Docking Accident Damages Hull of Princess’ Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess hits dock
Ruby Princess alongside in San Francisco on a prior cruise (Port of San Francisco photo)

Published Jul 6, 2023 2:58 PM by The Maritime Executive

The most recent Alaska cruise aboard Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess (113,561 gross tons) came to an end with a “bang” this morning according to passengers. The 951-foot cruise ship, which was built in 2008, was returning to San Francisco, California after a cruise when it had an allision with the concrete pier and was holed above the waterline.

The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating and reports that no passengers were injured but the vessel is clearly showing damage to its hull near the stern and other scuffs along its port side. Inspectors from the Coast Guard and engineers from the cruise line were reported to be at the ship and discussing if the ship would be permitted to depart today on its next scheduled cruise to Alaska.



Local TV reports are saying the Ruby Princess was attempting to dock with 3,328 passengers aboard after a 10-day Alaska cruise. The ship has a normal compliment of 1,200 crew.

The Ruby Princess hit Pier 27 in San Francisco in what the cruise line later described to reporters as an “unexpected contact” shortly after 6:00 a.m. local time. Passengers aboard the ship told local reporters that it was a loud thud when the ship made contact. 



In addition to the hole near the stern of the ship, the Coast Guard is reporting that the concrete pier sustained damage due to the contact. Some reports are suggesting there was a strong harbor current running at that hour that might have been challenging the cruise ship’s docking maneuver.

The Ruby Princess is due to depart at 4:00 p.m. for another cruise to Alaska. As of midday, it is still undetermined if the ship will be departing at its scheduled time. (Update: Ruby Princess spent the night docked in San Francisco while repairs were being made to the hole in the hull. Reports said passengers were permitted to embark for the next cruise but it is unclear when the ship will depart.)

TV news report interviewing passengers