Cruise ship that hit iceberg in Alaska returns to Seattle

A cruise ship is docked back in Seattle after hitting an iceberg off the coast of Alaska Saturday.

The 2,000-passenger Norwegian Sun cruise ship hit an iceberg near Hubbard Glacier, according to passengers on board.

A spokesperson for the cruise line told KTOO that the accident happened during “dense fog, limiting visibility.”

The iceberg that hit the ship is known as a “growler,” meaning it had less than 3.3 feet showing above the water and is under 6.6 feet across, according to USA Today.

After hitting the iceberg, the cruise ship rerouted to Juneau instead of its planned destination of Skagway so divers could inspect it, according to the Juneau Empire.

The Juneau Empire was told that divers determined the damage needed to be repaired back in Seattle.

Dave Morgan, a passenger on the ship, told KIRO 7 News that a repair person at the shipyard told him the damage was 14 inches by 10 feet and that the plan was to bring in a welder to put a piece of metal over the damage.

Morgan said passengers were not allowed off the boat during the inspection in Juneau.

“The whole boat came to a complete stop from the impact,” passenger Alicia Amador told the Juneau Empire. “It was a scary experience.”

“The ship had a severe judder,” Jason Newman, a passenger from Georgia, told KTOO. “You could feel the strike. And then it listed minorly.”

The ship returned to Seattle at about 4 a.m. Thursday.

When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line said, “On June 25, 2022, while transiting to Hubbard Glacier in Alaska, Norwegian Sun made contact with a growler. The ship sailed to Juneau, Alaska for further assessment, where it was decided that the current voyage would be shortened, and the cruise scheduled to embark on June 30, 2022 will be canceled, so that the necessary repairs can be made. The ship was given clearance by the United States Coast Guard and other local maritime authorities to return to Seattle at reduced speed. All guests currently onboard will disembark in Seattle as originally planned. We are communicating with all impacted guests directly. Additional information will be provided as appropriate.”