ms Nieuw Amsterdam accidents and incidents

ms Nieuw Amsterdam cruise ship

Former names
Nieuw Amsterdam IV

Length (LOA)
285 m / 935 ft

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CruiseMapper's ms Nieuw Amsterdam cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2527-passenger vessel owned by Holland America. Our ms Nieuw Amsterdam 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.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 - 2000, 2024
  • ship collision - 2019 (with MS Oosterdam in Vancouver BC)
  • propulsion/power loss - 2019-2020 (2 canceled cruises), 2023
  • ship grounding - 2017 (Huatulco, Mexico)
  • deaths - 2021 (5 passengers in an Alaskan floatplane crash), 2024 (2 crew)
  • injuries/crimes - sexual (2014)
  • medevacs - 2019
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2010 (134/6), 2017 (73/4), 2023 (246/38)

22 March 2024Crew / Passenger Deaths

On March 22, 2024, ~9:30 am local time (~13:30 UTC) while the ship was anchored at Half Moon Cay (Bahamas), two crew members died in an engine room explosion.

The men - Joseph Terrado (Third Engineer, from the Philippines) and Wawan Gusnawan (Wiper, from Indonesia), were installing filters when an expansion compensator exploded and released steam. The defective part (called "expansion joint") absorbs thermal expansion and also reduces vibration in piping systems.

According to RBPF/Royal Bahamas Police Force, preliminary reports indicated that sometime ~9:30 am, the Captain was alerted via the ship's automatic fire alarm system to a malfunction in the engine room. Subsequently, the ship's fire response team was dispatched, and on arrival at the engine room, they encountered "sweltering condensation as a result of a steam leak, which was immediately rectified. A check was made for the crew members, but they were found unresponsive and with severe burns". Both victims were examined by the District Medical Doctor and subsequently pronounced dead.

The engine room explosion resulted in the release of steam at high pressure. Under the command of the Navigation Bridge, the watertight/hydraulic doors were closed and the ventilation to the engine room was shut down before it was evacuated by the technical crew. Both men were without EEBDs/Emergency Escape Breathing Devices and became trapped inside, being unable to manually open the heavy doors.

Released later reports stated that in the engine room, there were five men. Three of them left and closed the hydraulic door behind before the explosion.

As the vessel is registered in The Netherlands, OVV (Onderzoeksraad voor Veiligheid/Investigation Council for Safety, or the Dutch Safety Board) started an investigation, with an official report to be released soon.

The accident occurred during the 7-day "Eastern Caribbean Cruise" (itinerary March 16-23, roundtrip from Port Everglades/Fort Lauderdale, Florida USA) visiting Grand Turk Island (Cockburn Town/Mar 18), Puerto Rico (San Juan/Mar 19), St Thomas Island USVI (Charlotte Amalie/Mar 20) and Half Moon Cay Bahamas (Mar 22, port stay 8 am-3 pm).

17 October 2023Propulsion / Power Loss

On October 17, 2023, during the Panama Canal transit, the Captain announced changes to the current itinerary due to propulsion issues. The onboard safety as well as the max cruising speed were not affected.

Following the PA announcement, in a letter delivered to all passenger staterooms was explained that the ship was experiencing a technical issue/portside Azipod failure. To allow on-time arrival in Port Everglades and not affect the next scheduled voyage, from the planned route was dropped Cartagena (Columbia). With the change, the ship was expected to arrive in Port Everglades at ~4 AM (~8 AM UTC) on October 21st.

The accident occurred during the 20-day Alaskan relocation cruise (itinerary Oct 1-21) from Vancouver (BC Canada) to Port Everglades/Fort Lauderdale (Florida USA) with call ports Seattle WA (Oct 2), San Diego CA (Oct 6), Puerto Vallarta Mexico (Oct 9), Huatulco Mexico (Oct 11), Puerto Chiapas Mexico (Oct 12), Puerto Quetzal Guatemala (Oct 13), Puerto Caldera/Puntarenas Costa Rica (Oct 15), Panama Canal transition (Oct 17), Cartagena Colombia (canceled/planned for Oct 18/port stay 12 noon-6 pm), and Port EvergladesFort Lauderdale (Oct 21).

