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Linda Garrison

Fake or Cruise Nightmare? - April Fool Joke or the Real Thing?

By April 1, 2007

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Someone sent me a link to this video, which is described as the "Voyager" cruise ship in a "cyclone" in the Mediterranean. What do you think? I think it's a well-done hoax, just in time for April Fool's Day. It's certainly a little scary. Does anyone recognize this ship with the star on the funnel? It looks like a cruise ship, but the wave action doesn't seem right, and they don't have cyclones in the Mediterranean. I also don't think that the helicopter would be flying quite so smoothly in a cyclone. I'd be interested in your comments.
Video of Cruise Ship in a "Cyclone in the Mediterranean"
April 1, 2007 at 9:18 am
(1) Sue Miller says:

Rough seas but nothing more!!

April 1, 2007 at 9:30 am
(2) Lois Lee says:

I don’t think the ship could roll like that without capsizing! The seas do not look high enough to make the ship roll so much. The ship certainly is not one of the largest in the world.

April 1, 2007 at 12:35 pm
(3) Lois says:

I got seasick watching it. But, I’m with you that it’s a clever hoax. I would expect to see much more rain beating agains the helicopter’s windows, as well as lot more jiggling of the camera due to the buffeting winds.

April 2, 2007 at 10:28 am
(4) Jason says:

I saw the same video months ago – and it is real. There is no power on the ship and while the seas are rough there is no cyclone. As for the cruiseline – all of the research pointed to a Costa boat that was sold to a small line sometime in the early 90′s.

April 3, 2007 at 11:49 am
(5) Steve Meyers says:

I too wonder about the smooth flying helicopter in a Cyclone. The ship does look to be under power as near the beginning you can clearly see the wake coming off the back of the ship. Is it a hoax ??? I am not sure.

April 4, 2007 at 4:28 pm
(6) Lee says:

It is real, she was disabled apparently when a freak wave shorted some circuits, if you search for ‘semester at sea’ there’s video footage of people inside

April 5, 2007 at 12:43 pm
(7) John Forsyth says:

This is the Discovery used for the Semester at Sea Program. It is very real and anyone who has been in really rough weather will recognize that. It is not a “cyclone” as in “tornado”. Just a storm as sea. The ship proceeded to Honolulu after this event and then completed thieir voyage.

April 5, 2007 at 4:24 pm
(8) Linda Garrison says:

John – Your comment makes some sense. This video may be of the Semester at Sea ship that was damaged in the north Pacific a couple of years ago. It’s certainly NOT in the Mediterranean or the “Voyager” cruise ship. It still seems like their would be more wind buffeting the helicopter. If the ship’s engines are not running that makes the video more plausible since the motion of the ship seems out of kilter. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts.

April 8, 2007 at 4:30 pm
(9) Fred Guisset says:

This is olympic voyager or olympic explorer built in 2000/2001 in german shipyard Blohm & Voss ( Hambourg ). But the experience is plausible or fish April 1. I dont no.

April 15, 2007 at 4:36 pm
(10) Paul Nicholls says:

This video was taken by the US Coast Guard, and I asure you this is no hoax or a fake. Please take time and go to the following URL and see for your self.

January 10, 2008 at 10:21 pm
(11) Interested says:

A weather channel special about the storm and the kids on board; includes interior footage.

January 10, 2008 at 10:22 pm
(12) Interested says:
April 15, 2008 at 12:23 pm
(13) BigD says:

From most of the responses I see here some are on the right track but none are really correct.

Here is the scoop.

The Video shown above is of the ship MV Olympic Voyager February 15, 2005.
Cyclones do happen in the Med sea although rare.
This was Cyclone Valentina.
The Voyager was en route between Spain’s Balearic Islands to the Italian island of Sardinia, and radioed a distress call after getting into difficulties in the heavy seas. A huge wave some say 40′ -50′ shattered a bridge window, damaging control systems inside.

The Bahamian-registered ship was carrying 776 passengers and crew, 480 of them Spanish. Some sustained minor injuries when the ship sailed into the storm.

Some people mix the video inside of the sister ship to the “Voyager” which happened a week before. It is when a Rogue wave hit the MV “Explorer” during what is known as “Semester at Sea”. This is the video of the younger people on the floor in life jackets and not of the Voyager incident.

Two different times and places, but both of them very real.

Both ships are now owned by Iberojet.
“Voyager has been painted and she is still a nice looking vessel.
She is one of the fastest of the cruise ships, in the winter she cruises in Europe and in the summer she cruises the Carabien.

See here how she looks today:

September 3, 2008 at 6:20 am
(14) Loopweeza says:

Does anyone know where this footage comes from? Which coastguard do the guys in the helicopter belong to?

October 8, 2008 at 2:16 am
(15) Jle2199 says:

Actually, that ship *can* tilt that far and not capsize. I was on her sister ship (The M.V. Explorer) and we hit rough seas last fall, as well as the man overboard drill they did where they turned the ship in a figure 8 fashion and I fell into the door of my stateroom on the 4th deck. Nice ships. :)

January 4, 2009 at 11:48 am
(16) Carlos says:

BigD is not correct. If you compare the video and photo of the ship you see that it is not the MS Explorer (now Olympic Voyager – Royal Olympic Cruises).

