MSC Opera cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a passenger vessel with IMO number 9250464, owned by the MSC Crociere line company (subsidiary of the MSC shipping company). Among the unfortunate events at sea are collisions, Norovirus illness outbreaks, crew and passenger incidents (deaths, injuries, crimes), drug smuggling, safety inspection failure, machinery malfunctions.
Here you can also track MSC Opera position at sea.using the AIS live ships tracker of VesselFinder. The 59,100-ton 2700-passenger MSC cruise ship Opera was built in 2004 by the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipbuilding company in France.
MSC Opera accidents & incidents
At the MSC Opera CruiseMinus page you will find a complete list of MSC Cruises Opera 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 MSC Opera 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 Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits, charges and fines, grievances, settled /withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, etc.
You can add more details or submit your own MSC Opera ship incidents (negative cruise experience reports) via the Cruise Minus “contact us” form.
This is link to the ship’s official site MSCcruises.com.
Pier collision accidents
- March 25, 2011, while operating in South America and upon leaving its homeport Buenos Aires Argentina, the MSC cruise vessel collided twice with the pier. The collisions caused minor structure damages on service decks 3 and 4, affecting several of the crew cabins there. The concrete pier suffered also a minor damage (a small portion of its corner was broken). No injuries were reported. Due to repairs, the departure was delayed by ~10 hours.
- Note: Actually, this type of marine accidents is called “allision” (striking a fixed object) as opposed to “collision” (striking another vessel).
Ship seizure in Southampton England
- May 25, 2011, the MSC cruise vessel was detained in homeport Southampton England, after failing an MCA inspection. The MCA (UK’s “Maritime and Coastguard Agency”) safety inspectors boarded the ship and after the inspection concluded that it was not fully compliant with the IMO’s safety regulations. The inspectors were concerned about the vessel’s stability and safety, found to be in violation of the ISM code (“International Safety Management” standards for marine vessels). By the UK’s Merchant Shipping Act from 1995, passenger ships may be detained only if considered “dangerously unsafe”. Later on the same day, the Opera was cleared and left Southampton on an 8-days Norway Fjords cruise.
- The ship was seized after coming from Gdynia Poland, where it spent a week for repairs after suffering a total power loss near Visby Sweden (see in “Technical incidents” below).
- January 21, 2007, during passenger embarkation in call port Willemstad Curacao, the ship’s gangway (telescopic bridge) fell into the water after some of the mooring ropes snapped. Fortunately, nobody was present on the gangway when the incident occurred. The cruise ship was about to leave the port, and obviously some of the mooring ropes were still connected to the pier. The assisting tug boat had its propeller entangled in one of the ropes, while other floating ropes tangled into the bow thrusters (propulsion units). The ship drifted ~1 ml / 2 km out to sea before 2 tug boats pushed it back to port. The departure was delayed by ~7 hours due to the conducted by divers operation to remove the ropes under the ship.
- May 15, 2011, while operating in Baltic Sea (Europe), the vessel suffered an electrical failure to one of its electric panels, subsequently causing a total power loss and drifting. The incident occurred ~6 ml / 10 km off Visby Sweden, and affected the ship’s electricity (blackouts), running water and toilet systems. After the crew failed to fix the problem, the ship was towed to Nynashamn Sweden (a call port near Stockholm) where the ~1700 passengers were disembarked via tender boats and the same day flown from Stockholm back home. On May 17, the vessel left Nynashamn to Gdynia Poland for repairs. As compensation, all passengers received a free MSC cruise, bookable through Dec 2012. The ship was on a 10-days Baltic Capitals cruise itinerary roundtrip from homeport Southampton England (May 7 to 17). It included the call ports Stockholm Sweden, Helsinki Finland, St Petersburg Russia, Copenhagen Denmark.
- September 17, 2012, the vessel’s scheduled departure from homeport Venice Italy was delayed by ~8 hours by protests. Other affected cruise ships in Venice (with delayed departures) were the fleet-mate MSC Musica and the Costa Crociere Costa Favolosa ship. All the Venice’s waterfront areas were blocked by numerous small boats with hundreds of local protesters. They argued that the growth of big cruise ships stopping in Venice had a negative impact on the city as a travel destination. Large cruise vessels visiting Venice pass too close to the Piazza San Marco, and are potential risk for environmental damages or accidents that would hugely impact the city’s historical importance. The issue grew louder since the Costa Concordia sinking (January 2012).
- May-July 2015, during its Palermo Sicily dry-dock stay, the MSC Cruises Opera ship was stretched. An ~80 ft / 25 m long prefabricated middle-section was added. The refit resulted in an increased passenger capacity (new cabins), new shops, a Water Park with slides and waterfalls. Following the overhaul, the Opera ship re-entered service on July 4, 2015. The list of other stretched (elongated) cruise ships includes the fleetmates MSC Armonia, MSC Lirica, MSC Sinfonia, the Phoenix Reisen’s Albatros, the Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of The Seas and the Fred Olsen ships Black Watch, Balmoral, Boudicca, Braemar.
Crew & Passenger Death accidents
- September 24, 2013, a 33-year-old male crew jumped overboard while the ship was in the English Channel (south of Isle of Wright, England). The man (Fernandes Elroy, of Indian origin) worked on the ship as bartender, and was reported missing at ~5:30 am. The CCTV camera footage showed him jumping overboard at 1:30 am. The UK Coast Guard assets (2 helicopters and 2 lifeboats) conducted a search and rescue operation, but failed to find the body.
- November 8, 2015, a 75-year-old female passenger was reported missing and presumed fell overboard. The elderly woman (of Italian origin) was traveling as part of a senior group. She disappeared somewhere between Civitavecchia and Genoa, while the ship was in the end of a 5-days Mediterranean repositioning cruise itinerary (Nov 3 – 8) from Venice to Genoa. She was last seen the night before at dinner, and found to be missing during passenger disembarkation in Genoa. The Italian Coastguard conducted a search operation, deploying 3 patrol boats and 2 helicopters, but didn’t find the body.
Crew & Passenger incidents (injuries, crimes)
- September 1, 2014, a male passenger in critical condition was medevaced from the ship, anchored near Guernsey England (Channel Islands, in the English Channel).
Drug smuggling incident
- May 21, 2010, the ship docked in homeport Dover England, after a Transatlantic repositioning cruise from South America to Europe (Santos Brazil to Amsterdam Holland). The UKBA agents (UK Border Agency) boarded the MSC cruise ship and seized 35 kilos of cocaine (street value GBP ~1,4 million). They arrested 7 passengers (4 Latvians, 3 Lithuanians) occupying 4 cabins, who were charged with drug smuggling, later convicted and sentenced to a total of 84 years in jail.
Norovirus cruise illness outbreaks
- June 23, 2010, a major Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) affected over 400 passengers on the 10-days Norwegian Fjords cruise from Dover UK (June 4 to 14). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (severe vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins. All shore excursions and tours in call ports were fully refunded.
- 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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