Norwegian Escape Bow

Norwegian Escape photo by Arno Redenius via Flickr (Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 G)

NCL Cruise Ship Pulled Free After Grounding

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March 15, 2022

By K. Oanh Ha (Bloomberg) A Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. luxury liner carrying thousands of passengers that ran aground while trying to leave a port in the Dominican Republic on Monday has managed to free itself after hours of being stranded.

The Norwegian Escape hit the channel bed as it was departing Puerto Plata on Monday afternoon, according to a company spokesperson. Tugs had been employed to free it most of the afternoon and evening, according to social media posts. Passengers posted the cruise ship, one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s biggest liners at 1,069 feet, was refloated after midnight, local time. 

Guests and crew were safe, and the ship wasn’t damaged, according to the spokesperson. Operations and services on board also continued as scheduled.

Passengers on the ship, which originally departed out of Orlando, Florida, said the crew had been trying to extricate the vessel unsuccessfully for several hours into the night. 

Norwegian operates a seven-day Caribbean cruise that departs Florida on Saturdays and stops in Puerto Plata, or Silver Port, for passengers to take a cable-car ride to the peak of Mount Isabel de Torres before setting off for St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Built in 2015, the Norwegian Escape carries a maximum of 4,266 passengers and 1,733 crew. According to local media reports, it’s currently carrying 3,223 guests and 1,618 crew.(Updates with ship freeing itself in first paragraph.)

Oanh Ha and Tim Smith , With assistance from Michael Sin. © 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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