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So you’re trying to park when suddenly – crash! You bump into the car in front of you.

Many of us know the feeling. But what happens when you’re driving a 110,000 tonne cruise ship? That’s when a fender bender can get a bit more serious.

Two incidents over the holidays neatly illustrate the problem of how steering a giant passenger vessel can be a tricky business.

Thankfully in both incidents, there were no major injuries.

The first, at the beginning of December was between two Carnival Cruise Line ships sailing in Mexico. The Carnival Glory and the Carnival Legend were sailing in Cozumel when the Glory slid into her sister ship.

Video people filming the incident from shore and a neighbouring cruise ship could be heard gasping, yelling and cursing as the Glory’s back windows shattered.

A spokesperson from Carnival Cruise Line told The Washington Post that the crash was an “allision” as the Legend was docked at the time of the incident.

While it was reported six people sustained minor injuries, many other passengers on both ships said the crash was not that bad. “All of a sudden we felt the ship rock to one side and then back into place,” Jordan Moseley, a passenger on Legend told Reuters.

“A few minutes later, the cruise director announced that the Carnival Glory had crashed into our ship while docking due to the high winds and rough ocean conditions in Cozumel.”

Maddison Haynes, a passenger on Glory said, “Last night we experienced some major motion on the boat, so this morning we assumed something similar was happening,” she told CNN. “We felt a jolt and didn’t really think anything of it.”

Later in December, the MSC Grandiosa which only launched in November 2019, clipped the side of the dock wall as she approached Palermo on the Italian island of Sicily.

Video footage shows the Grandiosa manoeuvring to dock next to the pier. She appeared to be in position but instead of stopping, continues to turn until the rear of the ship hits the wall. The footage shows part of the wall crumbling on impact.

A spokesperson from MSC said, “MSC Grandiosa experienced a light allision in the port of Palermo. Due to reasons we are still investigating, the ship deviated while manoeuvring along the quayside and lightly grazed the end of the quay with its aft part.

“As a result of this graze we conducted some minor repair works – which have already been completed by the early afternoon. While the ship is ready to sail, we may leave Palermo with a slight delay. The itinerary remains unchanged.

“MSC Cruises emphasizes that MSC Grandiosa is fully reliable and safe to sail. Our Guests’ and crew members’ safety will always be our number one priority.”

She is one of the largest ships in the world and only recently launched. Perhaps the captain was still getting used to the turning circle.

Watch our video of ship collisions to see what happens when they run into trouble.

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