Unexpected Water Incident on Luxury Cruise Ship

Some cruise ships have waterfalls as artwork features, but Seabourn Sojourn had an unexpected waterfall onboard with a burst pipe.

Guests aboard Seabourn Cruise Line’s Seabourn Sojourn had an unexpected indoor waterfall on Wednesday, March 20, as a broken pipe spilled water down at least three decks of the ship’s interior public spaces. The incident was the result of a broken water pipe, and was certainly startling to those onboard.

Broken Pipe Causes Flooding on Seabourn Sojourn

It was a wet and wild morning aboard Seabourn Sojourn when a freshwater pipe burst, sending water cascading down the ship’s spiral staircase in the central atrium. The stairs extend from Deck 9 to Deck 4, but it is unclear whether all decks were impacted by the flooding.

A video of the flooding clearly shows multiple decks being inundated with water as it flows down the stairs and pools on the atrium’s tile floor.

Crew members quickly sprang into action to control the spread of the water and soak up puddles with towels, as well as to ensure all guests were safe and did not slip on any wet floors.

To be clear, the flooding was caused by a burst pipe and was not the result of any hull damage or water intrusion from the ocean. The ship remains fully operational and safe for all passengers and crew, and the flooding has been corrected.

Guests onboard Seabourn Sojourn noted that the seas were rough at the time of the incident. The 32,346-gross-ton ship is was sailing through the South China Sea when the pipe broke. It is not known whether windy conditions or swells may have put stress on the plumbing and contributed to the damage, though that is possible.

Cruise Ship Water Incident Flooding
Seabourn Sojourn Atrium Flooding (Photo Credit: Eduard Planting)

Seabourn Sojourn is an older ship – she debuted in 2010 – and plumbing issues do occasionally happen, though not often so dramatically.

Read Also: Seabourn Brings SpaceX Connectivity Across the Fleet

The ship is currently in the midst of a 73-night segment of her world cruise, sailing one-way from California to Taiwan. Along the way, the ship has already visited outstanding ports of call in Hawaii, Kiribati, Tonga, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The current segment will end in Keelung, Taiwan on Sunday, March 24.

Seabourn Sojourn can welcome 450 guests aboard with the ultimate in luxurious amenities, though admittedly, a little too much water might not always be considered luxurious.

Other Unusual Water Incidents

While water is a key feature of any cruise vacation – from the ocean that surrounds every vessel to multiple pools, whirlpools, spas, waterslides, and splash pads on different ships – some cruise guests find themselves experiencing unusual interactions with water.

For example, on Royal Caribbean International’s inaugural sailing of Wonder of the Seas in March 2022, a sprinkler malfunction on the ship’s Royal Promenade caused what became an indoor rainstorm on Deck 5. The water was quickly contained and cleaned up, but still created quite the memorable first cruise for the Oasis-class ship.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas Water
Video Footage: @eloy4k

In January 2023, another Royal Caribbean Oasis-class ship, Harmony of the Seas, had an unexpected waterfall when a pool on Deck 15 overflowed due to an emergency maneuver, sending water cascading down six decks in the ship’s Central Park area.

No injuries or lasting damage were reported in either incident. Other cruise ships from various lines have occasionally reported flooding from burst pipes or strong storms that force water through doors and balconies, flooding hallways, staterooms, or public areas.

Cruise ships are well-equipped to deal with most water incidents, even unusual and large-scale flooding if necessary. The ships have industrial blowers and dehumidifiers that can be used to quickly remove excess water before any mold might occur, and crew members will work diligently to clean up any flooding immediately so guests’ cruise experiences are not impacted any more than necessary.

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