A Norwegian cruise ship has canceled its nine-night trip to Alaska after the ship crashed into an iceberg off the Alaska coast on Saturday.
Although no one was injured and conservators and crews made it to the Alaska dock safely, the cruise line has canceled the rest of the scheduled voyage and will return to Seattle on Thursday morning.
Norwegian Sun was transitioning to Hubbard Glacier in Alaska when the ship made contact with a producer, the cruise line told ABC News.
A growler is a small iceberg that has visible snow less than 3.3 feet above the water, and less than 6.6 feet in width. national snow Ice Data Center reports.
After impact, the ship changed course to dock at Juno, Alaska, for further evaluation. There, the company decided that the cruise would be shortened and that future voyages would be cancelled.
“The ship was cleared by the United States Coast Guard and other local maritime authorities to return to Seattle at a reduced speed,” a Norwegian Cruise Line spokesman said. “Currently all the guests on the ship will disembark in Seattle as originally planned.”
Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson told cruise hive The ship “was surrounded by thick fog, limiting visibility and resulting in the ship making contact with a producer.”
Stewart Chiron, a cruise industry expert known as The Cruise Guy, told ABC News that growlers are very common when passing through areas with glaciers.
Chiron said ships typically do not come within 1,000 feet of glaciers, and are usually hit by small pieces of ice that have broken off and floated away from the glaciers.
While impact with these pieces is common in the region, it is unusual for a cruise to change its scheduled voyage due to such an impact, Chiron said.
Chiron believes the Norwegian acted with “an abundance of caution” when he decided to begin his journey to Seattle after assessing the damage.
He said the ship was “apparently safe enough” to allow passengers to remain on the ship to return to Seattle.
Chiron doesn’t think the patrons should worry because the ship’s captains are used to these waters and will continue to go there without any problems.
Norwegian Cruise Line said that guests on canceled cruises will receive a full refund, plus an additional future cruise credit paid off, valued at 100% of the original trip fare. Passengers on a canceled cruise scheduled for June 30 will also receive a full refund, the value of a future cruise credit being 50% of the original travel fare, plus up to $300 per person for any airline cancellation/change fees .