January 14, 2009 at 2:43 pm
(17) Jason says:

It’s real! The ship was actually in the Northern Pacific in January. I just got home from a cruise on this ship!
Some minor damage occurred, however the main issue was that the bridge windshields were broken out by a huge wave, causing the ship to lose power. The electronic engine control system was destroyed and the engines had to be restarted manually.

January 20, 2009 at 8:50 am
(18) Linda Walker says:

That is true footage of the VOYAGER which was caught in a freak cyclone off Sardignia in Jan 2007. I know for a fact because I was chief Purser on the sister ship EXPLORER which (remarkable but true) was caught in a hurricane in the North Pacific a few weeks earlier. In both incidents a huge wave broke the bridge window and flooded the bridge shortcircuiting the ships electronics and causing the engine to stop dead… hence the out of control rolling. MV Explorer was doing Semester at Sea world cruise with a couple of hundred students on board and we were rolling out of control in 20ft seas in the north pacific with no other ship around. After putting out a Mayday call, Kodiak Coastguard picked up the distress signal and sent out a plane to do exactly what the helicopter in the film is doing, just circle us and see how we were faring. Eventually we limped back to Honolulu for repairs. Voyager was badly damaged inside becuase of the suddeness of the commencement of the cycleon. Explorer had been in everincreasing seas for 3 weeks and so any furniture etc which hadnt already been broken was tied down so that when we were hit and rolling out of control there was nothing left to damage. Check out the Semester at Sea website for Jan 27 Cruise ship hit by huge rogue wave.


January 25, 2009 at 7:58 pm
(19) Amy says:

I know it’s true. I know one of the kids that was on it.

August 1, 2010 at 12:22 am
(20) Michèle says:

Here’s a Spanish news report about the Voyager incident which proves it was real:


September 2, 2010 at 6:34 am
(21) Ludvig says:

The video is real, but this was not on the Mediterreanean sea it was on the north pacific outside the coast of Alaska.
The hurricane lasted about 36 hours and the passengers (most were from Spain) were brought to safety to Calgary where the wounded were put to medical attention.
By the video in You Tube it seems that the ship had some engine trouble. The winds could’ve had speeds from 100km/h up to 220km/h, but from the helicopter behaviour, it seems more likely that it was the former.

September 12, 2010 at 10:42 pm
(22) dave says:

christ, can you people agree on anything? It was, it wasn’t, I was there, no you weren’t, I was there, I wasn’t there but I’m so F44king smart I’ll disagree with everybody….no wonder nobody can’t believe anything on the internet!

October 1, 2010 at 2:46 pm
(23) CV says:

@dave, LOVE your comment and agree with you 100%

October 3, 2010 at 9:20 pm
(24) Jon says:

Found this news article from BBC. Photo and information match ship in “cyclone” video.


A high wave smashing through the windows of the bridge and damaging electronics is thought to have caused the power cut.

It was sailing from Sardinia, on a voyage from Tunis to Barcelona.

Most of the passengers are Spanish and the ship is chartered to the Barcelona cruise firm Iberojet, the V Ships spokesman said.

The ship, registered in the Bahamas and owned by Horizon Navigation, was built in 2000.

May 8, 2011 at 6:20 pm
(25) fred says:

Number 18 (linda walker) has it pegged.
I just returned from a voyage around the world on MV Explorer on May 24 and spoke with the Captain (Jeremy Kingston) regarding the incident. He showed me which windshield panel was knocked out and told me that the engine management system was disabled requiring them to restart the engines manually and rely on a compass from one of the life boats to reach Hawaii for repairs which took two weeks.
The ship in the video is not the MV Explorer, probably it’s sister ship. The MV Explorer does not have a white line at the waterline.

September 5, 2011 at 9:23 am
(26) Med storms says:

OK now let’s get this straight:
The cruise is Iberostar’s Grand Voyager (http://www.viajeshvtour.com/images/Compartidas/ImagenCruceros/GrandVoyager/Grand%20Voyager.jpg). It was owned by a company called Iberostar (now ‘Ibero cruceros’), which also owns hotels in the Balearic Islands (the star in the cruise is this one: http://www.nuevastecnologias.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/logo-iberostar.jpg).
It was in a line through the Mediterranean sea, which CAN have this kind of storms (those storms can create major water flows without any change in the air flows, that’s why the sea is quite rough, but the helicopter is still in the air). In fact, those storms are quite common in certain seasons, because of some pressure conditions changing and stuff.
That’s all.

June 21, 2013 at 7:53 pm
(27) Moss says:

Not fake at all, I was on the ship with my wife and father during this storm, (cyclone Valentina).

November 13, 2013 at 6:04 pm
(28) Moss Limbayter says:

It is 100% real. I was on that ship (the Olympic Voyager) with my wife and father during the storm (Cyclone Valentina). The storm started just before midnight as we were sailing North-East across the Mediterranean from Alexandria, Egypt. The storm was mostly over by early afternoon.

Contrary to many YouTube comments, the engines did not fail, as you can see from the white water from the propellers. The cars in the hold did not crash around, because there are no cars on passenger cruise ships.

The sister ship Olympic Explorer which was in a hurricane in the North Pacific a few weeks earlier.

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