• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
  • Find a Cruise
  • Deals
  • Excursions
  • More
You may also like
Alaska Float Planes Carrying Cruise Passengers Collide, Resulting in Fatalities, Injuries
Ketchikan, Alaska (Photo: AC Photoviz/Shutterstock)

Alaska Float Planes Carrying Cruise Passengers Collide, Resulting in Fatalities, Injuries

Alaska Float Planes Carrying Cruise Passengers Collide, Resulting in Fatalities, Injuries
Ketchikan, Alaska (Photo: AC Photoviz/Shutterstock)

October 10, 2019

Gina Kramer
By Gina Kramer
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
(Updated 12:15 p.m. EDT) -- Two float planes carrying Royal Princess cruise passengers collided mid-air Monday outside Ketchikan, Alaska, resulting in the death of six people, according to the United States Coast Guard's latest statement early Wednesday morning.
Ten people were rescued Monday as part of a joint effort between the Coast Guard, which is leading the investigation, and partner agencies and good Samaritans; the conditions of the 10 people have not been disclosed.
The crash occurred at 1:08 p.m. local time (5:08 p.m. Eastern) about eight nautical miles from Ketchikan, according to a statement from Princess Cruises. The National Transportation Safety Board has yet to determine a cause.
One of the planes, operated by Taquan Air, was returning from a Misty Fjords flightseeing excursion sold by the line, with 10 Royal Princess cruise passengers and one pilot onboard. The other plane, which Princess Cruises said carried four cruise passengers in addition to the pilot, was run by an independent tour operator.
Among the 10 survivors are nine American cruise passengers and the pilot, all who were on the Taquan Air plane. Authorities have confirmed the six fatalities include one American cruise passenger from the Taquan Air plane and three more Americans -- two cruise passengers and the pilot -- from the independently operated plane. One Australian and one Canadian also died in the crash.
Princess Cruises has sent members of its Care Team to provide support to families affected by the incident.
"All of us at Princess Cruises are deeply saddened by this tragic news and we are extending our full support to the investigating authorities as well as the traveling companions of the guests involved," Princess Cruises' spokesperson Brian O'Connor said. "We immediately activated our Princess Care Team employees in the region and sent additional team members to Ketchikan overnight to assist the families impacted."
Cruise Critic members onboard Royal Princess have been posting updates to the
Princess Cruises forums
: "Counselors are available for passengers and crew. We have a very sad ship right now. Please keep the families and friends in your thoughts and prayers … I learned at the Most Traveled Guest gathering
Monday night
that Princess also disembarked some staff members tasked to provide support to the families involved. Kudos to Princess."
He added: "We are leaving port now and will arrive late in Juneau. Excursions are being rearranged, and if passengers are booked on any flightseeing excursions during the rest of the voyage they can ask for for a full refund if they wish to cancel."
Said another member onboard,
: "The Royal just pulled away from the port and now heading for Juneau. We won’t get there until 10:00 am
. The mood onboard is quiet and somber. Our prayers go out the all passengers involved and friends and relatives still onboard."
Ketchikan was the first stop on Royal Princess' seven-night cruise, which departed May 11 from Vancouver. It is scheduled to arrive May 18 in Whittier.
The float plane collision follows a
similar incident that took place in July 2015
, involving Holland America Line cruise passengers. All nine passengers onboard the plane, including the pilot, died in the 2015 crash, which also occurred outside Ketchikan.
Learn more about flightseeing shore excursions, including the risks involved and precautionary measures you can take, in our feature,
Q&A: Are Flightseeing Shore Excursions Safe?
How was this article?
Popular with cruisers like you
UnCruise Ship Returning to Port After Passenger Tests Positive for COVID

(Updated 11: 54 a.m. EDT) -- The first U.S. cruise to set sail since the COVID-19 pandemic began has returned to Juneau after cutting short its voyage to Alaska after a passenger received notification he had tested positive for the virus.

UnCruise Adventures' Wilderness Adventurer, which left Juneau on Saturday for a weeklong cruise with 37 passengers and 30 crewmembers onboard, docked in the port city Wednesday morning, with all passengers being transferred to a local hotel where they will be placed into quarantine until doctors and state officials determine it is safe for them to leave. Crew will quarantine onboard the boat.

In announcing the news of the positive test

CLIA Further Extends Suspension of U.S. Cruises Until At Least October 31: Cruise Lines Follow Suit

(10:50 a.m. EDT) -- The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced it will be extending its voluntary suspension of U.S. cruise operations for all member lines until at least October 31, 2020.  

It is the third time that CLIA has issued a voluntary suspension of sailing notice, following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's initial "No-Sail" order that was issued in March and extended further in April and July.

CLIA member lines include some of the world's largest brands, including all Carnival Corporation & plc lines like Carnival, Holland America and Princess; Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' brands including Norwegian,

Norway Suspends Cruise Ship Docking After COVID-19 Outbreak; SeaDream I Quarantined

(10:50 a.m. EDT) -- After a positive COVID-19 outbreak was detected on Hurtigruten's Roald Amundsen, Norway has suspended cruise ships sailing with over 100 people from disembarking in the country's ports for the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, Norwegian newspapers are reporting that passengers on the luxury ship SeaDream I are at sea in quarantine, as a guest on a previous voyage tested positive for COVID-19.

Hurtigruten Case Count Grows


P&O Cruises To Take Delivery Of Iona Before Autumn; Second Ship Coming in late 2022

(3:45 p.m. BST) -- P&O Cruises has updated two major dates for its fleet, announcing that Iona will be arriving before autumn and its sister ship will be delivered in December 2022.

The 5,200-passener Iona, which will be the largest ship custom-built for the U.K. cruise market, was originally set to debut in May 2020. It is also the first British ship to be powered by liquified natural gas. Delivery from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, has been delayed because of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The sister ship is yet unnamed and will also be built at Meyer Werft. Itineraries will go on sale in spring 2021.

P&O Cruises has voluntarily suspended operations t

New Zealand Puts the Breaks on Trans-Tasman Travel Bubble Plans

(5 p.m. EDT) -- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has poured cold water over the idea of a Trans-Tasman travel "bubble" between New Zealand and Australia, according to reports in the Sydney Morning Herald.

While New Zealand has managed to go over three months without a case of COVID-19 with no known source, the Australian city of Melbourne saw 760 active cases of COVID-19 with no known source on Sunday, according to the Herald.

Those increasing numbers have led Australia's second-largest city to impose lockdown restrictions for si

Return of MSC Cruises: A Q and A with MSC's CEO

(12:05 p.m. EDT) -- MSC Cruises announced some of the industry's most ground-breaking health and safety protocols this week, as the international cruise line eyes a return to sailings in the Mediterranean this fall.

Cruise Critic conducted a question-and-answer session with Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. Here's what he had to say:

Cruise Critic: Where will you restart your operations?

Gianni Onorato: We are ready with a passion to get back to the sea, and we've put together a really strong new health and safety protocol for our guests and our crew. We have had great feedback from the relevant authorities on where we propose to sail, and we're waiting in eager anticipati

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.