PHOTO: The Westerdam returned to Seattle after a boiler room fire but has since resumed cruising. (Courtesy of Holland America Line)
Holland America Line’s Westerdam resumed sailing Sunday morning after a fire broke out in a boiler room Saturday night. No injuries were reported.
On Saturday night, Holland America said a “small fire” was “quickly extinguished” shortly after it departed Seattle on what was to be a seven-night Alaska cruise. The cruise line said all 2,086 guests and 798 crew members onboard were safe and that the ship returned to its homeport in Seattle “out of an abundance of caution.” The 82,348-ton ship sailed back to Pier 91 under its own power with all onboard hotel systems and guest services fully operational.
The U.S. Coast Guard and Lloyd’s Register, the classification society for the vessel, cleared the ship to sail and it departed at about 10:15 a.m. Sunday on a revised itinerary.
Petty Officer George Degener of the Coast Guard’s 13th District Headquarters in Seattle said the ship reported a fire in the aft boiler room at about 5 p.m. Pacific time Saturday, roughly an hour after departure. Upon its return to port, Coast Guard investigators boarded the ship to inspect the affected area and try to determine the cause. He said the extent of the damage was not immediately known.
Initial reports said the fire was put out, then “reflashed” before crew members on the ship were able to safely extinguish it for good, Degener said.
The Westerdam did not appear to sustain any damage to its propulsion systems, he said. It did get assistance from a tug boat to return to the port, but that is not unusual, Degener said. “That’s standard operating procedure in waters around downtown,” he said. “The ship was able to safely moor downtown.”
Holland America said the delay forced the cancellation of a port call at Sitka, Alaska. Guests will receive an onboard credit of $250 per stateroom, as well as a future cruise credit equal to 25 percent of the base cruise fare they paid for the cruise.