Norwegian Escape: Cruise ship runs aground in Dominican Republic

(CNN) — Just as passengers felt safe getting back on the water, a new problem has hit the cruise industry – in this case, literally, with a 164,000-ton ship stranded in the Dominican Republic.

The Norwegian Escape, a 2015-built megaship that can hold more than 4,000 passengers, struck the seabed as it sailed away from Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic on Monday, damaging the ship’s hull.

The remainder of the cruise has now been cancelled, with passengers being evacuated to Puerto Plata, from where they will be repatriated over the next two days. Travelers will receive a full refund on the interrupted cruise, as well as a credit of the same amount to be spent on future travel.

The next cruise, which was due to depart on March 19, has also been cancelled.

Puerto Plata was the first leg of the seven-day cruise, which departed from Orlando on March 12.

Passengers on board live-tweeted the wind grounding. They were stranded overnight, but were refloated and brought back to port at high tide on Tuesday morning – where they spent two days waiting to hear what would happen next when the vessel was inspected.

NCL said in a statement:

“In the afternoon of March 14, 2022, the Norwegian Escape made contact with the channel bed while departing Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. In the early morning of March 15, the vessel was refloated and brought back to the wharf in Puerto Plata, where she is now.

“Although there is minor damage to the ship’s hull, all guests and crew are safe. The current cruise will be shortened and the cruise scheduled to embark on March 19 will be canceled so that necessary repairs can be made. be performed.”

Not that the passengers seemed to care. One tweeted that “morale is high” with travelers “making the most of our time here”.

Top photo credit: Erika Santelices/AFP/Getty Images


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