Pacific World accidents and incidents

Pacific World cruise ship

Former names
Sun Princess

Length (LOA)
261 m / 856 ft

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CruiseMapper's Pacific World cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2419-passenger vessel owned by Peace Boat Cruises Japan (Small Cruise Lines). Our Pacific World 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • 2020 - sold
  • pollution in Alaska - 2008
  • propulsion/power loss - 2003, 2005, 2011 (twice), 2013 (twice), 2016
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2003 (267 / 29), 2 outbreaks in 2004 (total 246 / 19), 2 outbreaks in 2005 (total 115 / 9), 2006 (112 / 7), 2008 (?), 2012 (201 / 15), 2016 (?), 2017 (2 outbreaks in Australia ~180, 173 / 3), 2019 (229)
  • deaths - 2007 (plane crash in Ketchikan Alaska), overboard (2013, 2014, 2017-rescued, 2018, 2019)
  • injuries/crimes - sexual (2003, 2011-Captain), 2009

In the period 1995-2020, the vessel was operated by Princess Cruises under the name "Sun Princess".

November 2019Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Sun Princess) On November 13, 2019, the current 26-day roundtrip Australia to Asia cruise from Fremantle was canceled due to Norovirus. The illness outbreak affected a total of 229 (passengers and crew) or ~6% of all. All passengers were disembarked in Singapore where the vessel was subjected to extensive cleaning procedures, then resumed its schedule. A total of 16 passengers chose to fly back to Australia instead of continuing the voyage.

The accident occurred during the 26-day "Southeast Asia Grand Adventure" cruise (itinerary Nov 1-27) roundtrip from homeport Fremantle (Perth, Western Australia) visiting Indonesia (Lembar), Malaysia (Port Klang, Penang Island, Langkawi Island), Thailand (Phuket), Singapore (Nov 13, port stay 7 am - 5 pm), Vietnam (Saigon), Cambodia (Sihanoukville), Thailand (Laem Chabang, Samui Island) and Indonesia (Benoa).

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.

09 August 2019Crew / Passenger Deaths

(Sun Princess/overboard) On August 9, 2019, a 41-year-old female passenger was discovered missing at ~6 am (Japanese time). Reviewing ship's CCTV cameras revealed that the woman intentionally went over the railing and jumped overboard from her cabin's balcony on Deck 11 (Aloha Deck). Being en route from Taiwan to Japan, the liner immediately turned around and started a search and rescue operation.

At ~7:10 am, the woman's body was recovered from the ocean unresponsive. Onboard, the ship's medical team declared her dead. The body was placed in a refrigerated room. The Taiwanese woman was traveling together with her mother and aunt. Upon ship's arrival in Okinawa, the relatives decided to return back to Taiwan by air.

The ship was on a 4-day Japan cruise (itinerary August 7-11) roundtrip from Keelung (Taiwan) to Okinawa (Japan). The incident occurred during Typhoon Lekima (aka Hanna) active between Aug 2-14. The tropical storm (Category 4 typhoon) reached max wind speed of 240 kph (150 mph) and caused severe damages (worth USD 7,4+ billion) in East China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines, and Japan (Ryukyu/Nansei Islands).

19 May 2018Crew / Passenger Deaths

(Sun Princess/overboard) On May 19, 2018, an elderly male passenger was reported fell overboard. The Australian man (in his 80s) went overboard while the ship was en route from Benoa (Bali, Indonesia) to Port Klang (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)., approx 190 km (115 mi) southeast of Singapore.

The liner turned around and conducted a search and rescue operation deploying a rescue boat. Reportedly, it took ~1 hour to return to the overboard site. CCTV footage confirmed the overboard. Indonesian authorities later released the ship. The body was not found.

The incident occurred during 12-day Fremantle to Singapore cruise (itinerary May 13-25) with call ports Benoa, Klang, Penang Island, Langkawi Island and Phuket.

