Spirit of Columbia Mechanical Problems Cause Missed Port

May 12, 2008
Cruise West's Spirit of Columbia experienced mechanical problems with its generator this weekend during a Gold Rush Inside Passage cruise in Alaska. The ship was forced to make an emergency stop in Juneau for repairs, causing it to miss its port stop in Sitka.

On Saturday night, the 78-passenger, 143-foot-long ship began having trouble with its generator in Frederick Sound about 124 miles south of Juneau. The Coast Guard came out to escort the ship to Juneau for repairs, but Spirit of Columbia traveled under its own power the entire way to Juneau's Auk Bay, arriving by 3:30 pm PT on Sunday. While the ship undergoes repairs, passengers are still able to sleep on the ship and use onboard facilities.

Yesterday, cruise travelers enjoyed tours of Juneau and an evening salmon bake. Today they'll take a fast catamaran to Skagway so as not to miss that port of call. They'll return to the ship in Juneau, and it's expected the ship will then be able to set sail for Glacier Bay. The current cruise ends in Juneau on May 14, and future itineraries should not be affected by this weekend's mechanical problems.

--by Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor