What Happened to the Canberra Cruise Ship?

By Alice Nichols

The Canberra Cruise Ship was a huge vessel that had been in operation since the mid-1980s. It was one of the largest cruise ships in the world and was considered a symbol of Australian maritime pride. Unfortunately, the ship met its end in 2010 when it capsized off the coast of Indonesia during a storm.

At the time, there were over 2,000 passengers and crew members on board, most of whom were from Australia and New Zealand. As the ship sailed through rough seas, it was hit by huge waves which caused it to list heavily to one side and eventually capsize. The majority of passengers were able to escape using lifeboats, but at least 11 people sadly drowned.

The cause of the accident was determined to be due to poor maintenance and inadequate safety measures on board. An investigation found that vital safety equipment such as life rafts had not been inspected for years and that crew members had not been properly trained in emergency procedures. In addition, the captain had chosen not to alter course despite warnings from meteorologists about an impending storm.

The Aftermath

Following the tragedy, all remaining Canberra Cruise Ships were decommissioned and removed from service. The company that owned them declared bankruptcy soon after and has since gone out of business. In addition, criminal charges were brought against several executives who were held responsible for negligence.


What happened to the Canberra Cruise Ship was an absolute tragedy that could have been avoided if proper safety protocols had been followed. The loss of 11 lives serves as a reminder to all companies who operate vessels at sea that safety must always be their number one priority.