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Too-tall cruise ship docks in Victoria to have its funnel removed

The Carnival Panorama had been headed to a Portland shipyard for repairs, but was too tall to get under a bridge over the Columbia River

Cruise ships don’t usually dock at Ogden Point in late November, but the Carnival Panorama isn’t in Victoria this week on a late-fall trip to Alaska.

The vessel had been experiencing propulsion problems that forced cancellations of several sailings, and arrangements had been made for the 1,055-foot-long ship to go to a shipyard in Portland, Oregon, for repairs.

The problem was that it was too tall to fit under a bridge on the approach.

According to the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, Western Stevedoring, which manages Ogden Point, stepped forward last week with a suggestion to resolve the problem — bring the 2019-built vessel to Victoria Shipyard, where workers will take off the funnel to lower the ship’s overall height.

Maintenance work at Ogden Point has been put off until January to accommodate the ship, Stella Garcia, spokesperson for the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, said Wednesday.

After the funnel work is complete, the vessel, which arrived at Ogden Point about 6 p.m. on Monday, will return to Portland for its propulsion-system repairs.

When that’s finished, it will return to Victoria to have the funnel re-installed, Garcia said.

After that, the ship, which has 13 passenger decks and a normal cruise capacity of 4,008 people, will resume its cruising schedule.

Cruise Industry News said in a Nov. 17 report that the Carnival Panorama was experiencing propulsion issues affecting its maximum cruising speed, according to a statement to booked guests.

The Carnival Panorama sails out of Long Beach, California year-round and runs cruises to the Mexican Riviera and Baja California in Mexico, it said.

cjwilson@timescolonist.com