May 2023Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In May 2023, CDC reported that on the voyage from May 7 to 21, an epidemic Norovirus outbreak infected a total of 246 passengers (out of 1971, or 12,4%) and 38 crew (out of 826, or 4,6%).

The predominant symptoms were vomiting and diarrhea. All sick were quarantined to their staterooms.

The accident occurred during the 14-day "Great Alaskan Explorer Cruise" (roundtrip from Vancouver) with call ports in Alaska USA (Kodiak Island, Anchorage/Denali NP, Valdez, Glacier Bay, Sitka/Baranof Island, and Ketchikan/Revillagigedo Island) and in BC Canada (Prince Rupert/Kaien Island, Victoria, and Vancouver).

January 2022Other Incidents

In early-January 2022, due to COVID-related concerns were canceled three consecutive departures, including two themed/privately chartered cruises.

The affected voyages were 7-day roundtrips from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades, Florida USA).

  • (January 8-15) Western Caribbean with call ports Half Moon Cay Bahamas (Jan 9), Falmouth Jamaica (Jan 11), Kingston Jamaica (Jan 12) and Nassau Bahamas (Jan 14)
  • (January 15-22) "The Country Music Cruise" with call ports Costa Maya Mexico (Jan 17/1 pm - 11 pm), Cozumel Mexico (Jan 18/7 am - 11:30 pm) and Half Moon Cay (Jan 21/8 am - 3 pm)
  • (January 22-29) 7-day "Soul Train Cruise" with call ports Costa Maya (Jan 24/8 am - 11 pm), Cozumel (Jan 25/1 pm - 11:30 pm) and Belize City (Jan 26/1 pm - 8 pm)

To the affected bookings Holland America offered transfers to the fleetmate MS Rotterdam or full refunds (of the fares paid).

MS Rotterdam had scheduled also 7-day roundtrips from Port Everglades: January 9-16 (Western Caribbean itinerary to Nassau, Falmouth Jamaica, Grand Turk Island, Half Moon Cay) and January 16-23 (Southern Caribbean itinerary to Half Moon Cay and Willemstad Curacao/overnight).

05 August 2021Crew / Passenger Deaths

On August 5, 2021, while the ship was docked in Ketchikan AK, a total of 6 people died in a floatplane crash accident. Among those were the pilot and 5 HAL cruise passengers (from Nieuw Amsterdam).

The USCG was alerted by another sightseeing plane flying in the area. USCG Air Station Sitka immediately launched a search and rescue operation to the crash site, approx 8 mi (13 km) northeast of Ketchikan. The operation was assisted by Alaska Wildlife and State Troopers, US Forest Service personnel, and Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad.

The aircraft’s emergency locator/radio beacon activated at ~11:19 am AKST (3:19 UTC) in the Misty Fjords area. The accident occurred while the tour plane was returning from Misty Fjords back to Ketchikan.

The plane wreckage was found by the USCG's rescue helicopter at 2:37 pm (6:37 UTC), lying on a ridgeline in a very "steep mountainous area". Coast Guard's MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew lowered two rescue swimmers who found no survivors. The bodies of all the 6 dead were aboard the plane.

The crashed floatplane was owned and operated by the Alaskan flightseeing tour company Southeast Aviation LLC.

Holland America Line announced that the 5 passengers booked the flight tour in Ketchikan and not thru HAL. MS Nieuw Amsterdam was operating a 7-day "Alaskan Explorer" itinerary roundtrip from Seattle (July 31 - Aug 7) with call ports Juneau (Aug 2), Glacier Bay and Icy Strait Point (Hoonah, Aug 3), Sitka ((Aug 4) and Ketchikan (Aug 5, port stay 7 am - 4 pm).

April 2020Other Incidents

(crew repatriation) In mid-April 2020, Carnival Corporation developed a repatriation plan using 8 cruise liners from 3 of its brands - Princess Cruises (ships Caribbean, Crown, Island, Regal), HAL-Holland America Line (ships Nieuw Amsterdam, Veendam, Volendam) and Seabourn Cruises (ship Quest) to bring crew back home. The planned relocations (announced on April 18) included:

Caribbean Princess repositioning from The Bahamas to repatriate staff-crew to countries in the Caribbean and South America.

