Originally published November 10, 2010 at 7:25 p.m., updated November 11, 2010 at 4:06 p.m.
SAN DIEGO The cruise ship stranded off the coast of Southern California since Monday will be towed into San Diego’s downtown harbor Thursday morning. Getting the ship’s passengers back to land has not taken as long as initially expected.
The 3,299 passengers and 1,167 crewmembers aboard the cruise ship Splendor were expected to be waiting outside the San Diego Bay before daybreak.
The ship has been powerless since Monday, when a generator malfunction began a fire in one of the engine rooms. Two tugboats have been towing the ship and three more will help maneuver it to dock.
Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Gerry Cahill said the tugboats were able to tow the ship faster than expected, but the ship probably won’t dock before midday.
“When we’re going to come in, we’re coming in without power, we’re coming in with the help of these five tugs that we have," Cahill said. "We feel it’s safer to try to come in in daylight. So we will start the maneuver as soon as it gets daylight and it’ll take a few hours to bring the ship to the pier.”
The ship’s cabins have had no working lights, hot water or air conditioning since Monday. However, Cahill said the bars have been open and offering free drinks.