MS Balmoral cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a passenger vessel with IMO number 8506294, owned by Fred Olsen Cruises line company. Among the unfortunate events at sea are epidemic Norovirus illness outbreaks, crew and passenger incidents (deaths, injuries, crimes), machinery malfunctions.
Here you can also track MS Balmoral position at sea.using the AIS live ships tracker of VesselFinder. The 43,500-ton 1800-passenger Fred Olsen cruise ship Balmoral was built as “Crown Odyssey”in 1988 by the Meyer Werft shipbuilding company in Germany.
MS Balmoral accidents & incidents
At the MS Balmoral CruiseMinus page you will find a complete list of this Fred Olsen ship’s major accidents and cruise incidents. Reports are made by our own staff using official data from major online news media sources, Wikipedia and Coast Guard reports.
Here we also post updates on Fred Olsen Balmoral cruise law news. They are related to recent crimes being investigated. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits, charges and fines, grievances, settled /withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, etc.
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This is link to the ship’s official site FredOlsenCruises.com.
- During its service history, the Balmoral cruise ship was operating under the names Crown Odyssey (1988-1996, constructed for the Royal Cruise Line), Norwegian Crown (1996-2000, and 2003-2007, bought and operated by the NCL Norwegian Cruise Line) and again as originally named Crown Odyssey (2000-2003, while was transferred to the Orient Lines /acquired in 2003 by NCL Norwegian).
- In November-October 2007, MV Balmoral (under the Fred Olsen’s ownership) was stretched by inserting a 99 ft / 30 m long prefabricated middle-section. The refit resulted in an increased gross tonnage (from 34,242 to 43,537) and passenger capacity (from 1230 to 1780). During the ship’s stretching (done in Germany, at the Blohm+Voss’s shipyard) were built new cruise cabins (186, including 60 balconies), restaurants, bars and lounges. The list of other stretched (elongated) cruise ships includes the fleetmates Black Watch, Boudicca and Braemar, also the MSC Cruises ships Armonia, Lirica, Opera, the Phoenix Reisen’s Albatros and the Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of The Seas.
- January 28, 2008, due to technical issues, the scheduled January 30 Inaugural cruise was canceled.
- March 25, 2008, while operating in the Caribbean, the ship was reported by USCG for having a “material failure” (unspecified issue).
- September 16, 2008, due to propulsion system related technical concerns, the shipowner changed the Sept 18 itinerary’s departure port from Dover to Southampton (round-trip).
- January 20, 2009, while operating in Atlantic Ocean waters (Bay of Biscay), the vessel experienced rough sea conditions with rouge waves (up to 50 ft / 15 m) and gale-force winds (up to 60 mph / 100 kph). The ship reported 2 passengers suffering broken bones. Both were disembarked and hospitalized in call port La Coruna (Spain).
- November 17, 2011, the vessel’s departure from call port Hamburg Germany was delayed by ~6 hours due to a main engine problem. The engine’s oil pump malfunctioned and required a new bearing (later delivered and installed). The incident caused an itinerary change (call port Amsterdam Holland was dropped) plus late arrival in call port Antwerp Belgium.
- April 2012, being chartered privately (Miles Morgan Travel company as charterer), the ship followed the original RMS Titanic’s itinerary route stopping and staying overnight at the exact sinking location. This was the 100th Anniversary cruise memorating the Titanic ship’s sinking in 1912. MV Balmoral departed from Southampton England on April 8. The itinerary included Cherbourg (France) and stopping in Cobh (Ireland) on April 9. The Fred Olsen’s largest cruise ship Balmoral reached the Titanic wreckage site at 11 pm (April 14). The held on board memorial service ended with casting overboard of 3 floral wreaths. The ship stayed overnight at the Titanic’s sinking location and departed the following morning en-route to New York City.
- January 10, 2016, the vessel was docked in call port Funchal (Madeira) when during a scheduled safety drill one of the tender boats malfunctioned. The incident occurred when the boat was being lowered (the lowering winches couldn’t synchronize). No injuries were reported.
Crew & Passenger Death accidents
- October 11, 2010, a 79-year-old male passenger was presumed fell overboard. The man (of British origin) was reported missing while the ship was located ~45 ml / 70 km south of The Lizard Peninsula (West Cornwall, England UK). A search and rescue operation was conducted by UK and French coast guard assets (including helicopters) and 2 warships, but failed to find the body.
- September 11, 2011, an elderly male passenger jumped overboard (committed suicide). The incident occurred while the ship was in North Sea (location east of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England UK) and returning from an 8-days Norwegian Fjords cruise. Southampton disembarkation (on Sept 14) was delayed by ~3 hours due to the police investigation. The man (of British origin) was travelling alone. He was last seen in the evening on Sept 11 after the ship left call port Stavanger Norway. The missing person report was filed on the following morning when a cabin stewardess found a suicide note in his stateroom.
