Carnival Panorama is once again on the move toward Portland, Oregon for dry dock repairs to resolve her engine issues, but without one key feature – the ship’s iconic whale tail funnel has been removed.
This is good news for guests booked on the ship’s next scheduled sailing, her Christmas cruise departure on December 23, 2023. That cruise is still planned on time after the repairs are completed and the funnel is reinstalled.
Carnival Panorama Funnel Removed
After several days of waiting for the proper equipment and engineers to be available, Carnival Panorama has had her winged funnel removed in Victoria, British Columbia. The funnel was removed on November 30, 2023, but will be reinstalled before the ship welcomes guests again.
While the ship will be undergoing dry dock repairs in Oregon, it was only in Victoria where the appropriate equipment was available to remove the ship’s funnel so she can fit underneath bridges to reach the dry dock facility in Portland.
“The Whale Tale has been taken off successfully last night and the ship left for her dry dock in Astoria. Remember, she could not pass under the bridge in Astoria with it on so, off it came,” explained John Heald, Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador. “And I should say that the Whale Tail was actually designed to be removed.”
This is similar to how Carnival Freedom‘s whale tale was removed after the fire in May 2022 that damaged the funnel’s starboard wing. The wings were safely removed, and the ship continued to sail with a modified straight funnel until it was able to be replaced during a October 2023 dry dock in Cadiz, Spain.
Satellite tracking now shows the 133,500-gross-ton Vista-class Carnival Panorama underway toward Portland, moving at 12 knots (14 miles per hour / 22 kilometers per hour) with a scheduled arrival of approximately 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 2.
Once the repairs to Carnival Panorama‘s engines are complete, she will need to return to Victoria to have her funnel reinstalled before she will then return to her homeport in Long Beach, California.
Christmas Cruise Still Scheduled to Sail
The removal of the funnel will be welcome news to guests booked on Carnival Panorama‘s December 23 departure, a 7-night Mexican Riviera cruise from Long Beach visiting Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas.
Many guests will have booked the Christmas cruise – as well as the following week’s New Year’s sailing – as a special holiday treat and a wonderful family travel tradition to celebrate the season, and of course it would be very disappointing if those cruises were to be cancelled.
Guests booked on either of those sailings should remain in close contact with Carnival Cruise Line or their travel agent in case there are any further cancellations or updates.
So far, a total of six cruises have been cancelled for the ship since she developed engine problems in early November. Because her maximum cruising speed is impacted, it has not been possible for Carnival Panorama to complete her planned itineraries. At the time the problems surfaced, two ports of call had to be cancelled for the ship to return to Long Beach on schedule.
The ship has had similar engine problems in the past, and seems to have the same propulsion difficulties as her Vista-class sister ships, Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon. All three vessels have had similar technical problems at different times with the Azipod propulsion system.
Here’s hoping that this emergency dry dock will correct the issues for Carnival Panorama and she will have smooth sailings moving forward with her whale tail intact, as she welcomes 4,008 guests aboard for each cruise at double occupancy, or as many as 5,097 travelers when fully booked for amazing cruise vacations.