Explorer of the Seas.

When the moorings broke, both liners collided stern to stern, reporting minimal hull damages. Three tugboats were immediately sent after the ship called and requested assistance. At ~2:45 pm, the NCL ship was secured.

27 April 2012Ship Collision / Allision

(pier collision) On April 27, 2012, upon docking in Manhattan (NYC New York) the ship struck the pier where the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier was docked.

The collision was blamed on strong winds and low tide. No injuries were reported.

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

06 March 2012Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On March 6, 2012, a 29-year-old male crew was arrested in homeport Tampa Florida and charged with sexual assault on a minor, and also with possession of child pornography. The man (of Croatian origin) worked on the ship as assistant cruise director.

The incident occurred on a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise (itinerary Jan 29 - Feb 5) and when the ship was docked in call port Costa Maya Mexico. The man admitted he had sexual contact with the 16-year-old female passenger (travelling with her parents). The search of his computer revealed downloaded videos containing child pornography.

(law news) On May 7 2012, the man pleaded guilty, facing up to 10 years in federal prison.

06 July 2010Sea Pollution

On July 6, 2010, the vessel was reported for water pollution in Alaska, violating the Alaskan wastewater standard for Coliform bacteria.

January 2008Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

January 2008, CDC reported on voyage Jan 19 to 27, a major Norovirus outbreak affected a total of 228 passengers (out of 2427, or 9,4%) and 32 crew (out of 1103, or 2,9%). The ship was on 7-day Mexico Riviera cruise from homeport Los Angeles CA.

17 May 2007Fire Accident

On May 17, 2007, at ~3:15 pm, Prince Rupert (BC Canada) port authorities were notified about an engine room fire. The fire didn’t cause significant damages to the ship and was quickly extinguished by the crew. After leaving US waters, a Canadian Coast Guard vessel met and escorted the cruise ship to Prince Rupert harbour, where after docking it was boarded by a safety inspector.

The investigation determined that the fire was caused by a broken fuel line.

May 2007Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

May 2007, CDC reported on voyage May 19 to 26, a Norovirus outbreak affected 177 passengers (out of 2331, or 7,6%) and 7 crew (out of 1100, or 0,7%). The ship operated on 7-day Seattle to Alaska roundtrip itinerary.

27 December 2006Propulsion / Power Loss

On December 27, 2006, engine problems resulted in an ~4 hours late arrival in call port Acapulco Mexico.

11 October 2006Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On October 11, 2006, at ~7:30 pm, a 35-year-old female passenger fell overboard. The accident occurred on the second leg of 7-day Mexico Riviera cruise, ~2 hours after leaving call port Cabo San Lucas. The ship turned around and conducted ~2 hours search operation, that failed to find the woman. On the next day, her body was found ashore.

May 2006Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

May 2006, CDC reported on the voyage May 14 to 21, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 115 passengers (out of 2388, or 4,8%) and 12 crew (out of 1063, or 1,1%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea) and were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours. Of those, 7 passengers were offloaded in call port Skagway AK. The ship was on a 7-day Alaskan cruise from homeport Seattle WA.

22 November 2005Propulsion / Power Loss

On November 22, 2005, the Mexican Riviera cruise itinerary from homeport Los Angeles was revised due to propulsion issues (damaged Azipod bearings). The original itinerary (Acapulco, Ixtapa, Vallarta, Cabo) was changed to Manzanillo, Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo. The revised itinerary was operated until the vessel entered drydock in 2006 (March 8). Booked passengers were compensated with US$100 in onboard credit per cabin.

07 August 2005Propulsion / Power Loss

On August 7, 2005, propulsion problems on the Alaskan voyage caused reduced speeds and a major itinerary change - Glacier Bay was dropped and replaced with call port Sitka AK. As compensation, passengers received US$200 PP in onboard credit.

02 April 2004Propulsion / Power Loss

On April 2, 2004, propulsion system problems (Azipod bearing) resulted in reduced max speed (21 mph / 33 kph instead of 29 mph / 46 kph). Due to this issue, the Kiribati and Hawaii cruise itinerary were revised. All stops at Fanning Island (Kiribati) were cancelled and substituted with Hawaiian ports (Kailua and Lahaina) through April 25, when the vessel entered drydock for repairs.

The Alaskan repositioning cruise (Honolulu to Vancouver) was also cancelled. Passengers booked on the affected itineraries were fully refunded and given a 25% discount on future NCL cruise booking.

13 March 2003Coast Guard Medevacs

On March 13, 2003, a male crew sustained leg injuries after falling from a tender boat. He was medevaced via USCG helicopter to Oahu (Hawaii). When the incident occurred, the ship was in Kiribati and had to be diverted from Fanning Island to Kiritimati (Christmas Island) for the airlift.

03 February 2003Propulsion / Power Loss

On February 3, 2003, a propulsion issue with one of the Azipods resulted in reduced cruising speed and itinerary changes – call port Tabuaeran (aka Fanning Island, Kiribati) was dropped. All passengers were compensated with US$200 PP in onboard credit.

27 September 2001Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On September 27, 2001, the ship was on Panama Canal repositioning cruise from Florida to Alaska, when in call port Victoria BC 4 passengers sustained injuries after falling from the gangway (telescopic bridge). The ship was moored when a sudden gust of wind shifted the gangway structure. The injured passengers were treated in a local hospital and soon re-boarded the ship to continue the voyage.

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