Orient Queen accidents and incidents

Orient Queen cruise ship

Former names
Med Queen, Vistamar

Length (LOA)
121 m / 397 ft

  Ship Wiki

CruiseMapper's Orient Queen cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 330-passenger vessel owned by Scrapped Cruise Ships. Our Orient Queen 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • sunk - 2020 (Port Beirut, Lebanon)
  • allision - 2003 (underwater rocks near Ibiza, Balearic Islands Spain)

Previously, the vessel was operated under the names Vistamar (19880-2012), Med Queen (2016-2017 by Merhi Cruises) and Orient Queen (since 2018 by Abou Merhi Cruises).

15 August 2020Structural and Technical Issues

At ~6 pm on August 4, 2020, two massive explosions in Port Beirut (Lebanon) caused deaths, numerous serious injuries and severe damages to the cargo port area (totally destroyed) and various buildings in Lebanon's capital city. The second blast sent up an enormous mushroom cloud-like shockwave and damaged many buildings as far as 10 km (6 mi) away from the port.


On August 5 was announced that the blast have been caused by 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) unsafely stored in a warehouse (Warehouse 12) since 2013. The local news reports first suggested 100+ dead. The explosion destroyed almost everything in a 10 km (6 mi) radius. Lebanese authorities placed under house arrest the officials who oversaw the port's storage and security.

Various reports soon confirmed significant damages to Abou Merhi Cruises' ship Orient Queen, the Bangladesh Navy vessel BNS Bijoy (Castle-class guided missile corvette, IMO number 7920015), the general cargo ship Mero Star (IMO 8321682) and the livestock carrier Jouri (IMO 9174775). Other severely damaged/destroyed in the explosions vessels included Raouf H (cargo ship, IMO 8325535), Amadeo II (edible oil tanker, IMO 7423990), two abandoned livestock carriers (Abou Karim 1, Abou Karim 3).

The Philippine's Embassy announced that two Filipino workers had died from the explosion, one sustained serious injuries, and 11 Filipino seafarers are missing and presumed dead. On the berthed Orient Queen cruise ship, 2 crew were killed and 7 seriously injured. Cruise liner's interior was blown out. The vessel listed heavily onto the quayside and capsized/partially sank overnight. The cruise ship's AIS transponder became silent on August 5, at 0:31 UTC. On  August 7, Abou Merhi Cruises (as shipowner) filed a lawsuit.


On August 6 was reported that the explosions have killed 135+ people and injured 5000+. In total, the powerful explosions (equivalent to 4,5 Richter magnitude earthquake) resulted in 220+ deaths, ~7000 injured, ~300,000 homeless, USD 10-15 billion in property damages.

13 December 2008Pirates / Terrorist Attacks

(MS Vistamar) On December 13, 2008, due to possible pirate attacks, the ship disembarked all its passengers and part of the crew in Port Aden (Yemen) before passing through the Gulf of Aden. The passengers spent 3 days on land, visiting Yemen on complimentary shore excursions.

15 May 2003Ship Collision / Allision

(MS Vistamar) On May 15, 2003, the ship hit underwater rocks near Ibiza Island (homeport Ibiza Town). 

The vessel sustained hull damages and was towed by tugboats back to the harbor, where all passengers and crew were disembarked.

The 12-day Mediterranean cruise (itinerary May 15-27) roundtrip from Ibiza and the following 2 scheduled itineraries were canceled. Following drydock repairs, the ship resumed service in mid-July.

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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