Queen Mary 2 accidents and incidents

Queen Mary 2 cruise ship


Length (LOA)
345 m / 1132 ft

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CruiseMapper's Queen Mary 2 cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 3271-passenger vessel owned by Cunard. Our Queen Mary 2 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • fires - 2010 (explosion), 2011, 2015
  • moorings failure - 2023 (in Civitavecchia, Italy)
  • propulsion/power loss - 2006 (twice), 2008, 2009, 2010, 2018, 2023 (4 canceled Transatlantic cruises)
  • illness - 2006-ETEC (86 pax, 31 crew)
  • deaths - overboard (2005, 2015-crew, 2016), 2006 (crew), 2017
  • injuries/crimes - 2011 (illegal immigrants), sexual (2012-crew, child molestation), 2008 (crew)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2004 (33 / 55), 2011 (185 / 29), 2012 (204 / 16)
  • Coronavirus - 2020 (1 crew, "World Cruise 2020" terminated), 2021 (10 pax)
  • medevacs - 2017, 2018 (3), 2019, 2020, 2022
  • baby boy born at sea - 2016

04 August 2023Structural and Technical Issues

On August 4, 2023, at ~ 6 pm Italy time (~16:00 UTC), while berthed at Port Civitavecchia-Rome (Italy), due to a strong gust of winds the ship broke free from its bow mooring line (snapped the rope) and drifted off the quay. Both gangways/passenger bridges (forward and aft) collapsed into the water between the ship and the dock.

The prompt tugboat assistance soon secured the Cunard liner and after an inspection, it was cleared to continue the voyage as scheduled. No injuries or hull damages were reported.

At the time, some weather stations near Civitavecchia recorded wind gusts with speeds of 24-36 mph (39-60 km/h).

The incident occurred during the 28-day "Mediterranean Highlights Cruise" (roundtrip from NYC New York USA, itinerary July 21 - Aug 18) visiting ports in England (Southampton), Spain (Cadiz-Sevilla, Barcelona), France (Nice), Italy (Civitavecchia-Rome), Spain (Valencia), Portugal (Lisbon), and Southampton, before crossing the Atlantic back to the USA.

23 April 2023Structural and Technical Issues

On April 23, 2023 (the embarkation day) Cunard canceled the current voyage citing a "technical issue".

On Apr 23rd (just hours prior to embarkation) Cunard Line emailed and text-messaged all booked passengers informing them that their voyage is canceled as the ship requires urgent and immediate repairs.

"Queen Mary 2 arrived in Southampton last night [Apr 22nd] for assessment of a technical issue [undisclosed]. Unfortunately, after further investigation, it has been confirmed that this work will take longer to resolve than anticipated and the ship is unable to sail until this is completed”.

RMS Queen Mary 2 remained docked in Southampton. The accident/cancellation was reportedly due to delays in receiving spare parts.

The last-minute cancellation affected two Transatlantic crossings from Southampton - 7-day (to NYC New York) and 14-day (roundtrip from the UK). Also were canceled two crossings from the USA to Europe, which were scheduled to depart from NYC on April 30th - 7-day to Southampton, and 9-day to Hamburg.

As compensation, all bookings received a full refund (100%) plus a 20% (of the fare paid) in FCC (future cruise credit) valid on any booking made by and including April 23, 2025. Also were fully refunded all (if any) shore excursions and merchandise/services pre-purchased through Cunard Line.

On April 27th, Cunard opened for booking QM2's 5-night "Coronation Cruise" (roundtrip from Southampton) leaving on May 2nd and calling only at Liverpool. For the themed voyage were planned special onboard events, including a Gala Evening/dinner on May 6th (the day of the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla), Cunard Insights (lectures), Afternoon Tea. {Prices started At GBP 500 per person with double occupancy.

06 August 2022Coast Guard Medevacs

(CruiseMapper-emailed report from Sylvanus Doughty)

August 6, 2022, NYC to Southampton. At approx 2:00 AM the Captain on the speaker announced diversion toward Halifax [Nova Scotia Canada] to meet a medivac helicopter for evacuation of a medical emergency. The meet was successful and the voyage continued. Time made up by arrival in Southampton.

The incident occurred during the 7-day "Transatlantic Cruise"  (itinerary Aug 5-12). QM@ departed from the USA (New York City's Brooklyn Cruise Terminal) on Aug 5th at 5 pm. The announcement of diversion was made on Aug 6th (at ~2 am) and the ship arrived in the UK (Southampton, England) on Aug 12th at 6:30 am.

December 2021Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) After docking in NYC's Brooklyn Terminal, Cunard announced that the liner has a total of 10 COVID-positive passengers onboard.

