cruise.jpgA cruise ship that made headlines when it caught fire and kept thousands of passengers adrift at sea for several days last November is now being towed to the San Francisco port for repair.

The Carnival Splendor cruise ship caught fire in its engine room near San Diego on Nov. 8 and lost its communication and propulsion abilities in the blaze. The ship drifted 150 miles south of San Diego without any way of getting to land, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

No one was injured in the fire, but nearly 4,500 crew members and passengers remained at sea for three days. Coast Guard crews and others had to fly in food, water and medical assistance before the ship was tugged to San Diego.

It’s now due to arrive at San Francisco’s Pier 70 on Jan. 22 and will be dry docked, or taken out of the water, for engine repairs, Port of San Francisco spokeswoman Renee Martin said.

The ship will spend about four weeks on the city’s southern waterfront and should provide thousands of hours of work for local union workers, Martin said.

“We’re excited,” Martin said about the opportunity for local workers.

San Francisco has the only dry dock on the West Coast big enough to accommodate the ship, which weighs 110,000 tons and is 951 feet long, Martin said.

It’s a post-Panamax ship, meaning it’s too large to fit through the Panama Canal, she said.

The Splendor had cruises canceled on Jan. 16, 23, and 30, and Feb.
6 and 13. It’s scheduled to re-enter service on Feb. 20.

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