Update 4: Liner's departure delayed after harbour incident
The Cunard cruise liner Queen Victoria is to stay in Grand Harbour overnight for repairs after having hit the quay at Valletta Waterfront while berthing this morning.
Informed sources said the 90,000 vessel, which was due to leave this evening, would stay overnight for repairs and leave early tomorrow. A port call at La Goulette, Tunisia has been cancelled and the vessel, which is on its maiden Mediterranean cruise, will proceed to Gibraltar, its next scheduled stop.
The Malta Maritime Authority is conducting an investigation in coordination with the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch of the British maritime authority.
The MMA said the incident happened when the ship developed mechanical failure. The vessel suffered damage to its stern and caused limited damage to the fender system and the quay coping.
The incident happened at around 11.30 a.m. According to initial reports, the ship's throttle suffered a temporary failure.
"The ship was being turned to face the breakwater and hit the Valletta Waterfront quay with its stern. It was a loud, scraping noise, I would not be surprised if the quay also suffered some damage," an eyewitness told timesofmalta.com.
The stern could be seen dented above the waterline.
The Queen Victoria is the second biggest ship in the Cunard line . She will be making six calls at Grand Harbour this year.
Picture: The dented stern of Cunard's Queen Victoria. (Darrin Zammit Lupi)