P&O Cruises has assessed the damage to its ship, Britannia, after it collided with a tanker in Palma de Mallorca. Due to damage to lifeboats and other safety equipment, some guests will be disembarked and sent home instead of continuing their cruise. The cruise line is currently making travel arrangements for affected passengers. One of Britannia’s lifeboats and other lifesaving equipment sustained structural issues that cannot be repaired onboard, according to a letter sent to guests. Maritime law requires specific lifeboat capacities to be maintained on all vessels. The 143,730-gross ton Britannia has a guest capacity of 3,647 travelers and a crew of approximately 1,400.
It is unclear which guests will be asked to disembark the ship in order to comply with maritime regulations. The cruise line may ask for volunteers or prioritize guests who may not feel comfortable remaining onboard. Repair operations in the damaged areas could also impact the cruise experience for guests, leading to potential disembarkation. P&O Cruises has not confirmed how many guests will need to leave the ship to ensure adequate safety equipment for sailing. If the lifeboat and other safety equipment cannot be repaired or replaced before the next sailing, some guests may have their cruises cancelled.
This incident is not uncommon in the cruise industry, as other cruise lines have faced similar circumstances that resulted in shortened cruises and cancelled trips. Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Escape ran aground, causing the sailing to end and subsequent cruises to be cancelled. Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Freedom had a fire that damaged the ship’s whale tail, leading to the cancellation of the current and future voyages. Marella Cruises’ Marella Discovery 2 experienced technical problems that impacted services, resulting in the cancellation of multiple voyages.