The Princess Cruises ship called the Ruby Princess, which already has some poor PR history from the pandemic, just had a bit of a snafu while trying to dock Thursday morning at Pier 27.
Remember the Ruby Princess? It's a different ship from the Grand Princess which got stuck trying to come into port in San Francisco in early March 2020 because there were over a dozen crew members and a couple of passengers who tested positive for COVID before national lockdowns even began. But the Ruby Princess was implicated in another early pandemic debacle when it was allowed to dock in Sydney in late March 2020 and subsequently 440 passengers fell ill with COVID.
Cruise ships being the virus vectors that they are, the Ruby Princess once again brought COVID to a port when it landed in San Francisco in March 2022, and a month later it showed up in Hawaii with over 100 positive cases onboard.
People are still cruising, though, and the Ruby Princess just finished a 10-day roundtrip to Alaska that left San Francisco on June 26, coming into port this morning at 6 a.m. As NBC Bay Area reports via a Princess Cruises spokesperson, the Ruby Princess "made unexpected contact" with the dock at Pier 27 at 6:05 a.m., causing a gash in the hull of the ship — both the Chronicle and NBC have photos.
A Princess Cruises ship crashed into the dock at Pier 27 in San Francisco on Thursday morning, officials said. The Ruby Princess ship “made unexpected contact” while docking just after 6 a.m. Officials are assessing the damage to the ship and the pier.https://t.co/LIL4EaV5VM— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) July 6, 2023
The cruise company says no passengers or crew members were injured, and it's unclear if anyone on the huge ship even felt it — but it looks like a significant gash!
A damage assessment is underway, and no one is yet saying what the extent of it is. It's also not clear whether significant damage was done to SF's cruise ship pier.
The ship arrived with 3,328 guests and 1,159 crew members onboard, and a whole new set of 3,000+ passengers was supposed to be embarking today at 4 p.m. for the Ruby Princess's next Alaska voyage. As the Chronicle reports, officials haven't yet said whether that trip will be delayed for repairs.
Pier 27 is one of two main cruise ship terminals for San Francisco, the other being Pier 35, closer to Fisherman's Wharf. The newly built cruise terminal at Pier 27 opened in 2014 and has capacity to handle up to 4,000 passengers.
Photo: Port of San Francisco website (probably not the Ruby Princess)