(two Transatlantic crossings) Regal Princess repositioning from Bimini Islands (Bahamas) to Europe (Southampton UK and Rotterdam Holland) to repatriate all European staff-crew. Crown Princess repositioning from Fort Lauderdale (Florida USA) to Asia and South Africa to repatriate all Filipino, Indonesian, Indian and South African staff-crew.

(Panama Canal transit) Island Princess repositioning from Fort Lauderdale to Asia to repatriate Filipino, Indonesian, Indian and South African staff-crew.

(three Panama Canal transitions) The 3 HAL ships (anchored near Great Harbour Cay Bahamas) - Nieuw Amsterdam, Veendam and Volendam - reposition to Asia to repatriate all HAL's Filipino, Indonesian, Indian and South African staff-crew.

(Transatlantic crossing) Seabourn Quest repositioning from Speightstown (aka Little Bristol, Barbados) to Europe, also carrying staff-crew from Seabourn Odyssey (also being anchored near Speightstown).

14 December 2019Propulsion / Power Loss

The scheduled for December 14, 2019, cruise from Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) was cancelled due to propulsion (Azipod) issues. The planned departure (December 14, at 5 pm) was first postponed, but at ~2 pm on Dec 15th the voyage was officially cancelled and all passengers disembarked. The propulsion problems started at the end of the previous voyage (while the liner was en-route from Bahamas back to Florida), resulting in slow speeds and late arrival in homeport.

The Holland America Line's Facebook page was posted that "Due to an unexpected technical issue with one of two Azipod propulsion systems on Nieuw Amsterdam the Dec 14 cruise has been cancelled. While the ship can safely sail with one Azipod, to do so requires approval from several regulatory authorities which is still in progress. Given the impact of the delay on delivering a satisfactory itinerary for guests, a decision was made to cancel the cruise at 2 pm EDT today (Dec 15)."

All affected passengers received a full refund (of the fare paid), reimbursement for airline/flight change fees, plus 100% future HAL cruise credit. To all passengers was also offered to rebook on the Fort Lauderdale-homeported fleetmates Koningsdam (11-day Southern Caribbean) and Nieuw Statendam (7-day Southern Caribbean). Both liners were scheduled for roundtrips leaving out of Port Everglades on December 22.

The accident occurred at the beginning of 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise (itinerary December 14-21) roundtrip from homeport Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) with planned/canceled visits to Grand Turk, Puerto Rico (San Juan), St Thomas Island (Charlotte Amalie) and Bahamas (Half Moon Cay).

(UPDATE) On December 17, 2019, HAL donated a portion of the canceled cruise food (fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices) to Feeding South Florida - a hunger-relief organization (state's largest food bank) that serves ~1/4 of Florida's food-insecure population by distributing annually 42+ million meals to 0,7+ million people.

(UPDATE) In January 2020, HAL canceled departure February 1 (7-day "Tropical Caribbean") to allow the ship to enter drydock for propulsion repairs (azipod replacement). All customers booked on the Feb 1 voyage were given the options to choose from either rebook another 7-day Caribbean or Mexico cruise (in HAL's 2020 program) in the same cabin category with 100% Future Cruise Credit (equal to the cruise fares paid) or rebook itinerary to another destination with 50% Future Cruise Credit (of the fares paid).

Date / TimePort
01 Feb 17:00Departing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida
02 Feb 08:00 - 17:00Key West, Florida
04 Feb 08:00 - 17:00Amber Cove, Dominicana
05 Feb 08:00 - 17:00Grand Turk Island
07 Feb 07:00 - 15:00Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
08 Feb 07:00Arriving in Fort Lauderdale

12 June 2019Coast Guard Medevacs

On June 12, 2019, a 62-year-old female passenger was medevaced from the cruise liner navigating close to Skagway Alaska. For the maritime rescue operation, the USCG dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Sitka.

The incident occurred during 7-day "Alaskan Inside Passage Cruise" (itinerary June 8-15) roundtrip from homeport Vancouver (BC Canada) to Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay Park, and Ketchikan.