- July 27, 2013, an 85-year-old female passenger (in a “life-threatening condition”) was medevaced by a Royal Air Force helicopter. The woman (of British origin) was transferred to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. The incident occurred in the beginning of a cruise Southampton to Norway, when the ship was still in the waters of the English Channel.
- December 21, 2013, a 73-year-old male passenger died on the ship. The man (Garth O’Donnell, of British origin) was found by the hotel manager at 10 am. The elderly man was bleeding and laying unconscious in front of a stairwell (head on the floor, legs on the stairs). During that time, the ship was in rough seas. The accident occurred on a Madeira and Canary Islands Christmas cruise itinerary from homeport Southampton England.
- November 11, 2017, a 79-year-old male passenger (of British origin) died while snorkeling in Barbados. The accident occurred ~2:45 pm at Mount Standfast (parish St James). The elderly man was found semi-conscious in the water, floating face down. After CPR was performed, he was ambulanced to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where was pronounced dead on arrival.
Crew & Passenger incidents (injuries, crimes)
- January 20, 2009, two Balmoral cruise passengers were hospitalized with bone fractures sustained during the rough seas incident (see in “technical incidents” above). Both passengers were disembarked in La Coruna (Spain), part of the scheduled itinerary (January 17 to 27) roundtrip from Dover England.
Norovirus cruise illness outbreaks
- January-February 2009, several UK news media reported a major Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) affected 227 passengers (out of 1846, or 12,3% of all). All sick suffered from Noro virus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps) and more than 50 of them were quarantined to their cabins. The illness incident occurred during an 18-days Africa and Canary Islands cruise itinerary (Jan 27 to Feb 14) roundtrip from homeport Dover (England, UK). Due to the outbreak, the cruise ship was refused entry to Cape Verde Islands (part of the scheduled itinerary). Fred Olsen compensated all confined to their cabins passengers at the daily rate.
- September 2009, while operating on a British Isles cruise itinerary, an outbreak of Norovirus affected 97 passengers (out of 1280, or 7,6% of all) and 2 crew (out of 516, or 0,4% of all). All infected were confined to their cabins. On Sept 14, the ship arrived a day early in homeport in Dover UK to undergo deep cleaning before the next scheduled 12-days Baltic cruise.
- January-February 2010, during a Christmas and New Year 2009 cruise from Dover, an epidemic outbreak of Norovirus affected a total of 348 passengers and crew. The ship underwent a thorough cleaning and disinfection before the next scheduled departure on a 106-days Around The World voyage roundtrip from UK. During that World Cruise 2010, CDC officially reported an epidemic Norovirus outbreak infecting a total of 293 passengers (out of 1163, or 25,2%) and 17 crew (out of 519, or 3,3%). The number of sick was reported when the ship was in USA waters (Jan 5 to Feb 4).
- March 2012, while the ship was operating in South America, a Santos (Brazil) news media reported a Noro virus outbreak affecting some 50 passengers and crew. The sick suffered from flu symptoms and diarrhea.
- May 2015, major UK news media reported an epidemic Norovirus outbreak affected nearly 1/4 (~25%) of all passengers and crew (some 250 people out of 1100). The incident occurred on an 8-days Norway Fjords cruise itinerary (May 3 to 10) roundtrip from homeport Southampton UK. The itinerary length was reduced from 8 to 7 days. The ship returned to Southampton 24 hours early for extensive cleaning. As compensation, each of the passengers received a partial refund (for the lost day) plus a 50% future Fred Olsen Norwegian Fjords cruise booking discount. The line had a virus sample tested. It turned out negative for Noro virus. Fred Olsen Balmoral passengers were struck by another Noro virus illness outbreak in May – on the next 13-days Azores and Madeira cruise from Southampton (May 11 to 24). The exact number of sick was not revealed by the line. Unofficially, at least 300 (out of all 1100) passengers contracted the virus.
- June 2015, the Fred Olsen line cancelled its scheduled 3-days mini cruise to Belgium and France (June 20-23) due to another Norovirus outbreak. It affected over 100 passengers during the 11-days “Scandinavian Discovery” (Baltic itinerary from Southampton, June 9 to 20). All booked passengers were offered transfers to later scheduled cruises or an optional full refund, plus 25% future Fred Olsen cruise booking discount.
- April – May 2016, during the Transatlantic cruise to USA and Canada from Southampton (round-trip itinerary April 16 – May 20) CDC reported a truly epidemic Noro virus outbreak affecting a total of 252 passengers (out of 919, or 27,4%) and 8 crew (out of 520, or 1,5%). The ship was boarded by CDC inspectors upon arrival in port Baltimore MD (Apr 30 – May 1) for health assessment and evaluation. Before Baltimore, Balmoral visited Azores, Bermuda, Norfolk VA. After Baltimore followed New York, Newport, Boston, Portland, ports in New England (Saint John, Halifax, St Johns) and Ireland (Cork). Due to the epidemic proportion of the illness outbreak, the ship was denied docking in port Hamilton (Bermuda).
- Note: When the itinerary doesn’t include US cruise ports, the ship is not required to report to CDC, thus no official illness report would be issued.
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