Cruise Ship Pulled Free After 3 Days

Vessel ran aground in a remote part of Greenland
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2023 7:00 PM CDT
Updated Sep 14, 2023 10:00 AM CDT
In a Remote Part of Greenland, a Cruise Ship Is Stuck
A view of the Ocean Explorer, a Bahamas-flagged Norwegian cruise ship with 206 passengers and crew stuck in northwestern Greenland.   (SIRIUS/Joint Arctic Command via AP)
UPDATE Sep 14, 2023 10:00 AM CDT

A luxury cruise ship that ran aground in a remote part of Greenland above the Arctic Circle has been freed after three days, reports the AP. A fisheries research vessel came to the rescue earlier than expected and managed to pull the MV Ocean Explorer free at high tide on Thursday. The cruise ship, operated by SunStone Ships, appears to be fine, as do the 206 people aboard. A more thorough inspection of the vessel's bottom will take place at port.

Sep 13, 2023 7:00 PM CDT

For the 206 passengers and crew members aboard the Ocean Explorer, the view—however stunning—isn't going to change for a while. The cruise ship has run aground in a remote area off the coast of Greenland, and an inspection vessel sent to help isn't expected to arrive before Friday, CNN reports. No injuries or damage have been reported. For the ship and the people on it, "There is no immediate danger to themselves, the vessel, or the surrounding environment," said a statement from Aurora Expeditions, a tour agency that operates the Ocean Explorer. The ship became stuck Monday near Alpefjord in Northeast Greenland National Park, the most northerly national park in the world, per ABC News.

Joint Arctic Command reported that high tide "did not provide the desired help to sail on" for the 343-foot-long, 60-foot-wide Ocean Explorer. Nor did the Tarajoq, a Greenland Institute of Natural Resources fishing research ship that tried to pull the cruise ship out on Tuesday. The command said it's in touch with other vessels in the area that might be able to help, and a Danish Navy ship, the Knud Rasmussen, is on its way, though weather conditions have forced it to slow down. Arctic Commander Brian Jensen said a high tide could break the Ocean Explorer free before the Navy vessel arrives.

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The Ocean Explorer launched two years ago and was "purpose-built for expedition travel to the world's most remote destinations," Aurora Expeditions' website says, mentioning the Norwegian ship's technology and sustainability and navigation capabilities. To put the remoteness of the area where the ship is aground in perspective, Greenland's tourist board says more people summit Mount Everest every year than visit Northeast Greenland National Park. (More Greenland stories.)

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