04 May 2019Ship Collision / Allision

On May 4, 2019, at ~6:30 am, while maneuvering for berthing at Canada Place Terminal in homeport Vancouver (BC Canada), the fleetmate MS Oosterdam collided with the already docked MS Nieuw Amsterdam. No injuries were reported. The itinerary was not affected.

According to Holland America Line's official statement, the vessels "rubbed against each other while docking stern to stern". Oosterdam sustained a long scratch on hull's stern starboard. On Nieuw Amsterdam, 6 cabin balconies were damaged.

The accident occurred at the beginning of 7-day Alaskan Cruise (itinerary May 4-11) roundtrip from homeport Vancouver to Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, and Ketchikan.

10 October 2017Ship Grounding

On October 10, 2017, the ship ran aground in call port Huatulco Mexico, after its mooring ropes broke up due to stormy weather. All passengers were offered to disembark and go to local hotels overnight.

However, soon after the vessel’s inspection (which showed no significant hull damages), it was allowed to resume the voyage. The ship was on the 5th day of 16-day Panama Canal repositioning cruise (itinerary Oct 5-21) from San Diego CA to Fort Lauderdale FL.

July 2017Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In July 2017, CDC reported on itinerary July 22-29, a Norovirus outbreak affected a total of 73 passengers (out of 2210, or 3,3%) and 4 crew (out of 869, or 0,5%). The ship was on 7-day Alaskan cruise roundtrip from homeport Vancouver (BC Canada).

15 February 2014Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On February 15, 2014, a 31-year-old female passenger (of US origin) suffered severe injuries after being sexually assaulted and beaten by a 28-year-old male crew. The terrible accident occurred in international waters, near Honduras' coast.

The ship was on 7-day “Bare Necessities” (nudist-themed) cruise booked by the “Necessities Tour & Travel” agency. The 7-day Western Caribbean voyage was a roundtrip from homeport Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) Florida.

The crew (Ketut Pujayasa, of Indonesian origin) worked on the ship as a cabin attendant. On this position, he had a master key giving him access to all passenger staterooms, including the one of the victim. In the middle of the night, he entered the cabin without permission, hid on the balcony, waited until the woman fell asleep, then entered the room, raped and beat her brutally. Then, after punching and strangling her, he tried to throw her off the cabin’s balcony.

The assault lasted for 30 -60 min. The woman was severely beaten using a curling iron and her laptop computer. He strangled her using the cords of the phone and the iron in an attempt to prevent her from screaming. When she managed to escape, another passenger saw her running covered in blood and with visible bruises around the neck and shoulders.

The woman was treated in the onboard infirmary, later disembarked in next call port Coxen Hole (Roatan Island, Honduras) and air-ambulanced to South Florida. The man was arrested and charged with violent sexual assault.

(law news) On May 30, 2015, a lawsuit against Holland America was filed in Seattle WA.

(law news) On January 7, 2015, while guidelines suggested punishment of 14 to 17 years in federal prison, being requested by prosecutors, the Judge sentenced him to 30 years 5 months in jail (USP Beaumont, a federal prison for males in Texas, USA).

11 June 2013Other Incidents

On June 11, 2013, a Croatian news media reported that the vessel came and stopped too close (approx 500 ft / 150 m) to a popular beach at Split Croatia (Kastelet Beach) and was only meters away from running aground. The ship came to the safety buoys causing a serious panic. Then it moved to ~1600 ft / 500 m from the shore and accounted. At ~8 am started the passenger disembarkation via tender boats.

November 2010Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In November 2010, CDC reported on the voyage Oct 18 to Nov 7, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 134 passengers (out of 2027, or 6,6%) and 6 crew (out of 873, or 0,7%).

All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins.

The ship arrived in homeport Fort Lauderdale on Nov 7 and was thoroughly sanitized before next embarkation.

23 May 2000Fire Accident

On May 23, 2000, the liner carrying a total of 1169 passengers plus 542 crew suffered a deck fire accident while on an Alaskan cruise (7-day itinerary from Vancouver to Seward). The accident occurred at ~9 am, when the vessel was in Tarr Inlet - approx 8 km (5 ml) north of Russell Island (Redland City, Southern Moreton Bay Islands) and en-route to Glacier Bay.

