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Cruise Ship Pulled Free After Running Aground in Greenland

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 14, 2023

(Photo: Danish Armed Forces)

(Photo: Danish Armed Forces)

A luxury cruise ship that ran aground this week in a remote part of Greenland with 206 people on board was pulled free by a fishing trawler on Thursday.

The Ocean Explorer cruise vessel had been stuck since Monday in mud and silt in the Alpefjord national park, some 1,400 km (870 miles) northeast of Greenland's capital Nuuk.

"We have just successfully become free now. ... We are absolutely elated," Gina Hill, an Australian passenger on board the ship, told Reuters on Thursday.

The Ocean Explorer leaned to the side during the operation and passengers were not allowed to go outside, Hill said.

The Danish military's Joint Arctic Command confirmed that the ship had been pulled free by the Tarajoq, a trawler and research vessel that made a failed attempted to do so on Wednesday.

The Ocean Explorer will be taken to a port to assess any damage, while the passengers will be flown home, said SunStone Maritime Group, which owns the cruise vessel.

"There have not been any injuries to any person onboard, no pollution of the environment and no breach of the hull," SunStone said in a statement.

Sydney-based Aurora Expeditions, which chartered the ship and organised the cruise, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Greenland, a semi-sovereign territory of Denmark in the North Atlantic Ocean with a population of just 57,000, attracts tourists with its rugged landscape and a vast ice cap that covers much of the island.

(Reuters - Reporting by Essi Lehto and Louise Breusch Rasmussen; Editing by Terje Solsvik and Mark Porter)