The Grenada Tourism Authority has officially received correspondence that the “Insignia” cruise ship which had a fire in its engine room while docked in St Lucia has cancelled its 22 December trip to St George’s.
The cruise ship with its 684 passengers and 400 crew last visited St George’s on 9 December, having started a 10-day cruise departing from Puerto Rico on 7 December, then stopping in Kitts and then Grenada; followed by Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent, Martinique, St Barts, and then concluding at Miami, Florida.
According to reports, within one hour of berthing in St Lucia last week Thursday, there was an explosion and fire in the engine room. All passengers were immediately evacuated, but three members of the crew died. As of Monday 15 December, the ship was still docked in St Lucia and is not expected to depart on Friday, after the engine is repaired.
Communications Manager at the Grenada Tourism Authority, Chrislyn Lashington said that correspondence received from the cruiseline’s agent states that the next visit scheduled for 22 December 2014 is cancelled. The “Insignia” is also scheduled to visit Grenada on 17 January 2015, but it is not confirmed whether that visit will also be affected.
The US National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending officials to help with the investigation of the explosion, which is being led by the Marshall Islands, where the ship is registered. The ship was built in 1998 and underwent a multimillion-dollar refurbishing earlier this year.
By Linda Straker