Royal Caribbean's Radiance OTS hits Sitka Sound cruise terminal's mooring dolphin

   May 13, 2022 ,   Accidents

The newly expanded Sitka Sound cruise terminal welcomed its first 7 sailings last week, commencing what is expected to be a record-breaking year in cruise ship travel.

On Monday, May 9, the terminal sustained damage to its inside berth after an RCI-Royal Caribbean cruise ship struck an outer mooring dolphin (an off-shore steel structure that large vessels can tie up to).

According to the owner and terminal manager Chris McGraw, the 2100-passenger Radiance of the Seas ship had hit the dolphin, damaging all 4 pilings while backing into her berth Monday morning. The damage to the inside berth means that the dock can no longer safely accommodate 2 ships, cutting the dock’s capacity by 50%.

McGraw added they were currently working to notify incoming cruise companies.

The damage will affect future dates where 2 cruise ships were scheduled.

A contractor from Anchorage-based construction company Turnagain Marine will start repairing the damaged dolphin over the weekend. The timeline for the repairs is unclear, but it could be anywhere from weeks to months before the cruise berth is functional again. 

In the meantime tendering passengers directly into town is a possibility.

Radiance Of The Seas cruise ship

Despite damaging the berth, the Royal Caribbean ship was left unscathed. McGraw said they successfully had ~4000 passengers move through the facility on Monday, and Radiance OTS was able to moor/leave safely.

For more Radiance of the Seas incidents and accidents see the ship's CruiseMinus page.