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High winds cause a seven-hour delay in the docking of a cruise ship in Seattle

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas docked in Seattle seven hours late on Monday due to high winds. The ship spent the morning anchored in Elliott Bay, across Puget Sound, and finally docked early Monday afternoon.

SHIP ANCHOR SEATTLE

Why was the cruise ship delayed?

Local Puget Sound pilots said that when Quantum of the Seas came in to approach, strong winds forced the ship to wait until available tugboats could assist, KOMO TV reported. The tugboats ordered were not in the area and therefore had to wait for their arrival.

On Monday morning, winds in Puget Sound were blowing up to 40 knots. A small craft advisory, advising smaller boats to use caution, is also in effect until late Monday, with winds of 15 to 18 knots and gusts up to 25 knots.

KOMO NEWS SEATTLE
(thanks to KOMO NEWS)

Shortly after 1:00 PM local time the ship approached the quay with additional tugs and by 1:45 PM the ship was safely tied alongside.

The second ship at anchor, the MS Roald Amundsenwas a planned anchorage and was not affected by the wind.

The surface on the side of a cruise ship is like a giant sail. Therefore, most ships can only handle a maximum crosswind of 30 knots when docking with thrusters. If the wind is higher, a ship’s captain can find themselves in a position they don’t want to be in, potentially damaging the ship.

KOMO NEWS SCREENSHOT CAM
(thanks to KOMO NEWS)

Quantum of the Seas typically leaves Seattle at 4:00 PM, but the departure will be delayed due to the late arrival.

Quantum of the seas sails seven-night cruises to Southeast Alaska from Seattle, Washington throughout the summer. Before returning to Seattle, the ship will visit Sitka, Skagway, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau and Victoria, British Columbia.