Update: Engine Trouble Strands Celebrity Ship in Seward

August 13, 2013

(Update, August 13, 4:40 p.m. EDT) -- The faulty propulsion motor on Celebrity Millennium is now fixed and has power, a Celebrity spokeswoman told Cruise Critic today. The ship left Seward at 10 p.m. local time on August 12 -- earlier than expected -- and is scheduled to arrive in Vancouver on August 16 at 7 a.m. local time.

(Update, August 10, 3:44 p.m. EDT) -- A Celebrity spokeswoman told Cruise Critic via e-mail that only 20 passengers have chosen to depart the ship so far. The Guest Relations team is assisting anyone who wants to leave, and if hotels and flights are available, Celebrity is covering the expenses. She adds that all onboard activities and dining options are available to passengers, and the ship is bringing on additional entertainers, arranging shuttles to and from Anchorage for a nominal fee and working with local tour operators to offer additional shore excursions "which will be offered as options for our guests at deeply discounted rates."

(3:20 a.m EDT) -- Celebrity Millennium is stuck in Seward, Alaska, for four days due to an electrical problem with one of its propulsion motors. The ship, which was supposed to begin a weeklong Alaska cruise on August 9, will not depart until Tuesday, August 13, after repairs are made, at which time it will sail directly to Vancouver and skip all port calls.

The engine problems delayed the arrival of Millennium into port by four hours, reports the Seward City News, causing debarking travelers to scramble to make alternate arrangements for onward travel.

According to a post by Celebrity on the Cruise Critic Message Boards, passengers on the August 9 cruise can choose to stay onboard and use Millennium as a floating hotel if they desire. Cruise Critic members Host Andy and Flagger (a travel agent) have posted that passengers on the ship are being offered a full refund and 100 percent future cruise credit if they stay onboard, and a full refund and 50 percent future cruise credit if they leave the ship. Flagger adds, "Hotels in ANC [Anchorage] are extremely limited and passengers are comfortable with all services and TOILETS in working order. Have booked clients on tours Saturday and Sunday which are filling up fast."

We have reached out to Celebrity for more information. Stay tuned.

--by Erica Silverstein, Features Editor