The most famous cruise ship sinking in the history of cruise ship catastrophes is the Titanic. The cause of the sinking was none other than one of nature’s most spectacular creations: the iceberg. While beautiful, an iceberg can quickly become a cruise ships worst nightmare.
An iceberg, by its very nature is dangerous for cruise chips because it is actually a massive piece of ice that has broken off from a glacier or ice shelf. An iceberg literally floats in the water and in some cases it may not be detected until it is too late.
On April 14, 1912, the Titanic hit an iceberg. During the course of the evening, the ship began to sink. It took less than three hours for the entire ship to sink. Roughly two hours and forty two minutes after hitting the iceberg, the Titanic had sunk. It was April 15, 1912. If this is any indication of the power of an iceberg, the Titanic was a whopping 46,328 gross register tons (GRT) and it has the capacity to carry 3,547 passengers. It was declared “unsinkable” by its captain, crew, and engineers.
When the Titanic cruise ship hit the iceberg, no one thought that this magnificent vessel would sink. More importantly, no one could have guessed that it would also result in the deaths of more than 1,500 people, cementing its place in history as the world’s deadliest peacetime maritime disaster. It is also the most famous.
The Titanic is not the only cruise ship to ever hit an iceberg. As recent as 2007, another cruise ship suffered the same fate as the Titanic. The Explorer slammed into an iceberg off Antarctica during the predawn hours of November 23, 2007. The accident took place near the South Shetland Islands in the Southern Ocean. Ironically enough, The Explorer cruise ship was the first cruise ship built specifically to navigate the intensely frigid waters of the Antarctic Ocean. The Explorer was the first cruise ship ever to sink in there.
More than 150 people were aboard The Explorer and all were rescued by the Norwegian ship MS Nordnorge. The passengers consisted of 100 people from all over – 13 Americans, as well as people from Britain, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands – and 54 crew members. The National Geographic Endeavour also helped rescue the passengers.
The Explorer cruise ship sinking was more than the result of hitting an iceberg. According to officials, The Explorer had numerous known deficiencies, but it was still taken out to sea. It was reported that the cruise ship had problems with navigation equipment, problems with a watertight door, problems with fire safety measures, lifeboat maintenance problems, and missing search and rescue plans.
The Explorer, which was owned by Gap Adventures, took roughly 20 hours to sink. Gap Adventures spokeswoman Susan Hayes maintains that The Explorer did not hit an iceberg but rather a “submerged piece of ice.”