The cruiser Leyte Gulf and cargo ship Robert E. Peary "made contact" during an underway replenishment operation, Navy officials said in a release. No personnel were injured, and both ships were able to operate following the encounter.
The news of the collision was first reported by USNI News, which added that damage was minor and occurred above the waterline.
The incident happened around 4 p.m. Tuesday; the ships are now headed into port at Norfolk to assess damage, according to the release.
"U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Military Sealift Command will thoroughly investigate this incident," officials said in a statement.
The ships were operating in conjunction with the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, which is conducting pre-deployment operations off the coast of Norfolk. The Lincoln is expected to deploy to the newly re-established 2nd Fleet this spring.
While Navy ship collisions are historically rare, the service is still recovering from a devastating year in 2017.
In June and August of that year, two destroyers were involved in separate deadly collisions in the Pacific. In all, 17 sailors died in the two collisions. The tragedies prompted a series of Navy reviews and policy changes ranging from improved sleep schedules for deployed sailors to updated training protocols for Navy surface officers.