The right funnel of the Carnival Freedom, which docked in the Turks and Caicos Islands, caught fire Thursday, with officials allowing guests and crew members to disembark as thick smoke billowed into the air.
Carnival says the emergency response quickly put out the fire and all guests and crew are safe. Local authorities allowed the ship’s guests to disembark. Carnival continues to assess the situation: flames emanating from the ship’s funnel and black smoke billowing into the air.
There were 2,504 guests and 972 crew members on board, Carnival said. Another ship, the Carnival Conquest, will leave Miami on Saturday to pick up everything from the Grand Turk. They are expected to arrive in Port Canaveral on Monday.
The next voyage of the “Conquist,” which was due to leave Miami on Friday, was canceled, as was the next voyage of the “Freedom,” which was due to leave on Saturday.
The Freedom ship will be taken to Freeport to “repair the funnel,” Carnival said. All guests affected by the changes to upcoming trips have been notified.
Last month, passengers on a Carnival cruise ship from Miami to Seattle were forced to self-quarantine after people on board tested positive for COVID-19. The carnival did not say how many of the 2,100 passengers on board were infected. After docking, all infected passengers were transferred to nearby hotels for isolation.
Although fires on cruise ships are not common, they have happened before. In 2016, more than 500 passengers and crew were evacuated from a burning ship a mile off the north coast of Puerto Rico. Many aboard the Caribbean Fantasy are in need of medical attention, although no deaths have been reported.