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Cruise ship finally leaves San Francisco after pier crash with hundreds fewer passengers

The Ruby Princess cruise ship struck the dock at Pier 27 in San Francisco on Thursday morning. | Source: Isaac Ceja/The Standard

After three unscheduled days in San Francisco, thousands of passengers and crew aboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship could finally wave goodbye to the city’s Pier 27.

After final checks and clearance from the U.S. Coast Guard over the weekend, the Princess Cruises ship pulled away from the pier Sunday afternoon to resume its travels with 2,677 passengers—or 579 fewer than last Friday—and 1,161 crew, two more crew members than it docked with. 

“Repairs on Ruby Princess have been completed and following inspection and certification by the United States Coast Guard, the ship is safe and fit to sail,” Princess Cruises said in a statement on Monday.

The 951-foot Bermuda-registered Princess Cruises ship struck the pier early Thursday morning, causing damage to both the port and the vessel before setting sail for Ketchikan in Alaska.

The 113,561-ton ship will visit Prince Rupert in Canada on Thursday before returning to San Francisco next Sunday, July 16.

The ship’s original load of 3,328 passengers and 1,159 crew members returned to San Francisco after leaving the city on a 10-day round-trip cruise to Alaska, but its planned 4 p.m. Thursday departure was further delayed by repairs to the pier and ship.

Pier Damages

Damage to the side of the stern of Ruby Princess cruise ship at Pier 27, in San Francisco, on Thursday, July 6, 2023. A Princess Cruises ship struck the dock at Pier 27 on Thursday morning. | Isaac Ceja/The Standard | Source: Isaac Ceja/The Standard

Boris Delepine, the Port of San Francisco’s legislative affairs manager, said on Friday crews are still determining the extent of the damage to the pier and required repairs.

“The port continues to assess the damage to Pier 27 and will work to make the necessary repairs for continuity of operations,” Delepine said. “With multiple berths throughout the Port of San Francisco, we stand ready to receive our scheduled cruise calls in the week ahead and do not expect cruise flow to be impacted.”

The port did not respond to a request for updates on pier damage by publication time on Monday.

By Friday, Princess Cruises said all guests and crew had remained on board after boarding the ship Thursday. Teams from the U.S. Coast Guard’s Port State Control shop inspected the ship that afternoon and located various areas of the hull that needed additional repairs, a spokesman said Saturday morning.

“Princess has considered all possible alternatives and has selected this itinerary to preserve as much of our guests' precious vacation time as possible,” the company said in a statement Saturday.

Princess Cruises said those who decide to cancel their trip will receive a full refund with an additional 50% of future cruise credit. Passengers who continue their cruise will also receive a 75% refund with an additional 75% of future cruise credit.

According to KRON4, four family members traveling aboard the Ruby Princess to San Francisco contracted Covid.