RMS Queen Mary 2 was operating on a 9-day Transatlantic crossing from Southampton to NYC (Dec 13-22). The crossing was combinable into a 21-day itinerary (Dec 13 - Jan 3 in NYC, visiting the Caribbean's Tortola BVI, St Kitts, Barbados, Dominica, St Maarten) and into a 28-day (Dec 13 - Jan 10 /UK roundtrip).

The infected were disembarked in NYC (quarantined in local hotels) while the ship continued the itinerary as scheduled.

The ship was carrying a total of 1473 passengers, the "vast majority" of whom were from the UK and the USA. The 10 COVID cases were asymptomatic and came back during "routine testing". Cunard's health policy required all passengers to be fully COVID-vaccinated and tested prior to boarding.

On December 28th, the Christmas and New Year voyage was disrupted as Cunard decided to disembark all American passengers in Barbados (Bridgetown) and to fly them back to NYC. The decision was announced by the boat's Master (Captain Andrew Hall) in the letter to all passengers dated Dec 28. QM2 remained in Barbados (docked in Port Bridgetown) through January 2nd, 2022, and the itinerary's remaining three port calls (Roseau Dominica, Philipsburg St Maarten, NYC/Jan 3) were canceled.

14 March 2020Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) Following Cunard Line's suspension of passenger shipping operations fleetwide (effective March 14), QM2's World Cruise 2020 was terminated in Port Fremantle (Perth, Western Australia), where most passengers (all Australians) were disembarked. The remaining passengers (264, mainly UK citizens) remained on the liner which headed back to England (homeport Southampton).

On March 26, the ship made a technical stop in Port Durban (South Africa) for receiving provisions and refuelling. The cancelled World Voyage was a 99-day roundtrip from Southampton (itinerary January 10 - April 18), also offered as 113-day roundtrip from NYC USA (January 3 through April 25). From all the planned port visits were cancelled Port Louis (Mauritius), Saint-Denis (Reunion), Port Elizabeth (South Africa), Cape Town (South Africa), Walvis Bay (Namibia), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands) and Funchal (Madeira).

On March 31, while docked at Port Durban, was confirmed one Coronavirus case (crew tested positive for COVID-19). On April 1, the vessel was allowed to disembark 6 other crew (South Africa nationals).

01 January 2020Coast Guard Medevacs

On January 1, 2020, a 68-year-old male passenger was medevaced by a USCG helicopter crew from the cruise liner, navigating approx 140 km (85 mi) off San Juan Puerto Rico. The ship was en-route from the Caribbean back to NYC and requested the medical evacuation at ~2 pm.

For the operation, USCG Base San Juan dispatched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter. The elderly man and his wife were airlifted (hoisted via rescue basket) from the ship and flown to Port San Juan, from where paramedics ambulanced them to Ashford Presbyterian Community Hospital.

The incident occurred at the beginning of a 12-day Caribbean Celebration cruise (itinerary December 22 - January 3) roundtrip from homeport Manhattan (NYC, New York) and visiting Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas Island, USVI), Roseau (Dominica), Bridgetown (Barbados), Basseterre (St Kitts Island) and Philipsburg (St Maarten Island).

31 May 2019Coast Guard Medevacs

On May 31, 2019, a Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) helicopter team medevaced a female passenger from QM2 en-route from NYC to Southampton. The Rescue 115 helicopter was on standby since the afternoon on May 30, waiting to rendezvous with the requesting assistance cruise liner - at the time located approx 700 km (435 ml) off Ireland's southwestern coast.

The rescue crew waited until the ship was within the helicopter's range. The aircraft started the medical evacuation departing from Shannon at 9:30 am (May 31). After flying nearly 2 hours to meet the ship, helicopter's paramedics winched/airlifted the woman and flown her to Cork Airport (arriving at 12:15 pm) from where she was ambulanced to Cork University Hospital. The rescue helicopter returned to Shannon ~2 pm. The operation was coordinated by IRCG’s marine rescue center on Valentia Island (County Kerry, Ireland).

The incident occurred at the end of regularly-scheduled 14-day Transatlantic crossing (itinerary May 24 - June 7) roundtrip from homeport NYC (New York USA) visiting Southampton on May 31 (port stay 6:30 am - 4:30 pm).

30 December 2018Propulsion / Power Loss

On December 30, 2018, while in the Caribbean, the liner lost power / propulsion and drifted at sea for ~1 hour. According to a passenger, the accident started with an explosion followed by a complete blackout.

