Carnival Freedom experienced a fire in the starboard “wing” of its iconic whale-tale funnel while the ship was docked in Grand Turk on Thursday, May 26, 2022. No injuries have been reported, and the fire has been successfully extinguished.
UPDATE 18:39 EST: Following the fire that broke out on Thursday morning, Carnival Cruise Line has canceled the current Carnival Freedom cruise. All guests will be transferred to the Carnival Conquest, which is canceling its May 28 cruise from Miami to help and assist. Full details here.
Fire on Carnival Freedom
The fire occurred early in the morning, as the ship was docked in Grand Turk. Carnival Cruise Line issued the following statement:
“Carnival Freedom’s emergency response team quickly activated and extinguished a fire inside the ship’s funnel while the ship was in Grand Turk. All guests and crew are safe, and the ship’s guests were cleared by local authorities to go ashore. We continue to assess the situation.”
Guests onboard the ship, as well as those on other nearby ships in the port, reported seeing billowing black smoke and flames from the funnel, and pictures and video on social media have shown the extent of the blaze, which completely destroyed the right wing of the ship’s funnel.
When the fire was first reported, the ship’s emergency alert signal was sounded and guests were assembled at their muster stations to don their lifejackets as the situation was quickly evaluated.
The fire was contained after about 20 minutes, but took somewhat longer to fully extinguish. Emergency personnel will continue to assess the ship to determine the cause of the fire, as well as to ensure the safety of the vessel.
No evacuations were ultimately necessary, and no injuries among passengers or crew have been reported.
A short time later, guests were cleared to disembark for their day in Grand Turk, while evaluations continue aboard the ship.
Ships in Grand Turk
The Conquest-class Carnival Freedom is in the midst of a 5-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary, having departed Port Canaveral on Monday, May 23.
The ship first had a day at sea on Tuesday and visited Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday. Today, the ship is in Grand Turk from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is scheduled for another day at sea before returning to Port Canaveral on Saturday, May 28.
There is no information yet about whether the ship will depart Grand Turk on schedule to continue its sailing, or if there may be delays.
Carnival’s flagship, Mardi Gras, is also in Grand Turk today, alongside Carnival Freedom.
Guests aboard Mardi Gras were advised to clear the open decks at the time of the fire, while guests on the starboard side of the vessel – closest to Carnival Freedom – were asked to leave their balconies and remain indoors.
Mardi Gras, which arrived in port just before Carnival Freedom, experienced no delays with its own schedule for guests to debark and visit the port. No other cruise ships are visiting Grand Turk today, and the fire caused no damage to port facilities.
Stay tuned to Cruise Hive for further updates and information on this developing story.