06 September 2017Structural and Technical Issues

(Sun Princess) On September 6, 2017, a burst freshwater pipe on the ship caused flooding of passenger staterooms on Deck 11. The ship was on 4-day Queensland cruise (itinerary Sept 6-10) from Brisbane to Airlie Beach.

August 2017Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Sun Princess) On August 10, 2017, an Australian media reported a Norovirus outbreak infected 91 passengers during the 10-night South Pacific Islands cruise to Caledonia and Vanuatu roundtrip from Brisbane.

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.

17 February 2017Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(Sun Princess/overboard) On February 17, 2017, a female passenger was reported fell overboard, while the ship was en route from Brisbane to Noumea (New Caledonia). Fortunately, the woman was rescued, after spending ~45 min in Pacific Ocean waters. After the Captain announced the “man overboard” alert, 2 life rings were tossed to mark the approx location. It took ~15 min for the cruise ship to turn around and sail back to the incident area, where a lifeboat was deployed to conduct the search and rescue operation.

February 2017Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Sun Princess) On February 2, 2017, Queensland Health reported a Norovirus outbreak on the ship affecting around 90 passengers. The ship docked in homeport Brisbane after completing a 12-day cruise (itinerary Jan 22 - Feb 2) roundtrip from homeport Brisbane to Papua New Guinea. The ship and the Brisbane cruise terminal underwent “prolonged disinfection” before the evening departure on the 14-day itinerary to New Zealand.

During the cruise to NZ (itinerary Feb 2-16, roundtrip from Brisbane), Queensland Health reported another Illness outbreak of Norovirus affecting 173 passengers and 3 crew.

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.

December 2016Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Sun Princess) December 2016, an Australian news media reported that passengers boarding the ship in Fremantle (4-day itinerary Dec 18-21, on Margaret River, without call ports) were warned about a delayed boarding due to extensive cleaning after a “gastro outbreak”.

Princess Cruises didn’t announce the exact number of passengers with reported Norovirus symptoms during the previous cruise from Adelaide to Fremantle (9-day itinerary, Dec 10-18).

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.

24 April 2016Propulsion / Power Loss

(Sun Princess) On April 24, 2016, due to technical issues (diesel generator failure) resulting in reduced cruising speed, the ship reported an itinerary change - dropping the scheduled call port Kelang (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and replacing it with a sea day.

As compensation, all passengers received AUD 100 in onboard credit. Also refunded were all pre-paid (booked through Princess Cruises) excursions in Kuala Lumpur. The incident occurred during 12-day repositioning cruise from Singapore to Fremantle Australia (itinerary April 19 - May 1) with call ports Phuket, Langkawi, Penang, Kelang, Bali.

The next scheduled cruise (itinerary May 1-18 / 17-day Fremantle to Sydney) was also changed – Yorkeys Knob (Queensland) was canceled and replaced with a sea day. The same compensation (AUD 100 in OBC) and tour refunds were given.

24 November 2014Crew / Passenger Deaths

(Sun Princess/overboard) On November 24, 2014, an 84-year-old male passenger was reported missing and presumed fell overboard when the ship was approx 200 mi / 320 km off NSW's coast. The vessel turned around and conducted a search and rescue operation, but the body was not found. The ship was en route to homeport Sydney, completing a 13-day roundtrip from Australia to New Zealand.

16 October 2013Propulsion / Power Loss

(Sun Princess) On October 16, 2013, the departure from homeport Sydney NSW Australia was delayed ~10 hours due to technical issues. The incident resulted in reduced cruising speed and itinerary changes - call port Bay of Islands NZ was dropped.

08 October 2013Crew / Passenger Deaths

(Sun Princess) On October 8, 2013, a 73-year-old man disappeared from the ship en route from Western Australia to Darwin. The man was reported missing by his wife. A search was conducted approx 45 ml / 75 km north of Cape Londonderry.

