Norwegian Cruise Ship Hits Iceberg in Alaska and Skips Port of Call

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Norwegian Cruise Line has confirmed to Cruise Hive that the Norwegian Sun cruise ship made contact with a small iceberg (growler) due to dense fog during its voyage in Alaska. As a result, the ship has been forced to skip a port of call and head to Juneau to assess the damage.

UPDATE, JUNE 27: The remainder of the Norwegian Sun’s June 21 cruise has now been canceled. Norwegian Cruise Line is sailing guests back to Seattle, Washington and Norwegian Sun will arrive back on Thursday morning. Full details here.

Norwegian Sun Makes Contact With Growler

The 78,309-gross-ton, Sun-class vessel was supposed to be arriving in Skagway, one of the northernmost ports of call on its current 9-night itinerary from Seattle, at 8 a.m. local time on Sunday, June 26, 2022.

As of 4 p.m. local time, however, the ship is still reported much further south of Skagway, south of Juneau, turning toward the state’s capital. Juneau is roughly 100 miles southeast of Skagway. It comes after the Norwegian Sun hit a small iceberg while transiting to Hubbard Glacier, Alaska due to dense fog at the time, on the previous day of Saturday, June 25.

A Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson stated to Cruise Hive, “On June 25, 2022 while transiting to Hubbard Glacier in Alaska, Norwegian Sun was engulfed by dense fog, limiting visibility and resulting in the ship making contact with a growler.

NCL went on to say, “The ship remains fully operational and is currently on its way to Juneau, Alaska for assessment. Additional information will be provided as appropriate.”

According to tracking data, Norwegian Sun is indeed en route to Juneau at this time, which means the call in Skagway is canceled. The anticipated arrival into Juneau is around 5 p.m. local time. While in Juneau, the cruise line will assess any damage to the ship.

What Happened?

At this time, there has been no official assessment of the damage to Norwegian Sun, but the ship is continuing toward Juneau, albeit at a much slower speed than typical.

Passengers on the vessel reported very heavy fog conditions on Friday, which would have caused the ship to slow significantly as a safety precaution.

Norwegian Sun Cruise Ship
Norwegian Sun (Photo Credit: James R. Martin / Shutterstock)

The vessel may have hit the iceberg in such a way to have caused propeller, engine, or hull damage. Growlers – small, low icebergs that may be the size of pianos or trucks – are relatively common in the area.

Passengers on Norwegian Sun have reported shuddering and rattling noises that may have been related to the ice impact confirmed by the cruise line.

Such damage would need inspection before the ship can resume its normal speed. Divers in Juneau may be able to inspect the ship and determine if there is any damage or need for repair.

The Days Ahead

Norwegian Sun was scheduled to call in Juneau on Monday, June 27, 2022, as part of its planned itinerary. Depending on the outcome of a dive inspection, it is possible the ship may be cleared to resume normal operations and continue on to Skagway, but this seems unlikely given the ship’s current speed.

Norwegian Sun Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Debbie Ann Powell / Shutterstock

The remainder of the current itinerary has the ship visiting Ketchikan on Tuesday, June 28, and Victoria, British Columbia, on Wednesday, June 29.

If the ship cannot maintain adequate speed, however, it is possible the call in Ketchikan may also be canceled in order for the ship to make it to Victoria for a reasonable visit. Alternatively, port times in both Ketchikan and Victoria may be shortened if necessary.

Norwegian Sun is scheduled to return to Seattle, Washington on Thursday, June 30, 2022. Stay tuned to Cruise Hive for further updates on this developing story.

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