After spending more than a day unexpectedly ported in Juneau after striking ice over the weekend, a damaged cruise ship is making its way back to Seattle.
The Norwegian Sun struck ice on its passage by Hubbard Glacier near Yakutat Bay on Saturday afternoon, requiring the ship to reroute to Juneau instead of its original destination in Skagway. The ship remained at the Franklin Dock while it underwent inspections by divers where it was determined to have sustained damage, according to Petty Officer 1st Class Nate Littlejohn, a Coast Guard public affairs specialist.
However, the repairs it requires must be done in Seattle, and “there is confidence” that the ship will be able to make it safely back to Seattle and receive repairs there.
“The whole boat came to a complete stop from the impact. It was a scary experience,” Alicia Amador, a passenger aboard the ship, told the Empire.
Amador, along with her six family members, traveled from Phoenix to Seattle to board the Norwegian Sun for a family vacation — which had been postponed three years due to the pandemic.
She described the initial experience as hearing a “big noise,” and then the ship moving as if something had hit it. She described the iceberg as the “size of a semi-truck.” Afterward, she and the other passengers were told that the ship was being rerouted to Juneau.
According to Littlejohn, after striking the iceberg, the ship called the Coast Guard’s Juneau command center to report the incident. They were told that the ship did not appear to cause any pollution or have any effect on the ballast, but it was decided to reroute to Juneau to have the hull inspected by divers.
The ship did not request any search and rescue assistance, and did not report any injuries to the Coast Guard, said Littlejohn.
Upon the arrival in Juneau on Sunday evening, Amador said passengers were able to leave the ship for a few hours. After, passengers and crew were told they would be able to leave the ship Monday morning. But, the ship did not leave the port until Monday afternoon, and is heading back to Seattle instead of continuing to its next destinations.
Amador said she and her family were very worried while waiting on the ship throughout Monday, as she and her family were not being given much information by cruise line employees. But, in the afternoon she was told that the remainder of her trip was canceled and the ship would arrive in Seattle Thursday morning. She said her family will receive a reimbursement for the remainder of their trip.
Norwegian Cruise Line did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson.