Carnival Panorama is on her way to the second shipyard for her necessary engine repairs, after having been foiled in her attempt to reach the first shipyard – where those repairs will take place – due to low bridges.
Now, the ship is en route to Victoria, British Columbia, where her “whale tail” funnel will be removed, before she can have her engine repairs completed in Portland, Oregon.
The urgently needed engine repairs for Carnival Panorama are proving trickier than expected, but not because the repairs themselves are necessarily complicated. Instead, the ship is having difficulty reaching the shipyard in Portland, Oregon, where those repairs will be completed.
The Portland shipyard ready to service Carnival Panorama lies roughly 95 miles (153 kilometers) up the Columbia River from the coast, a route crossed by low-lying bridges. The 133,500-gross-ton, Vista-class ship has 15 passenger decks, with her iconic whale tail funnel rising high above the tallest deck.
That funnel is too tall to pass underneath the river’s bridges, and must be dismantled before the ship can reach the dry dock facilities. It was initially hoped the funnel could be removed in Astoria, Oregon before the ship began moving up the river, but that has proved impossible.
Now, satellite tracking data shows Carnival Panorama heading for Victoria, British Columbia, where the shipyard facilities are equipped to safely remove the upper part of ship’s funnel so she can then return to Oregon and proceed to the dry dock.
After the engines are repaired, the ship will likely need to move back to Victoria once again for her funnel to be reassembled before she will finally return to Long Beach to welcome guests.
While this is a complicated situation, Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald has explained that the cruise line did look for alternative shipyards that could service Carnival Panorama, but options at west coast shipyards were limited due to facilities and docking schedules.
“The ship is making a brief stop in Canada and then will head to Astoria,” Heald confirmed about the convoluted arrangements.
Guests booked on Christmas and New Year’s sailings of Carnival Panorama are understandably nervous about whether those cruises will be cancelled if the repairs take longer than anticipated.
Both holiday sailings are Mexican Riviera cruises. The Saturday, December 23 departure is the first planned for the ship after repairs are complete, and is a 7-night cruise visiting Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, and Cabo San Lucas.
The 8-night New Year’s Cruise will depart on Saturday, December 30 and will call on the same ports as the previous voyage, as well as an extra port of call in La Paz.
Heald has attempted to assuage guests’ concerns and reassure them that the sailings are expected to move ahead as planned.
“We fully expect [the] ship to be back ready to give you all the fun you deserve,” Heald said. “I promise we will keep you updated if anything were to change so please don’t worry, but now we’re saying we can’t wait to see you having fun.”
When Carnival Panorama first developed these engine difficulties at the beginning of November, the ship’s maximum cruising speed was impacted and the November 4, 2023 sailing had two ports of call cancelled so the ship could return to Long Beach on schedule.
Read Also: What’s Wrong With the Vista-Class Ships?
After the difficulties were assessed, four cruises were cancelled so the ship could be removed from service for immediate repairs. As the difficulties with securing dry dock facilities became clear, however, two additional cruises were cancelled to ensure enough time for these technical repairs to be completed and allow the ship to return to service with her maximum propulsion intact.
At the moment, it is hopeful that Carnival Panorama will be full speed ahead for her Christmas and New Year’s cruises, but booked guests should stay in close contact with Carnival Cruise Line for any further notifications, cancellations, or adjustments.
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