Contact made by passenger cruise ship Queen Victoria with quay

Location: Pinto Wharf, Valetta Harbour, Malta.

Completed PE Summary: Queen Victoria

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Merchant Vessel/Accident Details
Vessel Name Queen Victoria
Ship Owner Carnival UK
Port of Registry Southampton
Flag UK
Type Passenger/ Cruise
Built 2007
Construction Steel
Length Overall 294m
Gross Tonnage 90049
Date/Time 14/05/2008, 0923 (UTC)
Location of Incident Valetta Harbour, Malta
Incident Type Contact
Persons Onboard 3005
Injuries/Fatalities None
Damage/Pollution Damage to upper hull and to quay


On 14 May 2008, the passenger cruise ship Queen Victoria came into contact with Pinto Wharf while berthing in Valetta, Malta. The vessel sustained damage to her stern plating above the waterline; the wharf was also damaged

The berthing operation required the vessel to be turned through 180° before mooring port side to. At the start of the turn, the captain controlled the azipod propulsion units and bow thrusters from the bridge’s centre console, but once the berth was open on the vessel’s port side, he moved to the port wing console accompanied by the embarked harbour pilot and the staff captain.

Once on the port bridge wing, the captain adjusted the main engine controls to arrest the vessel’s movement astern. However, this had no effect because the control of the azipod propulsion units had not been transferred to the port console. The vessel continued to move astern until contact was made with the quay. Shortly afterwards, the bridge team realised that the control of the propulsion units had not been transferred. This was rectified and the vessel was then manoeuvred alongside without further difficulty.

Action taken

Carnival UK has investigated the accident. Recommendations made in its report covered:

  • The implementation of the company’s Bridge Team Command and Control procedures and training.

  • The issue of a fleet cautionary notice identifying the lessons learned from this accident.

  • The procedures for the transfer and testing of propulsion control.

  • The feasibility of fitting synchronous or follow-up systems.

  • The size of the azipod control indicator lamps fitted to the control consoles.

  • The review of the visual displays fitted on the vessel’s bridge wings.

  • The insulation of noisy equipment on the port bridge wing.

  • The inclusion of masters in bridge and console design processes.

The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has held a meeting with Carnival UK and has satisfied himself that the current and proposed actions of Carnival UK and Carnival Corporation will help prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future.

Published: July 2008

Updates to this page

Published 23 January 2015