Passengers aboard two cruise ships could not believe their eyes as they saw a collision between their 80,000 tonne ships was imminent.

The two Holland America ships were involved in a collision on Saturday morning in the waters of Canada Place, Vancouver.

As Oosterdam was coming into berth at around 6:30 am, it struck its sister ship which was already in dock. The incident unfolded in a very public fashion.

"Everybody's on deck because it's a nice day. The passengers on both ships could see each other and were waving," passenger Susan Carrusca said to local radio station NEWS 1130.


At the time Oosterdam was attempting to dock stern to stern with the Niew Amsterdam.
"We're getting really close, but the captain knows what he's doing. We were getting closer and closer and suddenly passengers dived back into their cabins," she said.
"I kind of wonder for a minute, is it going to stop?"

The resulting collision could be heard from the harbour, and caused damage to state rooms at the rear of the Niew Amsterdam.

In a statement Holland America said of the incident:

"There were no injuries reported and disembarkation on both ships proceeded as usual. Damage on Oosterdam is minimal."

Six staterooms were damaged on the Niew Amsterdam, on which "repairs are underway."

"All repairs are well above the waterline and seaworthiness of both ships is not affected."

As it was an embarkation day, many passengers on following itineraries were present to see the dramatic incident unfold.

"As soon as we checked in I said to the lady 'I think we've got the two rooms that were hit,' said the Shires family, speaking to NEWS 1130. The damage to their cabins was visible from the harbour, with most of the balcony railings removed in the collision.


According to the cruise line, passengers waiting to check into the affected suites have been moved to alternative accommodation for the following sailings.

No impact is expected to either ships' itinerary.

Fortunately there is little chance of the two ships having such a close encounter on their next sailing.

The Niew Amsterdam has since departed on a seven day cruise to Alaska, and Oosterdam has gone south to Seattle.