10 Worst Cruise Ship Accidents

Getting involved in a mid-sea accident can be anyone’s nightmare come true, but it is also something that happens almost every other year, turning a perfect holiday in to a tragedy. The world has witnessed a number of cruise ship accidents in the history and one might assume that with technological advancements mishaps might be on a downhill; but you’ll be surprised how many are still reported every year. Some are victims of nature’s wrath while some fall prey to human error, whatever the reason is, cruise ship accidents often end up creating fear in the minds of people.

We have brought to nine of the worst cruise ship accidents, some gruesome while some minor, that will always be remembered for the fear they have generated in people’s hearts.

There have been many incidents of fires, accidents and even sinking that has made the news. However, some the noted cruise ships accidents until today are:

1) Titanic

Probably the worst maritime tragedy of all times, you cannot talk about ship accidents without mentioning the ill-fated Cruise ship Titanic. On her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York, USA, Titanic collided with an iceberg after four days into sailing.


The collision led to its sinking and resulted in the death of 1517 people in 1912.

2)  SS Morro Castle

Of all the cases of fire on board cruise ships, the SS Morro Castle fire case was probably the worst and the most gruesome in the history of maritime industry. Luxury cruise ship of the 1930s, Morro Castle was en route New York when the ship caught fire.

SS Morro Castle

Due the building material of the ship and lack of firefighting equipment and skills, the ship was burnt down severely killing a total of 137 people on board.

3) Royal Pacific cruise

The August of 1992 witnessed the sinking of Greek owned Royal Pacific after a collision with a fishing trawler due to low visibility. The collision took place when Royal Pacific was passing thought the Straits of Malacca and the fishing trawler, Terfu 51 rammed in to the cruise ship.

Royal Princess

Due to the sheer disregard of the crew to save the passengers as many as 30 people died and 70 people were injured out of the 530 passengers on board.

4) Costa Concordia

The most Recent Cruise ship involved in an accident which was grounded near coast of Italy with 4000 passengers on board.

Costa Concordia

For more information read -Sinking of Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Reminds Survivors of Titanic.

5) Club Royale

A luxury Casino cruise ship, Club Royale gambled and lost the bet to a heavy storm resulting in its sinking in August of 1995. The 234 feet vessel succumbed to violent lashing of Hurricane Erin about 90 miles east of Port Canaveral, Florida.


Fortunately no passengers were on board during this tragedy but only 8 of the 11 crew members were saved that day.

6) Oceonos

This Greek-owned ship sank off South-Africa’s eastern coast in 1991. The rough sea conditions resulting in a tumultuous storm caused the ship to roll from side to side and eventually water started to flood the vessel resulting in its sinking.


No one was killed and after a successful rescue mission all 571 passengers onboard the ship were saved.

 7) Pacific Sun

P&O owned Pacific sun was returning to Auckland from the islands of Vanuatu when it ran into a tumultuous storm almost 400 miles north of New Zealand.

Pacific Sun

Although no deaths were reported more than 40 people were injured and hurt due to intense rolling of the ship which literally flung people from one to another.

8) Star Princess

Owned by Princess Cruise, a major fire broke on board Star Princess on the 23rd of March 2006. In the wee hours of morning the captain sounded the emergency signals waking up the passengers, which was then followed by an organized and successful evacuation procedure.

Star Princess

No casualties were reported, however the cause of the fire was found to be a cigarette which was left burning on the balcony.

9) Norwegian Dawn

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Dawn was on its way back to New York after a trip to the Bahamas when the vessel was hit by a freak 70 foot high wave.

Norwegian Dawn

The cabins were flooded and people even on the 10th floor reported getting soaked due to the wave.

10) Louis Majesty

Owned and operated by Louis Cruise Lines, Louis Majesty is a luxury cruise ship which reported getting hit by rogue waves which claimed the life of two passengers and injuring several others.

Louis Majesty

The 8 meter high waves collided with the side of the ship and flooded the vessel resulting in many smashed windows in the saloon area.

You may also like to read-The GrandCamp Ship Explosion: Deadliest Disaster Ever

Image Credits: dieselduckzestnzenssmaritimedailymailssqq, shipspottingdecodedstuffcaribbeanshippingostatniemiejsca


  1. paul says

    The author should check his sources on this topic…

    How about the Ms. Estonia (I believe form Silja Lines) who
    went down in the gulf of helsinki after the main cargo door
    broke of during heavy seas. Some 850 people drawned there.

    There are more grewsome accidents like this which are far
    worse, more then half of the list of the autor can be deleted.

  2. pradhuman says

    titanic is remembered coz of Leonardo and Kate …other marine accident bigger then Titani doesn’t get imp coz we remember films..

  3. RMJ says

    Good article but there are many more maritime disasters with a far greater loss of life than the Louis Majesty, Star Princess, etc. Were those included because they were recent, modern cruise ships?
    Let’s not forget the Wilhelm Gustloff, Dona Paz, Lusitania, Estonia, Eastland,,,,

  4. Lana says

    Leave us not forget that this is the 100the anniversary of the sinking of the RSS Emperor of Ireland which sank the 29th of May 1914 . Of the 1,477 persons on board the ship, 1,012 (840 passengers, 172 crew) died . This is statistically more than the Titanic, yet no one remembers her. Lustania also was another huge disaster, both of these worse than some of those mentioned above.

Leave a Reply

Get Free News Updates Daily

Join 40000+ maritime professionals who receive daily newsletters, offers and more..