Giant Cruise Ships Collide, Evacuate—'I Heard a Big Loud Noise... It Was Scary!'

A Norwegian Sun cruise ship in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2008. Passengers on two Holland America ships had a rude awakening on May 4, 2019, after the ships collided into each other. George Rose/Getty

Cruise ship passengers in Canada were given a shock the morning of May 4 after one vessel appeared to rear-end a cruise ship that had already docked.

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority told Canadian broadcaster Global News that the Oosterdam cruise ship had been coming into berth at around 6:30 a.m. near Vancouver's Canada Place when it rear-ended the Nieuw Amsterdam.

"[I] just heard a little vibration, lots of grinding and then breaking of things like glass," Angela Hagen, an Oosterdam passenger, told CTV News Vancouver. "So then I thought, oops. I thought maybe we'd bumped into the dock."

A passenger on the Nieuw Amsterdam told Global News that she had heard "a big loud noise" that startled her and her husband. "I told my husband, 'This is not the way we're supposed to be docking,' but we were already docked," she said. "It was scary."

Passengers on both ships, which are owned by the same company, Holland America, were made to disembark quickly but have been able to return since then.

Photos shared with the broadcaster showed damage to the Nieuw Amsterdam, which required repairs after the run-in.

In a written statement to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Erik Elvejord of the Holland American cruise line said damage to the Oosterdam was minimal, while six stateroom verandas on the Nieuw Amsterdam required repairs.

Elvejord said all necessary repairs were above the ships' waterlines, meaning the seaworthiness of both vessels would not be affected.

Those whose lodgings were affected by the crash were expected to be assigned new rooms.

While the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority said no one was injured in the collision, some cruise passengers said they were shaken by the incident.

"We've never packed so fast," one woman told the broadcaster.

Others laughed it off, with one passenger saying, "We would call this a fender bender."

Hagen said that while she didn't expect her trip to "end with a bang," she would "do it again."

Transport Canada was reportedly working with Holland America to assess the damage to both ships.

Both ships were expected to resume their planned schedules over the weekend, with the Nieuw Amsterdam setting off on a seven-day Alaskan cruise and the Oosterdam setting sail to Seattle before a weeklong journey also in Alaska.

Newsweek has contacted Holland America and the Vancouver Port Authority for comment for this article.