January 20, 2006

Port mishap causes Queen Mary II to cancel calls to Barbados and St Kitts

File photo of the Queen Mary II docked at Port Zante, St Kitts.
Photo by Erasmus Williams
Friday,  January 20, 2006
FORT LAUDERDALE, USA (AFP): The Queen Mary II, the world's largest cruise ship, set sail again Thursday two days after being forced to return to port near Miami when one of its motors hit an underwater channel, resulting in the cancellation of scheduled calls at Barbados and St Kitts.
"Queen Mary 2 departed Port Everglades at 6:00am (1100 GMT) this morning and is now underway following technical work to decommission one of the ship's four propulsion pods," Cunard Lines, which operates the ship, said in a statement.
The company said the ship's speed was affected by the fact it was cruising with only three of its four motors.
"Because of the delayed departure from Florida, and the ship's reduced speed caused by one inoperable pod, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the port calls at St. Kitts, Barbados and Salvador, and proceed directly to Rio de Janeiro," Cunard said.
The ship sailed from New York on January 15, and was scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles on February 22 after a voyage along the South American coast.
The Queen Mary 2 returned to Port Everglades under tow shortly after setting off Tuesday, when the crew noticed an unusual vibration in the engine room.
An assessment of the ship showed one of the propulsion pods had hit an underwater channel upon departure.
About 2,500 passengers are traveling on the luxurious cruise ship.

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