It’s the cruise onboard of nightmares: terrified holidaymakers on P&O’s esteemed Britannia cruise liner watched in horror as their idyllic holiday came to an abrupt and frightening halt. While departing Palma de Mallorca, the 3,647-passenger vessel experienced a violent collision – due to severe weather – with a small number of individuals sustaining minor injuries.
The impact left the ship reeling and created chaos on board, with one passenger Ricky Stubbs recounting the terrifying scene.
“A loud crash came from the bar and the door flung open with people running in. Within seconds there was more crashing followed by chaos as people were trying to escape the onslaught of wind and rain,” he recalled.
Another passenger, Russ Dawson, was just as shocked by the force of the crash. “There was a bang when it hit the boat and there was screaming and shouting and panic,” he said.
Fortunately, the damage sustained was mainly confined to one of its lifeboats, with a third-party surveyor confirming that it had suffered structural damage and was beyond repair onboard.
Below is a video showing how extreme the wind gusts were.
As a result of maritime regulations, P&O took swift action to reduce the number of passengers and repatriate them to their chosen locations.
Regrettably, some guests had to be forcibly removed from the vessel, while those remaining on board were offered activities to keep them occupied and reassure them during the frightening ordeal.
As a gesture of goodwill, the remaining passengers were also offered a 20 percent discount on their next cruise, although it is unclear whether that is enough to make up for their terrifying experience.
Needless to say, holidaymakers onboard the Britannia can be thankful the situation didn’t get worse and that, thankfully, no one was injured. It is, however, an events that will linger with them for quite some time.