Queen of the Oceans accidents and incidents

Queen of the Oceans cruise ship

Former names
Ocean Princess, P&O Oceana

Length (LOA)
261 m / 856 ft

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CruiseMapper's Queen of the Oceans cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2419-passenger vessel owned by Seajets Cruise Line (Small Cruise Lines). Our Queen of the Oceans 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.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 - 2015
  • propulsion/power loss - 2014
  • deaths - overboard (2007), 2013 (crew suicide), drug bust (2015)
  • injuries/crimes - 2008 (pax shot and robbed in El Guamache / Margarita Island, Venezuela)
  • boat rescue - 2007 (7 Algerians in the Mediterranean)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2002 (total 397 / 75 / plus 300-400 unofficially), 2003 (95 pax), 2005 (~200 pax), 2010 (120 pax), 2014 (57 pax), 2016 (43 / 5)

The vessel was previously operated under the names Ocean Princess (2000-2002) and Oceana (2003-2020).

07 July 2020Other Incidents

(P&O Oceana sold) On July 7, 2020, P&O Cruises UK (via company's President Paul Ludlow) officially announced that after 20 years of service, the 2000-built (as Ocean Princess) cruise liner was sold and leaves the fleet. The vessel's buyer and the sale price were not disclosed. The decision was based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus crisis.

The ship had scheduled a total of 190 itineraries (departures from two homeports - Southampton UK, and Dubai UAE). Those were planned for the period October 29, 2020, through March 21, 2022, and all were cancelled after the vessel changed ownership.

On July 6, Oceana arrived in Southampton (from Newcastle upon Tyne) and docked at Berth 46. On July 8, the liner left Port Southampton en-route to Port Patras (Greece) where it will be officially handed over to the new shipowner.

August 2019Pirates / Terrorist Attacks

(P&O Oceana) In August 2019, P&O UK cancelled cruise ship's "Dubai and Arabian Gulf" itinerary program  (scheduled for October 2019 through March 2020) due to tensions over shipping in the Persian Gulf. All bookings were cancelled and fully refunded.

The decision followed the seizure in July of a UK-flagged cargo vessel (Stena Impero) by Iran in Hormuz Strait, which raised security fears. On July 19, Iran’s IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps / branch of country's Armed Forces) seized the oil tanker Stena Impero (IMO 9797400) in the Hormuz Strait waters for alleged marine violations.

P&O's "Dubai And Arabian Gulf" cruises were planned as roundtrips from Dubai (10-12-14-day itineraries) visiting ports in Oman, Bahrain, UAE, and India.

17 April 2015Fire Accident

(P&O Oceana) On April 17, 2015, while en-route to Key West Florida, the vessel had to return back to homeport Miami after suffering an engine room fire accident. The ship contacted the USCG and requested tugboats to assist berthing in Miami. AIS tracking data showed the ship leaving PortMiami, then turning around shortly after departure.

The fire was quickly extinguished by the crew and without any injuries. The ship left Miami at ~8:20 am on April 19.

21 February 2015Drug Smuggling

(P&O Oceana) On February 21, 2015, while the ship was docked in port Bridgetown Barbados, a 39-year-old male passenger was arrested and charged with cocaine trafficking, drug importation, and possession. Barbados Drug Squad officers found a total of 1,5 kg of cocaine hidden in the cabin of Clifford Uba Ejimamu (of Canadian origin).

(law news) On February 23, the man pleaded guilty to both charges. For drug trafficking, he was fined USD 75,000 forthwith (or 2 years in jail). For drug importation, he was fined USD 25,000 forthwith (or 2 years in jail). He was discharged on the "possession" and "possession with intent to supply" charges.

03 April 2014Propulsion / Power Loss

(P&O Oceana) On April 3, 2014, propeller shaft (propulsion system) issue caused an itinerary delay. The cause for this accident was a foreign object damaging the shaft's seal. The time needed for repairs was estimated at nearly 3 days (~70 hours). The vessel docked in Barcelona Spain and remained there 3 days for emergency repairs. To keep up with the Southampton cruise schedule, call ports Alghero (Sardinia), Cartagena and La Coruna (both in Spain) were cancelled.

The ship was on 12-night Mediterranean cruise roundtrip from homeport Southampton England. As compensation, passengers received 25% cash refund, free shuttle buses to the city center (Barcelona), free “hop-on-hop-off” tickets with 40 stops.

February 2014Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(P&O Oceana) On February 26, 2014, the ship returned to homeport Southampton England with 57 passengers infected with Norovirus. The vessel returned early from the Canary Islands cruise due to propeller (propulsion) problems. As compensation, all passengers were offered partial refunds and onboard credits.

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.

