Carnival Fantasy Cruise Ship Collision Mississippi River Rice Barge – On February 10, 2007, a Valentine’s Day celebration was ruined for 2, 050 passengers who had their cruise cancelled after the Carnival Fantasy was split open on her way to dock in New Orleans, Louisiana (see video below).
A rice barge being pushed by the commercial towing vessel the Repentance rammed into the Carnival Fantasy as she was on the way to her home port, fully loaded with passengers on approached to the Mississippi River dock.
The barge, out of control, plowed into the river bank, then slammed into the Fantasy. Fantasy was damaged with a 30 foot gash in her hull. The barge struck the port side of the cruise ship as it waited to dock, according to a statement from the cruise line.
The cruise ship was preparing to disembark 2,000 passengers who had been on a five day cruise into the Caribbean when the Mississippi River accident took place.
Initially, more passengers were boarded after the ship was cleared and they were fed at the ship’s buffet but not allowed to go to their cabins as usual. But, the cruise preparation quickly came to an end, when it was determined the repairs would take at least several days.
Boarding passengers who were taking a Valentine’s Day cruise, had their romantic getaway ruined. They were not told the ship had been rammed, but some passengers say she was listing so severe, they were afraid to go onboard. They were unsure why the cruise line would permit the passengers to board at all given the damage of the ship and the listing.
There was minor damage to the barge, which was one of six rice barges being pushed by a towing vessel.
Fantasy is expected to continue with the next cruise scheduled for February 15, 2006. Video below is from the next year, in New Orleans.
Video:Carnival Fantasy Mississippi river. Ship breaks down (Nov 21, 2008)