(5:18 p.m. EDT) -- Peter Deilmann Cruises has reportedly canceled the next Deutschland sailing after a fire broke out onboard the ship on Sunday, prompting the evacuation of more than 600 passengers and crewmembers.
The blaze, which was confined to the engine room, was significant enough to warrant the cancelation of the ship's May 25 13-day Hamburg to Hamburg sailing, according to cruise-community.com. The report also says that the ship was scheduled to be taken from Norway's Eidfjord, where it caught fire, to Bergen on Monday. Officials there will try to determine the cause of the fire and the extent of the damage.
So far, attempts to contact Deilmann representatives have yielded no response, and it is unclear at this time how passengers from both the interrupted May 18 seven-night Hamburg to Hamburg sailing and the May 25 sailing will be compensated. Those who were evacuated from the interrupted sailing were given accommodations at a local hotel and were to be flown back to Hamburg -- the sailing's scheduled debarkation port -- Monday.
This incident follows on the heels of Deilmann's decision to shut down its river cruising operations at the beginning of this year. The line's eight river ships finished out the 2009 season as normal but have been dry-docked since January as part of the company's bankruptcy proceedings.
The last ship blaze to result in the evacuation of passengers and cancellation of sailings happened onboard Royal Princess last July when two of four engines caught fire in the vessel's machine room.
We'll keep you posted.
--by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor
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