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Royal Caribbean cruise ship cancels Alaska sailings due to engine fault

Celebrity Millennium
The Celebrity Millennium, pictured, is docked in the southeast Alaska port of Ketchikan and awaiting repairs.Courtesy Royal Caribbean

Mechanical problems on a Celebrity Cruises ship have forced the cancellation of all of the vessel's remaining Alaska sailings this year, a company spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

The Celebrity Millennium, which last week developed a problem with one of its two propulsion motors, is docked in the southeast Alaska port of Ketchikan and awaiting repairs, said Cynthia Martinez, a representative for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, the owner of Celebrity Cruises.

Arrangements were being made to send stranded passengers home.

"The safety of our guests and crew is always our highest priority. Therefore, we have decided to take the ship out of service to make repairs, cancelling Celebrity Millennium's current sailings, as well as the next four sailings," she said in an email.

The online schedule for Alaska cruise ports listed those four sailings as the only remaining Alaska voyages in 2013 for the Millennium.

There are 32 cruise ships doing business in Alaska this year, according to the Alaska Cruise Association website. The season runs from early May to the end of September.

The Millennium had 2,200 passengers and 958 crew members aboard, Martinez said. Passengers were being offered chartered air travel out of Ketchikan, refunds and certificates for future cruises, she said.

The 965-foot (294 metre) Millennium was put into service in 2000, according to Celebrity's website. It has been sailing this summer between Vancouver, Canada, and Seward, a port on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula.