The Virgin Voyages cruise ship Scarlet Lady came into unfortunate contact with a mooring dolphin at PortMiami over the weekend. This mishap resulted in a dent and hull perforation on the starboard aft side of the ship just above the waterline.
Luckily for guests, Virgin Voyages could immediately initiate repairs, ensuring guests experienced a minor delay in the vessel’s departure.
Scarlet Lady Collision in Miami
Scarlet Lady was involved in a one-sided collision on Sunday, July 16, at PortMiami. The cruise ship made contact with a mooring dolphin during arrival.
Eyewitnesses and online video footage reveal that the incident occurred as the ship attempted to align its starboard side with the dock at the Virgin Voyages cruise terminal. You can watch the arrival of the vessel below, including the impact:
Unfortunately, the vessel miscalculated the distance to the dolphin, a freestanding extension of the dock used for mooring ships. The mishap led to the ship’s collision with the dolphin during its turn. This event, however, did not stop the Scarlet Lady for long. Repairs were promptly initiated and continued throughout the day.
Despite this hiccup, the US Coast Guard cleared the ship, which pulled out at approximately 12:30 AM, albeit with a delay of around six and a half hours from the scheduled departure time.
The Scarlet Lady, at 110,000 gross tons and with a capacity for over 2,770 guests, had just returned from a 4-night cruise to Key West and Bimini in the Bahamas before the mishap.
The Scarlet Lady is scheduled to operate year-round from Miami through April 2024, when she will be repositioning to Europe for a season in the Mediterranean, sailing from Barcelona. From Miami, the ship sails four- and five-night cruises to Key West and the Bahamas.
Minor Impact on Guest Experience
Guests who boarded the Scarlet Lady for the cruise departing July 16 can consider themselves fortunate. The damage was effectively repaired thanks to the quick and efficient work of the ship’s crew and contractors. It also means that the impact of the collision will not negatively affect guests onboard.
Images of the vessel after the repairs were completed show minimal damage, with the ship’s crew even managing to put a fresh coat of paint on the damaged area.
At this time, Virgin Voyages has not made any statements on the cause and possible further effects of the collision; neither is it clear who, the harbor pilot or the Captain, was in charge of navigation during the incident.
The vessel seems unlikely to need more significant repair work, as the United States Coast Guard has already cleared her to sail.
This incident contrasts with a similar situation on July 6, 2023, involving the Crown-class Ruby Princess cruise ship. This cruise ship collided with Pier 27 in San Francisco, causing damage to the ship’s hull similar to that on the Scarlet Lady. After extensive repairs and obtaining the necessary certification from the US Coast Guard, the ship resumed operations.
Nevertheless, the incident reduced the originally planned 10-night Alaska sailing to a 7-day cruise. Ruby Princess also sailed with fewer passengers onboard because some opted out of the shortened itinerary.