Nearly 200 Evacuated from River Cruise Ship due to 'Leak'

June 22, 2014

Britannia River Ship

(10:00 a.m. EDT) -- A river cruise ship in the eastern Netherlands had to be evacuated early Sunday morning (June 22) after springing a leak late Saturday (June 21).

The 360-foot (110 meter) Britannia was carrying 154 passengers and 40 crew when it began to take on water around 10 p.m. GMT. There were no injuries during the evacuation.

A statement on the Zutphen city council website -- the municipality nearest to where the incident occurred -- said passengers were taken to a nightclub before being sheltered overnight in a large event building in Zutphen.

The municipality's statement said Britannia has been "drained" and will be "stabilized" tomorrow (June 23). The cause of the leak is not yet known.

Dutch emergency services spokesman Robert Spijkerman told AFP that the emergency services team on site had to furiously "pump out water to prevent [the boat] from sinking."

Spijkerman said Britannia had "a large hole near the stern," which would be investigated by a team of divers.

The cruise ship has been moored in Zutphen on the IJssel River -- an important tributary of the Rhine -- several miles east of Amsterdam.

Operated by Nicko Tours, Britannia was making its way from Deventer, The Netherlands, to Cologne, Germany, with a group of mostly German and Austrian passengers when the incident occurred. Cruise Critic has contacted the line for further details about the incident and will update this story with any information we receive.

--by Jamey Bergman, UK Production and River Section Editor