Royal Caribbean’s ship Radiance OTS cancels 2 cruises due to propulsion issue

   September 7, 2023 ,   Accidents

RCI-Royal Caribbean's vessel, Radiance of the Seas, recently faced operational setbacks resulting in the cancellation of two scheduled cruises, primarily due to a significant malfunction in one of the ship's Azipods, affecting its top speed.

The incident transpired on August 25th, during an Alaska voyage from Vancouver to Seward, when passengers reported an audible disturbance. Reportedly, the ship's Azipod (in-hull mounted thruster/propulsion unit) failed, resulting in reduced max speed.

The root cause of this malfunction remains uncertain, though there is speculation that submerged ice may have collided with the Azipod, leading to potential damage to its propeller. Instances of this nature are exceedingly rare but not entirely unforeseen.

Regrettably, the timing of the incident posed challenges. The cancellation of the September 1st departure was announced on the embarkation day. By then, a considerable number of passengers had already journeyed to Alaska, expecting to embark on their cruise.

The subsequent voyage, scheduled for September 8th, also had to be canceled. This was primarily due to the extended duration required to assemble a specialized team capable of conducting the necessary repairs. Nevertheless, RCI currently expresses confidence in proceeding with the following cruise, set for September 15th, which marks the concluding one-way journey of the ship's Alaska season.

"As our guests know, we cancelled our September 1st sailing due to a technical issue with propulsion. One of the ship’s Azipods had a problem requiring highly specialised technicians from Northern Europe to travel to Alaska to fix and repair that problem. To our September 15th guests, we are confident repairs will be completed in the next few days in time for your sailing, and we will keep you informed should that change."

Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean President & CEO

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