07 November 2013Crew / Passenger Deaths

(P&O Oceana / crew suicide) On November 7, 2013, a male crew was found dead in his cabin. The man worked on the ship as a head waiter in the buffet restaurant The Plazza (deck 14). He was found by his roommate when the vessel docked in call port Casablanca (Morocco).

Reportedly, the man committed suicide by overdose. He was a P&O UK employee for over 10 years, and about to travel back home after his contract with the company had ended. The Captain informed all passengers about the incident via the PA system.

December 2012Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(P&O Oceana) On December 13, 2012, major UK and Australian news media reported an epidemic Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) with between 300 and 400 passengers suffering the Norovirus symptoms (predominantly vomiting and diarrhea).

P&O Cruises was reportedly involved in a cover-up, as a Carnival Corporation (shipowner) spokeswoman announced "a mild gastrointestinal illness among passengers". The cruise ship was carrying a total of 1843 passengers,  of which with "active symptoms" were officially reported just 6.

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.

April 2010Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(P&O Oceana) On April 2, 2010, the ship returned to homeport Southampton England with a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) affecting 120 passengers. The ship was on 14-day Caribbean cruise (itinerary March 18- April 2) roundtrip from the UK. Passengers were reportedly furious as on board they had to pay for treatment.

A P&O Cruises spokesman commented that medical fees should be reclaimed through cruise travel insurance policies. Despite the virus outbreak, the cruise ship left as scheduled for the following 3-day mini-cruise.

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.

28 January 2008Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(P&O Oceana) On January 28, 2008, a 53-year-old male passenger was shot while shopping in call port El Guamache (Margarita Island, Venezuela).

The man was together with his wife, and buying a drink when a robber thrust a pistol in his chest and demanded his 18-carat gold Rolex watch (cost GBP 10,000). When the cruise passenger ignored him and turned away – he was shot and collapsed bleeding. The attacker fired 2 more shots (which missed him), then hit him with the pistol in the head and grabbed the.watch.

Fortunately, the bullet missed the heart by millimetres, passing straight through the body and causing only minor damage. After a hospital visit, the man re-boarded the cruise ship and continued on the 14-day long Caribbean voyage.

30 September 2007Crew / Passenger Deaths

(P&O Oceana / overboard) On September 30, 2007, at ~7 am, a 67-year-old female passenger was reported missing and presumed fell overboard. The woman was last seen by her husband at 5:45 am, while the ship was returning back to homeport Southampton from a 3-day mini-cruise to Zeebrugge Belgium. The body was later recovered in the English Channel waters (near Cowes, Isle of Wight).

03 May 2007Boat Rescue

(P&O Oceana) On May 3, 2007, while in the Mediterranean Sea (off the Balearic Islands), at ~2 AM, the cruise ship rescued 7x Algerians from a disabled boat. The boat was out of supplies and drifting. It had no lights or radio equipment. One inflatable rescue boat was lowered from the liner, then the Algerians were brought on board.

Despite the ship's involvement, 1 man died. The 6 survivors disembarked in homeport Southampton England, although disembarkation in call port Gibraltar (UK) was the proper option as IMO requires persons rescued at sea to be disembarked at the nearest place of safety. The ship was on 14-day roundtrip UK to Western Mediterranean cruise itinerary.

June 2005Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(P&O Oceana) On May 27, 2005, UK news media sources reported a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) with infected around 200 passengers (~10% of all). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (stomach cramps, predominantly vomiting and diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins.

The ship was on the 17-day UK to Mediterranean cruise (itinerary May 19 - June 5) roundtrip from homeport Southampton England.

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.

27 January 2004Structural and Technical Issues

(P&O Oceana) On January 27, 2004, the USCG denied the cruise liner access to call port Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas Island, USVI) after the vessel failed to provide the list of the total 2870 passengers plus crew as names and citizenship. The ship's tender boats loaded with disembarking passengers were sent back to the liner, and it continued to the next scheduled call port: St Johns (Antigua).


September 2003Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(P&O Oceana) On September 25, 2003, were reported a total of 95 passengers suffering from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting and diarrhea).

December 2002Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(MS Ocean Princess) On December 10, 2002, the vessel was denied docking in call port Philipsburg (St Maarten Island) due to an epidemic Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) with infected 269 passengers and 24 crew.

The ship was on 14-day Caribbean cruise (itinerary November 29 - December 13) roundtrip from homeport Fort Lauderdale Florida.

May 2002Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(MS Ocean Princess) In May 2002, CDC reported Norovirus outbreaks (gastrointestinal illness) on two consecutive Alaskan cruises.

  • On the first itinerary (from Vancouver BC Canada to Seward AK), an outbreak infected 41 passengers (out of 2053, or 2%) and 12 crew (out of 852, or 1,4%).
  • On the next itinerary (from Seward to Vancouver), an outbreak infected 88 passengers (out of 2040, or 4,3%) and 39 crew (out of 852, or 4,6%).
  • All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins.

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