The accident occurred during 27-day Caribbean cruise (itinerary December 15 - January 10) roundtrip from homeport Southampton to NYC New York (Dec 22), Caribbean (Philipsburg, St. Maarten Island, Dec 30) and NYC (Jan 3).

19 November 2018Coast Guard Medevacs

On November 19, 2018, an elderly woman was medevaced (airlifted from the cruise liner) off the coast of County Kerry (Ireland). The medevac request was received at 2:15 pm. The Irish Coast Guard dispatched one rescue helicopter crew. The Australian woman was flown to Limerick University Hospital (Limerick, Ireland) in a “serious but stable” condition.

At the time of the incident, the ship was approx 90 km (55 mi) southwest of Fastnet Rock (near mainland Ireland) and in the 2nd day of 7-day westbound Transatlantic crossing from Southampton to NYC. The ship had to alter its planned course to accommodate the helicopter's arrival.

06 July 2018Coast Guard Medevacs

On July 6, 2018, a 32-year-old female passenger was medevaced from the liner navigating close to Breezy Point (upon leaving NYC). The rescue operation was conducted by two boats - 29-ft (with USCG crew) and 45-ft (with FDNY personnel). The USCG boat met the FDNY boat at Homeport Pier (Front Street). The woman (in stable condition) was transported to Staten Island University Hospital.

The incident occurred at the beginning of 7-day Transatlantic crossing (itinerary July 6-13) from New York to Southampton.

02 July 2018Coast Guard Medevacs

On July 2, 2018, an 84-year-old female passenger was medevaced from the liner, approx 110 km (70 ml) southeast of Nantucket (Massachusetts USA). The rescue operation was conducted by MH-60 helicopter crew dispatched from USCG Air Station Cape Cod. The elderly woman, her son and a crew nurse were airlifted and flown to Massachusetts General Hospital.

The incident occurred during 12-day Transatlantic cruise (itinerary June 24 - July 6) from Southampton to NYC, visiting Saint John (NB Canada) and Boston MA.

12 October 2017Crew / Passenger Deaths

On October 12, 2017, an 88-year-old male passenger suffering from pneumonia was medevaced by Valentia Coastguard (Ireland) helicopter crew to Kerry University Hospital, where, unfortunately, he later died. During the medevac, the ship was approx 70 ml (110 km) southwest of Castletownbere. The incident occurred on 7-day eastbound Transatlantic crossing (itinerary Oct 6-13) from NYC to Southampton.

22 December 2016Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On December 22, 2016, a 74-year-old female passenger was reported missing and presumably fell overboard. The elderly woman (of British origin) went overboard in the Atlantic Ocean. The ship was en-route from NYC to Caribbean (St Maarten Island), approx 100 ml (160 km) southeast of Atlantic City NJ. AIS data showed at ~8 am, the cruise liner turning around and moving north to retrace its path. The USCG sent a C-130 airplane and an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter in the area, but the body was never found.

April 2016Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In April 2016, during the 120-day world cruise, the cruise liner was denied docking in 2 call ports (Aqaba Jordan, Salalah Oman) due to Norovirus. However, Cunard reported only 2 (out of 2403 passengers) with Noro symptoms. All passengers with booked excursions in Aqaba and Salalah were fully refunded. Skipping both ports, the ship continued with the Suez Canal transit en-route to Limassol Cyprus.

(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 January 2016Other Incidents

On January 17, 2016 (Sunday), a baby boy was born on the ship. The baby was named Benjamin Brooklyn. The woman (Johanna, of German origin) went into labor 3 weeks early. A curious fact is, that in the boy’s birth certificate in the field “place of birth” is written, “at sea”.

This “happy incident” occurred while the ship was on Transatlantic crossing from Southampton to NYC New York as the first segment on the Cunard’s QM2 World Cruise 2016 itinerary.

Similar “baby born at sea” incident also occurred on the Royal Caribbean ship Independence Of The Seas in 2015 (September).

12 December 2015Fire Accident

On December 12, 2015, the ship suffered a small engine room fire (gas turbine exhaust). It was quickly extinguished and no injuries were reported. The incident resulted in temporary power loss and drifting. On the same voyage, one of the ship’s azipods (propulsion units) malfunctioned, resulting in a delayed departure from call port Lisbon Portugal and late arrival in call port Vigo Spain.

Both incidents occurred while the QM2 ship operated on a 12-days Canary Islands cruise (itinerary Dec 3-15) roundtrip from homeport Southampton UK to Funchal (Madeira), Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Arrecife, Lisbon, Vigo.

15 August 2015Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On August 15, 2015, a 26-year-old male crew was reported missing and presumed fell overboard. The incident occurred during the 16-day Transatlantic cruise (itinerary Aug 11-19) roundtrip from Southampton to Canada (Halifax NS) and NYC New York.

