Cruise ship sails for Alaska after overnight delay in Vancouver due to tugboat strike

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VANCOUVER — An Alaska-bound cruise ship has set sail from Vancouver after an almost daylong delay because of a tugboat strike sparked a flood of complaints from stranded passengers.

The Celebrity Eclipse had been scheduled to depart at 4 p.m. Sunday, but Celebrity Cruises said the ship became stuck in the Port of Vancouver because it was attached to a barge whose crew was refusing to remove it.

Passenger Steve Bains said the captain announced just after midday today that the union and its workers had agreed to detach the ship from the barge, and later sent photos confirming the ship set sail around 12:45 p.m.

The cruise line says on its Twitter account that the ship will skip its trip to Icy Strait in Alaska, but will stick to the rest of the weeklong itinerary as planned.

It says it will also be issuing a "credit equal to the amount of 1.5 days" and that any excursions booked through the company for Icy Strait would be cancelled and refunded.

The cruise line's social media accounts were filled with complaints from people saying they were stuck on the ship.

The Canadian Merchant Service Guild began job action on all 30 Seaspan tugs in the province Thursday after it said contract negotiations reached an impasse.

The Celebrity Eclipse has a capacity of 2,850 people, but the company has not confirmed how many people are on board.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 29, 2022.

Brieanna Charlebois, The Canadian Press