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On July 6, 2023, at approximately 6:00 a.m. local time (13:00 UTC), while manoeuvring for berthing in Port San Francisco, the ship collided with Pier 27. The collision caused minimal damage to both the ship’s hull (buckled steel plates on the aft-portside corner and a laceration above the waterline) and the pier.
The Ruby Princess was transporting 4,487 individuals (3,328 passengers and 1,159 personnel). There were no reports of pollution or injuries. The onboard systems were still operational. The next voyage (scheduled to depart on July 7 with the same itinerary) was significantly impacted as the departure was delayed by three days and the itinerary was drastically altered.
On the same day (June 6) as the collision, the ship was filled with 1161 crew and 3256 passengers (who embarked in the afternoon/at 4:00 pm CA/23:00 UTC), but it did not obtain USCG clearance to depart port. The Ruby Princess remained moored so that technical specialists could perform the required repairs.
As compensation, all affected passengers were offered the opportunity to cancel the current voyage and receive a full refund (100%) of the cruise fare paid, as well as all/if any post-cruise hotel packages and land transfers (purchased through Princess Cruises), all/if any prepaid shore excursions and other items, as well as taxes and port fees. In addition, each passenger received a 50% FFC (future cruise credit) voucher.
The second option was to remain on the rescheduled seven-day Alaskan voyage and receive a 75% refund. Passengers were permitted to board and disembark the ship at any time.
The investigation revealed that the assisting harbour pilot attempted to berth the ship using maximum recommended current levels.
On the morning of July 9, after all necessary repairs were completed, the USCG released the vessel. The Ruby Princess was scheduled to depart San Francisco at 2:30 p.m. The passengers had until 11 a.m. on July 9 to determine whether to continue with the rerouted voyage or disembark. The ship eventually departed with a total of 3838 people (2677 passengers and 1161 personnel).
The original 10-day Alaskan cruise was curtailed to seven days with only two ports of call: Ketchikan (12 July) and Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada (13 July). The first three scheduled Alaskan destinations (Sitka on July 9, Glacier Bay National Park on July 10, and Juneau on July 11) were eliminated from the itinerary.
The disaster occurred at the conclusion of the 10-day “Inside Passage with Glacier Bay National Park Cruise” (route June 26-July 6, round-trip from homeport San Francisco, California), which visited Alaska (Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay NP, and Ketchikan) and British Columbia (Prince Rupert/Kaien Island).
Actually, this form of marine accident is known as “allision” (impacting a stationary object) rather than “collision” (impacting another vessel).