Part of Carnival's Freedom cruise ship caught fire Thursday morning while docked at Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands, the cruise line said, sending dark black smoke into the air.
Photos and videos shared on social media – and with FOX 35 – showed smoke and flames coming from the ship's signature red funnel, sometimes referred to as a ship's whale tale.
"All guests and crew are safe, and the ship’s guests were cleared by local authorities to go ashore," Carnival said in a statement, adding that its emergency response teams were quickly activated and able to extinguish the fire.
The ship left Port Canaveral in Florida on Monday, part of a five-day cruise.
(Photo courtesy of Ricky Ruble)
Later Thursday, Carnival released a new statement and said it was sending one of its other cruise ships – Carnival Conquest – to Grand Turks to pick up the 2,504 passengers and 972 crew members who were on Carnival's Freedom cruise ship.
As a result, Conquest's scheduled May 27 cruise out of Miami has been canceled. Also, Freedom's scheduled cruise out of Port Canaveral on May 28 has also been canceled.
The Conquest ship is expected to arrive in Grand Turks on Saturday, May 28, and will arrive back at Port Canaveral on Monday, May 30.
Once all passengers leave the damaged ship, it will make its way to Freeport in the Bahamas to undergo repairs, the cruise line said.