The man (of Chilean origin) worked on the ship as a chef. He disappeared during the westbound Transatlantic crossing (the UK to Canada) when the vessel was approx 470 ml / 750 km off Newfoundland's coast. When notified, the Commodore (Captain Oprey) ordered the liner to turn around and start searching, but the body was not found.

07 May 2014Other Incidents

On May 7, 2014, due to concerns about the impact on wildlife, Cunard decided to cancel the 10,000 balloons release event. It was planned as part of the QM2 ship’s 10th anniversary (2004 – 2014) celebrations. The ceremony was held on May 2, 2014, in Southampton England.

December 2012Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

December-January 2013, CDC reported on voyage Dec 22 (2012) to Jan 3 (2013), a major Norovirus outbreak affected a total of 204 passengers (out of 2613, or 7,8%) and 16 crew (out of 1255, or 1,3%). The QM2 ship was on roundtrip New York to Caribbean "Christmas and New Year Cruise".

14 February 2012Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On February 14, 2012, the UK police arrested a 34-year-old male crew and charged him with child molestation and also child pornography possession. The man (Paul Trotter, of UK origin) was employed by Cunard and worked as Child Supervisor at the ship’s PlayZone (the kids' facility on Deck 6).

The allegation was for abusing a boy on the Christmas New Year cruise to Caribbean (Dec 20 to Jan 5, 2012). The police found on his computer films with the abused children. The films were made by him while working at the kids play zone areas on all the 3 Cunard ships – also on Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. Following these allegations, the Cunard Line requested assistance from the NSPCC (“National Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children”) and asked them to conduct a review of the children facilities and procedures on board and to issue a report with recommendations.

(law news) On April 20, 2012, the arrested Cunard employee admitted he sexually abused at least 13 minors (all boys) in the period between Nov 2007 and Aug 2011. He pleaded guilty on 12 counts of sexually assaulting underage children, 1 count of sexual activity with an underage child, and also 5 counts of taking-, 5 counts of making- and 1 count of possessing indecent images of a child.

05 October 2011Fire Accident

On October 5, 2011, the ship reported a small engine room fire starting in one of the gas turbines. These units are located on top deck 12 (behind the funnel – with the ship’s name on it). The fire was quickly and safely extinguished by the crew. No injuries were reported.

09 May 2011Crew / Passenger Crimes

On May 9, 2011, a male passenger (of Malaysian origin) was arrested and charged for smuggling illegal immigrants (5 women and 4 men, all of the Chinese origin) into the USA. They were all arrested when the ship berthed in homeport NYC (Brooklyn, Red Hook Cruise Terminal). The man told Customs agents he was paid USD 3000 for each of the immigrants, who additionally paid him USD 500 each upon boarding the liner in Dubai UAE. He booked all 4 cruise cabins, stating that the 9 passengers embarking in Dubai were his traveling companions.

December 2010Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

December-January 2011, CDC reported on voyage Dec 19 (2010) to Jan 3 (2011), a major Norovirus outbreak infected a total of 185 passengers (out of 2483, or 7,5%) and 29 crew (out of 1234, or 2,4%). The ship was on a "Christmas and New Year Cruise" to Caribbean roundtrip from homeport NYC New York.

23 September 2010Fire Accident

On September 23, 2010, while operating in Europe (Mediterranean Sea) and en-route to call port Barcelona, ~4:30 am the vessel experienced a total power loss (shutdown of all 4 main engines) and electrical power outage. The incident was triggered by a deteriorated capacitor (within the aft harmonic filter) causing an explosion.

While the electricity was restored after ~15 min (powered by the back-up generator), the power loss lasted for ~1 hour, until main generators were restarted. During this time, the ship was drifting off Spain's coast. Due to repair works, the Barcelona departure was delayed by ~4 hours.

The official MAIB report on the accident was issued on Dec 3, 2010. According to MAIB (Marine Accident Investigation Branch, UK), the failure of one of all 12 capacitors (11 kW each) in a harmonic filter resulted in a forceful explosion. It damaged all the electric panels and subsequently caused the blackout. The explosion was reported to have been so powerful, it damaged even the steel doors and all casings in the ship’s aft switchboard room. Fortunately, there were no crew members in the room during the explosion, so no casualties or injuries were reported.

January 2009Propulsion / Power Loss

(law news) In January 2009, the ship’s Azipods (made by Rolls-Royce) caused frequent propulsion failures. The issue forced the shipowner Carnival Corporation to take Rolls-Royce Corporation to court. The lawsuit was filed in the US (Jan 2009). The claim was that RR’s Mermaid propulsion system fitted to the cruise liner is designed defective and that the manufacturer knew about its deficiencies but deliberately hid this information in order to win the propulsion contract.

