(updated August 29, 2022)
According to a report by Canadian Press yesterday afternoon (Aug. 29), passengers destined for Alaska on Celebrity Cruises' Eclipse cruise ship were stuck in Vancouver by a tugboat strike and were told the ship will likely set sail later that day.
Despite being scheduled to leave Canada Place at 5 p.m. Sunday, August 28, the Eclipse could not leave the Port of Vancouver without the tug. However, due to job action by members of Seaspan, the vessel was stuck at port until Monday afternoon as staff "worked diligently" to resolve the issue with local authorities.
In an email to PAX, Celebrity Cruises' national director, market sales Canada, Allan Brooks, provided the following update on the sailing delay:
"We are currently working with all local authorities; including the Canadian Government to resolve the situation so that the ship can embark on it’s sailing. We have a barge tied to the ship that belongs to the tugboat company that went on strike. We obviously could not move the ship with the barge attached. The Captain and crew are keeping the guests onboard well informed on the progress and ensuring they are comfortable and enjoying the overall experience onboard. The latest update is that the ship will sail within the hour.
According to the report by Canadian Press, the ship's captain made an onboard announcement this morning at 10:30 am letting passengers know that the Eclipse was tied to a barge whose crew are on strike.
The captain explained that the barge crew refused to move the barge, and other tugboat companies operating in the port also refuse to move it, since they don't own it.
Social media accounts for Celebrity Cruises have been flooded with people claiming they are trapped aboard the Eclipse which has a capacity of 2,850 people.
The Canadian Merchant Service Guild began job action on all 30 Seaspan tugs in the province Thursday (Aug. 25) after it said contract negotiations reached an impasse.
The Eclipse sails away...
As of Monday afternoon just before 5 pm, the cruise line informed guests that their "#JourneyWonderFULL will be underway shortly". Brooks also confirmed with PAX that the Eclipse had in fact left Vancouver's port and was finally en route to Alaska.