Stateroom balconies shattered as two Holland America ships collide

Holland America Line’s Oosterdam and Nieuw Amsterdam collided in port in Vancouver Saturday in what is known in the industry as an ‘allison( , causing damage to the stern of Oosterdam and shattering the balcony railing at the stern of Nieuw Amsterdam.

Nieuw Amsterdam was already alongside at the time of the incident, while Oosterdam was manoeuvring to dock stern-to-stern. The two ships made contact at around 6.50am, but no injuries were reported, according to Holland America Line.

Nieuw Amsterdam was already docked at the time of the accident

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“There were no injuries reported and disembarkation on both ships proceeded as usual,” the cruise line said in a statement. “Damage to Oosterdam is minimal. Six aft stateroom verandas on Nieuw Amsterdam require repairs, which are underway. Guests booked in those rooms on the upcoming voyage will be re-accommodated in other staterooms.”

Videos posted to social media captured the moment of the incident as Oosterdam attempted to dock at the Canada Place cruise terminal in Vancouver.

The damage that occurred is entirely superficial and was well-above the waterline. According to the statement from the cruise line, both ships sailed as normal on their separate itineraries and the relevant maritime and local authorities were notified.

Oosterdam repositioned to a new homeport in Seattle, Washington and departed on a 7-night Alaska cruise on May 5th, while Nieuw Amsterdam sailed from Vancouver on a new 7-night Alaskan voyage as well.

The passengers in the affected balcony cabins will be relocated the cruise line said

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Ship collisions are rare in the cruise industry, but when they do occur, they are most likely to happen in port during close docking procedures and usually involve only superficial damage.

While international statistics on maritime collisions are not available, data from insurance firm Allianz suggests there were 85 total losses of large ships recorded in 2016, but only one of those losses was due to a collision (that report looks at the totally of the maritime sector, with around 58,000 ocean going ships).

This year has been particularly bad for cruise ship collisions though. Back in February, Norwegian Epic collided with the dock in San Juan, Puerto Rico, destroying part of it, while a few days later two MSC Cruises ships collided in Buenos Aires.

Then, in April, the river cruise ship Viking Idun collided with a chemical tanker near Antwerp, causing significant damage to both vessels.

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