Sunday, August 25, 2013

Unexpected Dry Dock Ends Alaska Sailing Season Early

Celebrity Millennium
2013 Alaska Season
Over in Ketchikan

Celebrity Millennium has been experiencing mechanical problems since early August, resulting in the early termination of its latest cruise and cancellation of 4 sailings ending the Alaska sailing season early for the vessel.

During the August 2nd sailing, the ship was delayed coming into port at the end of the cruise.   The ship made news as it was stranded in Seward during the August 9th sailing for emergency repairs. The ship bypassed all ports, sailing directly to Vancouver.

The final straw was on the August 16th sailing when the ship was stranded in Ketchikan in need of additional repairs.  Celebrity then decided to cancel the four remaining cruises and transition the ship to Freeport, Bahamas where it can undergo maintenance at the dry dock facility.

Celebrity Cruises provided charted air transportation for all passengers as well as compensation for the cancelled cruises.   

This is not the first time this year that Celebrity Millennium has had propulsion problems.   Itineraries were impacted in April (see Celebrity Millennium Itinerary Change).

 Propulsion: 2 × 19 MW Rolls-Royce/Alstom Mermaid azimuth thrusters

The Celebrity Millennium-class were the first of the larger class ships to be introduced to the Celebrity fleet later being  joined by the modern and popular Solstice-class ships.   Propulsion problems have often occurred with the azipod system, which improves maneuverability of the vessel.  In many of the previous cases, problems could be repaired by the onboard mechanics.   When they can't be resolved, unexpected dry docks, like the current one, result.

Hopefully the impacted passengers will be able to return to Alaska another time.  We are certain that Celebrity Cruises made the decision to cancel the remaining cruises after exhausting all other options.

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