Princess Cruises’ Crown-class Ruby Princess is finally ready to get underway after appropriate repairs and inspections following the ship’s collision with Pier 27 in San Francisco in the early morning of Thursday, July 6, 2023. The ship has been certified fit to sail, and will be departing San Francisco for an abbreviated voyage on Sunday afternoon.
Ruby Princess Repairs Complete
The repairs to Ruby Princess‘ hull have been completed and fully certified by the US Coast Guard as safe and fit to sail, meaning the 113,561-gross ton cruise ship can finally begin what was to have been a 10-night Alaska sailing from San Francisco.
Ruby Princess is instead departing on a revised 7-day Alaska sailing. Princess Cruises’ released a statement about the ship’s readiness and departure shortly after noon local time on Sunday.
“Princess Cruises can confirm that repairs on Ruby Princess have been completed, and following inspection and certification by the United States Coast Guard the ship is safe and fit to sail. With the certification, Ruby Princess is expected to depart the Port of San Francisco on Sunday at 2:30pm PT for a 7-day Pacific Northwest/Alaska voyage,” the statement read.
The vessel is scheduled to visit Ketchikan, Alaska on July 12 and Prince Rupert, British Columbia on July 13, ports of call that were already planned on the original itinerary, before returning to California on July 16 as originally scheduled.
Because of the unexpected delay caused by Thursday’s collision, the ship is not able to call on Sitka, Juneau, or sail through Glacier Bay as the initial itinerary had planned.
“We deeply regret the disappointment the delays have caused and appreciate our guests’ understanding as we manage this unexpected situation,” Princess Cruises said in a prior statement.
The 2:30 p.m. departure is slightly earlier than a previous estimate of 4 p.m. on Sunday, which speaks well of the efficiency of repairs and inspections so the ship can get promptly underway. However, the eventual departure time looks to be later as the ship was still docked at 3:05 PM.
At the time she finally departs San Francisco, Ruby Princess will be hosting 2,677 guests, which is 651 passengers fewer than the Friday count of 3,328 travelers.
Guests onboard were given the option to cancel their sailing for a full refund and a 50% future cruise credit (FCC) if they no longer wished to sail the abbreviated itinerary. In order to make travel plans to return home, guests could remain onboard through Sunday morning.
Travelers who do elect to continue on with the shorter 7-night cruise will receive a 75% refund as well as a 75% FCC for a future Princess cruise. For all travelers, the compensation amounts to 150% of the cruise fare paid, when refunds and future credits are combined.
Cause of the Collision
The cause of the early morning collision when Ruby Princess made “unexpected contact” with Pier 27 is still under investigation. At the time, local currents were high and could have contributed to the ship’s position when the aft port quarter contacted the pier and caused dents, scrapes, and holes. Tidal levels, wind speed and direction, communication challenges, and other factors will all be considered.
There were no injuries reported with the incident, and the ship’s safety, restaurant, and hotel operations were not impacted.