Norwegian Prima Breaks Free From Moorings, Gangways Fall In Harbor Basin

Jul 17, 2023

A powerful gust of wind on Saturday afternoon at the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium, resulted in a temporary mishap for Norwegian Cruise Line's newest vessel, the Norwegian Prima. The cruise ship, with a capacity of 3,099 passengers, broke free from its moorings and had to be secured back to the quay with the assistance of tugboats.

According to authorities at Port Antwerp-Bruges, the majority of passengers were on an excursion at the time of the incident. Fortunately, no guests or crew members were injured during the incident.

As the gusts of wind intensified, the ship's lines snapped, causing the bow to detach from the quay. This led to the Norwegian Prima drifting away from the pier, and both the front and rear gangways fell into the harbor basin. Prompt action was taken as tugboats swiftly arrived at the scene to regain control of the vessel. Utilizing a combination of tug assistance, the ship's own bow thruster, and additional ship's lines, the Norwegian Prima was successfully moored back to the quay.

Following the incident, shore leave via the ship's own gangways was suspended to ensure the safety of all individuals on board. Passengers and crew members were kept at the cruise ship's berth until the Norwegian Prima could be securely moored again. Replacement gangways were installed, enabling everyone to reboard the ship before its scheduled departure.

The Norwegian Prima departed Zeebrugge without further incident, adhering to its original schedule, and arrived at the port of Southampton later in the evening on the same day.

Authorities in Belgium have launched an investigation into the incident, focusing on the circumstances surrounding the temporary detachment of the Norwegian Prima. Additionally, efforts are underway to recover the two port gangways that fell into the harbor basin to prevent any risks to other ships.

Despite the unexpected turn of events, Norwegian Cruise Line ensured the safety and well-being of its passengers and crew members, highlighting the importance of swift response and cooperation between the cruise line and port authorities in such situations.