The Norwegian Cruise Line ship Norwegian Sun made an emergency return to port and canceled its remaining itinerary after it struck a small iceberg off the coast of Alaska on Saturday. There were no reported injuries and the cruise ship is expected to safely continue to Seattle.
“On June 25, 2022, while transiting to Hubbard Glacier in Alaska, Norwegian Sun made contact with a growler,” a representative from Norwegian Cruise Lines told Out Traveler in a statement. “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.”
The Norwegian Sun had reportedly encountered dense fog as it transited through the area just before it struck the iceberg, known as a growler. Growlers are relatively small icebergs common to the area.
“The whole boat came to a complete stop from the impact,” passenger Alicia Amador told the Juneau Empire, saying she heard a “big noise” followed by the ship moving unusually. She also said the iceberg was the “size of a semi-truck.”
Once in port, the ship underwent examination at the Franklin Dock in Juneau. Petty Officer 1st Class Nate Littlejohn, a Coast Guard public affairs specialist, told the Empire divers found the Norwegian Sun had sustained unspecified damage, but added “there is confidence” the vessel would remain seaworthy enough to safely return with its passengers to Seattle by Thursday for more extensive repairs.