The cruise vessel was joined by patrol ship HMAS Maryborough, while 3 aircraft were involved in the aerial search. Despite the good weather, the missing passenger was not rescued, nor his body located.

The ship was on 16-day Australia cruise from Fremantle to Sydney.

20 August 2013Propulsion / Power Loss

(Sun Princess) Due to mechanical issues, the August 20, 2013 (14-night relocation) cruise from Asia to Australia (Singapore to Freemantle) was canceled.

A switchboard malfunction caused a power outage affecting most of the onboard hotel operations. The vessel had limited power and was without air-conditioning and lighting. Its vacuum toilet system was also inoperational.

The ship had just emerged from drydock in Singapore.

11 November 2012Crew / Passenger Deaths

(Sun Princess/law news) On January 12, 2014, a 72-year-old female passenger died on the ship in November 2012. The lawsuit against Princess Cruises was filed on November 11, 2012. The company was charged for medical negligence.

The elderly woman (Betty Virgo) was traveling with her daughter on a 14-day roundtrip from homeport Brisbane to New Zealand. On the 5th day, when the ship was docked in call port Napier NZ, she became ill at dinner. The daughter stated that during that time, the onboard infirmary had 4 med beds empty, but the staff refused to keep the ill woman there.

The woman’s condition worsened on the next day. When her daughter returned after leaving briefly for dinner, she found her mother suffering breathing difficulties. The woman was taken to the infirmary and died soon afterward. According to the ship’s doctor, the death was caused by angina. The woman’s body was returned several days later embalmed, and without a post mortem examination.

July 2012Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Sun Princess) In July 2012, CDC reported on the voyage July 8 to 21, a Norovirus outbreak affected 201 passengers (out of 1918, or 10,5%) and 15 crew (out of 836, or 1,8%).

The ship was on 13-day Transatlantic repositioning cruise from England to the USA (Dover to NYC New York / Manhattan).

27 August 2011Propulsion / Power Loss

(Sun Princess) On August 27, 2011, the ship was on a 104-day World Cruise roundtrip from Sydney NSW Australia. While navigating in the Tasman Sea (between Australia and New Zealand) the vessel lost power.

The incident happened at ~4:30 am and was caused by transformer failure. The ship was drifting until the problem was fixed at ~8 am.

26 March 2011Crew / Passenger Crimes

(Sun Princess/sexual / law news) On March 26, 2011, the ship’s Captain pled guilty in a lawsuit filed against him for sexual assault of a minor. The man (Captain Peter Russell) was charged with sex offenses against a 14-year-old female passenger in October 2010.

According to the incident report, the girl was traveling with her family and was left alone in their cabin. She was asleep when the Captain entered the cabin and performed a sex act (unidentified) on her. After the cruise, he contacted her via MSN Messenger (Internet) making obscene suggestions. He also requested a naked photo of the girl. The man was sentenced to 9 months in jail. He was also placed for 10 years on the sex offenders register.

06 July 2009Other Incidents

(Sun Princess/law news) On July 6, 2009, Princess Cruises was charged and successfully prosecuted for allowing an unauthorized person to board the cruise vessel in a Queensland port. The company was fined USD 10,000 plus additional USD 1000 court costs.

The incident occurred on November 11, 2007, when the cruise ship was anchored in Funnel Bay (Whitsunday Islands, Queensland). During that time, an unauthorized man boarded the liner for a personal visit. Princess Cruises was prosecuted by Australia’s “Customs and Border Protection Service” (Government agency, restructured and renamed in 2015 to “Australian Border Force”).

07 January 2009Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(Sun Princess) On January 7, 2009, a 7-year-old male passenger sustained a minor head injury in a traffic incident in call port Napier New Zealand. The boy was injured during sponsored by Princess Cruise shore excursion when the tour bus (with all 26 passengers) crashed into a car.

October 2008Sea Pollution

(Sun Princess) In October 2008, while operating in Alaska, the vessel was reported for sea pollution, with higher than allowed levels of ammonia in its wastewater than allowed by Alaska’s wastewater standards.