Navigation Bridge's monitoring system indicated an activated smoke detector in one of D Deck's crew cabins. Bridge's on-duty crew followed the standard procedures and informed the Captain about a possible fire. A quartermaster was sent to investigate and ensure it wasn't a false alarm. He was advised to carry a smoke mask and an UHF radio. He descended to D Deck, then proceeded aft (towards the stern) about 75 m (250 ft) to the possible fire area. After passing FSD1 (fire screen door 1), he observed smoke overhead and put on the smoke mask. From cabin D98 he saw smoke streaming through cabin door's lower ventilation louvers. As the door was locked, he radioed a report to Bridge's third officer, who then informed the Captain. The Captain called ship's Chief Officer and ordered an investigation of the fire, although procedures require that in cases of fire emergencies, the chief officer commands the firefighting operation from the Bridge.

As the chief officer was descending down to D Deck, he heard ship's general alarm (at 9:19) and smelled smoke on C Deck, but didn't contact the Bridge crew. In the stairwell of D Deck, he met the quartermaster standing by FSD1, grabbed and donned his smoke mask and commanded him to keep the fire door closed. After entering the main corridor, he observed “a small amount of smoke”, then walked through the corridor, pounding on all cabin doors and yelling for evacuation. In the passageway of cabin D98, he felt heat radiating from room's inboard bulkhead, then saw “thick, white smoke” coming through the louvers. The chief officer picked up an uncharged hose and together with the chief engineer proceeded through a thick layer of smoke toward D98. At the closed door of D98, the chief officer commanded the chief engineer to charge the hose line. He partially opened the door, bent down and sprayed a stream of water inside for ~30-40 sec. The rushing out intense heat, smoke and steam forced him back, he dropped the hose and retreated. Both men then exited the area, closing the Watertight Door (WTD) behind them. However, D98's door was left open.

Following the general fire alarm, two of ship's firefighting crews (Alpha and Bravo squads) were mobilized and mustered. At ~09:30, both teams started to attack the fire, spraying water in the passageways (which were also in flames), then inside D98 (for several minutes) until all flames were extinguished. Shortly before 10 am, ship's ventilation system evacuated all the smoke and the fire was reported under control. At ~10:20 am, the fire was declared out.

During the accident, a total of 15 smoke detectors on D Deck were activated. Ship's Captain made 2 announcements (via the PA system) informing passengers and crew about an activated fire alarm on D Deck. At ~9:30 am, smoke detectors were also activated in the service stairwell on Deck B. Crew were reporting smoke spreading upward to passenger decks (C, B, A). The Captain attempted to contact the USCG but failed due to VHF radio interferences. A staff officer sent a distress message without Captain's knowledge. Another Holland America Line ship in the area received it and radioed it to both HAL's office and USCG. At 10:15 am, the USCG contacted the cruise ship to determine fire's status.

When the fire alarm was sounded (9:19 am), most passengers were on the outside decks (Promenade Deck 7, and Sun Deck 10) observing the scenery. Following the alarm, they proceeded to the muster stations. Most in-cabin passengers wearing lifejackets mustered at their stations. At the muster/assembly stations, the crew took roll of the passengers then informed the Captain about two missing passengers (a couple from a B Deck stateroom). Rescue teams were dispatched to the area. Both were soon retrieved, examined by Infirmary's medical staff and later medevaced via helicopter to Juneau AK.

The cruise liner received an USCG COTP (Captain of the Port) who anchored the vessel in Bartlett Cove (Glacier Bay) for inspection, after which it was allowed to resume the voyage. The ship arrived in homeport Seward AK on May 25, were was conducted an investigation. According to the report, the fire was caused by a hot-water kettle. A male crew returned from work to his cabin (D98) and plugged-in the kettle. As he was soon called back to work, he switched it off but didn't unplug it. All other electrical appliances were off.

According to HAL's official statement, the fire caused no operational or environmental damages, neither damages to passenger staterooms or public areas. The damaged crew deck areas were repaired by June 1 (2000).

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