(law news) In January 2011, Carnival won the case and was awarded USD 24 million in compensation.

28 October 2008Crew / Passenger Crimes

On October 28, 2008, a 38-year-old male crew (of Filipino origin) was arrested for strangling a 32-year-old female crew (also Filipino). The crime was committed in his cabin, where the drunk man assaulted his girlfriend after she ended their relationship. The incident occurred during the ship’s stay in Port Hamburg for repairs.

15 August 2008Propulsion / Power Loss

On August 15, 2008, during westbound Transatlantic crossing Southampton to NYC, at ~1:30 am the vessel experienced total power loss. It lasted for ~1 hour, then the ship continued at reduced speed (21 mph / 33 kph) suggesting a propulsion issue (Azipod failure).

06 December 2006Propulsion / Power Loss

On December 6, 2006, during Caribbean cruise from Florida, the ship left call port Bridgetown Barbados with one of its bow thrusters doors partially closed. The door’s malfunctioning resulted in reduced cruising speed (21 mph / 33 kph). This caused ~4 hours late arrival in call port Basseterre (St Kits), where divers (assisted by a crew sent from Miami) did the necessary repairs. As compensation, the ship offered all passengers an open deck party with complimentary drinks.

13 May 2006Crew / Passenger Deaths

On May 13, 2006, a fight between two male Filipino crew in their cabin resulted in the death of one of them (a 40-year-old).

February 2006Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

February 2006, CDC reported on voyage Feb 8 to 22, a gastroenteritis illness outbreak (caused by ETEC “Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli”, not Norovirus) affected 86 passengers (out of 2498, or 3,4%) and 31 crew (out of 1271, or 2,4%). The ship was on Panama Canal transition cruise segment, part of its World Cruise itinerary round-trip from Southampton, England.

January 2006Propulsion / Power Loss

In January 2006, the ship just started an Around South America cruise from Florida to California. Upon leaving Port Everglades, one of the Azipods (propulsion units) sustained damage after striking channel wall. The incident forced the vessel to return to port. The next departure was delayed by ~41 hours.

The incident resulted in a reduced cruising speed (1 of the 4 propulsion motors was damaged) and major itinerary changes. Two Caribbean call ports (St Kitts and Barbados) and Salvador de Bahia (Brazil) were dropped. The arrival in Rio de Janeiro was delayed by ~22 hours.

Passengers were compensated with 6-days prorated refund. The propulsion problems continued to affect all the following itineraries, right until the ship returned to Europe and entered drydock in Germany (Blohm-Voss) for repairs. During the Nov 2006 drydock were also installed sprinkler systems on all passenger cabin balconies to comply with the new regulations implemented after the Star Princess fire accident (March 2006).

19 April 2005Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On April 19, 2005, during westbound Transatlantic crossing (en-route UK to Canada), an 82-year-old male passenger jumped overboard off the Newfoundland coast. The man's body was never found.

March 2004Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

February-March 2004, CDC reported on the voyage Feb 23 to Mar 6, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) suffered 33 passengers (out of 2241, or 1,4%) and 55 crew (out of 1352, or 4,1%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours. The ship was in the Caribbean Sea and arrived in Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) Florida on March 5 (overnight stay).

January 2004Propulsion / Power Loss

In January 2004, on its first World Cruise roundtrip from the UK, the QM2 ship returned to homeport Southampton ~4 hours late after experiencing an engine problem (with an engine turbine). Also, 1 of the bow thrusters doors failed to close upon leaving call port Lisbon Portugal.

15 November 2003Crew / Passenger Deaths

On November 15, 2003, during the vessel’s construction in France (Chartiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St Nazaire), 15 people died after the crowded gangway (connecting the dock with the ship) collapsed. They were part of a 48 people group (mostly workers’ family members) visiting the site. Another 32 were reported injured, 12 of which seriously.

The accident was remembered as a horrific “plunge to death” since the victims tumbled approx 50 ft / 15 m to the pavement below, amid broken scaffolding. Among the 15 killed, two died overnight from severe injuries, and one was a 10-year-old kid. The gangway was installed the day before (Nov 14, Friday) specifically for the weekend visit.

The shipbuilding yard was closed on Nov 17 (Monday) for a day of mourning. In St Nazaire, flags flew at half-staff over the town’s police stations and the city hall. France’s President and Prime Minister were supposed to visit the yard on Nov 16 (Sunday).

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