25 August 2008Other Incidents

(Sun Princess) On August 25, 2008, the ship was on Australia to Alaska repositioning cruise (July 14 departure from Sydney) and docked in call port Petropavlovsk (Kamchatka, Russia). After embarkation, Russian authorities forced the vessel to wait in port for ~5 hours as they made several passport inspections.

A curious fact is that the cruise ship was blocked by two Russian Navy frigate ships.

The liner was cleared to leave Petropavlovsk at ~9:30 pm, instead of the scheduled 4:30 pm departure. No explanations were given as to the reasons for the thorough inspections.

24 July 2007Crew / Passenger Deaths

(Sun Princess) On July 24, 2007, on a sponsored by Princess Cruises Alaska shore excursion, 4 passengers died in a plane crash accident. The passengers (2 sisters traveling with their husbands) and the tour plane’s pilot were killed.

The pontoon plane left call port Ketchikan AK in the afternoon on a flight tour to Misty Fjords National Monument (Tongass National Forest, located approx 40 mi / 64 km east of Ketchikan). The ship was on 7-day roundtrip itinerary from homeport Seattle WA.

December 2006Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Sun Princess) In November-December 2006, CDC reported on the voyage Nov 30 to Dec 10, a Norovirus outbreak affected 112 passengers (out of 2013, or 5,6%) and 7 crew (out of 862, or 0,8%).

03 November 2005Propulsion / Power Loss

(Sun Princess) On November 3, 2005, when the vessel was docked in call port Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas Island USVI), a mechanical issue caused a power outage for over 2 hours. The ship’s backup generators provided limited electricity. After the power was restored, the ship left port ~2 hours later than scheduled.

May 2005Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Sun Princess) In May 2005, CDC reported on the voyage May 9 to 16, a Norovirus outbreak affected 121 passengers (out of 2000, or 6%) and 4 crew (out of 852, or 0,5%). The ship was on a 7-day Alaskan cruise from homeport Vancouver BC.

January 2005Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Sun Princess) In January 2005, CDC reported on the voyage Jan 8 to 18, a Norovirus outbreak affected 93 passengers (out of 2035, or 4,6%) and 5 crew (out of 865, or 0,6%). The ship was on 10-day Eastern Caribbean cruise from homeport Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) Florida.

September 2004Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Sun Princess) In September 2004, CDC reported on the voyage Sept 6 to 13, a Norovirus outbreak affected 145 passengers (out of 1998, or 17,3%) and 5 crew (out of 855, or 0,6%).

On the next voyage (Sept 13-20), CDC reported another Norovirus illness outbreak, affecting 101 passengers (out of 2031, or 5%) and 14 crew (out of 875, or 1,6%).

Both 7-day itineraries were in Alaska, leaving roundtrip from homeport Vancouver BC.

November 2003Propulsion / Power Loss

(Sun Princess) In November 2003, during 10-day Eastern Caribbean cruise (itinerary Oct 22 to Nov 1), the vessel experienced a mechanical issue with one of its four diesel engines failing. The incident resulted in reduced cruising speeds and itinerary changes (Princess Cays Bahamas was dropped).

27 August 2003Crew / Passenger Crimes

(Sun Princess/sexual) On August 27, 2003, a 61-year-old male passenger was arrested and charged with sexual abuse of a minor. The incident happened in the ship’s sauna room, where the man allegedly sexually assaulted a 15-year-old male passenger.

February 2003Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Sun Princess) In January-February 2003, CDC reported on voyage Jan 25 to Feb 9, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 267 passengers (out of 2029, or 13,1%) and 29 crew (out of 877, or 3,3%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours.

The ship was on 15-day Hawaii cruise from homeport Los Angeles CA. On Feb 4, the cruise company decided to terminate the voyage. In the remaining 5 days, the vessel transited directly from Hawaii back to California.

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