Carnival Crusie ship catches fire while on the way to the Bahamas

PORT CANAVERAL, FL – A fire incident on the Carnival Freedom cruise ship has resulted in the vessel being taken out of service for a minimum of one week for necessary repairs. This marks the second occurrence of a fire on this particular ship in less than two years. The fire broke out in the ship’s exhaust funnel, which partially collapsed, while on a voyage to the Bahamas on Saturday.

The cause of the recent fire is currently under investigation, as stated by the cruise company. Fortunately, no passengers were harmed, although two fire crew members received treatment for minor smoke inhalation.

The Carnival Freedom had embarked from Port Canaveral, Florida, on Thursday, with a plan to sail through the Bahamas for several days before returning to Port Canaveral on Monday. The total number of passengers and crew on board at the time of the fire is yet to be confirmed. The ship has the capacity to accommodate 2,980 guests and 1,150 crew members.

The fire was reported around 3:15 p.m. EDT on Saturday, in the port side of the ship’s exhaust funnel, while the ship was 20 miles off the Bahamas’ Eleuthera Island, heading towards Freeport. Eyewitnesses suggested a lightning strike as a possible cause of the fire, a claim that is currently under investigation.

The fire was successfully extinguished by 5:20 p.m., including flames from a section of the funnel that had broken off and fallen onto a deck. The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that the ship’s crew managed to put out the fire without external assistance.

Initially, Carnival did not anticipate the fire to affect future trips on the Freedom cruise. However, a technical assessment carried out in Freeport on Sunday revealed more extensive damage than initially thought. This necessitated immediate repairs to stabilize the funnel. Consequently, both Carnival Freedom cruises scheduled for this week have been cancelled, with guests receiving full refunds and future cruise credits.

This is not the first time the Carnival Freedom’s exhaust funnel has caught fire. A similar incident occurred less than two years ago, in May 2022, while the ship was in Grand Turk during a five-day trip from Port Canaveral.