Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Dawn, a ship on a New York City to Southampton, UK transatlantic sailing now, has had to make a detour and skip port calls to avoid running into icebergs and bad weather. “Unfortunately, due to the presence of icebergs near St. John’s Newfoundalnd and forecasted adverse weather conditions enroute to Reykjavik, Iceland, our itinerary has been revised,” said an email sent to passengers by the ship’s captain Asen Gyurov. The ship has the capacity to hold 2,340 passengers and 1,032 crew members.
Specifically, the Norwegian Dawn canceled their port visit to St. Pierre and Miquelon yesterday and canceled today’s visit to St. John’s. The ship successfully visited Halifax, Nova Scotia on Saturday but will now continue on its journey, visiting Iceland, Ireland, and France before arriving in Southampton on May 4.
Norwegian Cruise line is providing guests with $25 of onboard credit for the first and second guests in each stateroom. No other compensation is being offered at this time for the missed ports.
This is not the first time icebergs have interfered with Norwegian Cruise Line. Last June, the Norwegian Sun struck an iceberg off the coast of Alaska, sinking dream vacation plans for thousands of people on board that ship.
According to a spokesperson for the cruise line, “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.”
A growler is a small iceberg. Typically, a growler is less than 6.6 feet across that floats with less than 3.3 feet showing above water. The next larger iceberg size is known as a “bergy bit”; bergy bits are usually less than 15 feet in size and are generally spawned from disintegrating icebergs.
After the impact, the ship slowed its forward speed, skipped its scheduled stop in Skagway, Alaska , and limped along to Juneau, arriving there a day before it was scheduled to arrive. Once in Juneau, divers jumped in and explored the outside of the ship underwater to determine if there was any damage.
The damage discovered was significant enough to cancel the balance of that cruise and all cruises since through to this week. Fortunately, while travel plans were altered, no one was hurt in the iceberg impact: Norwegian reported that there were no injuries to crew or passengers on-board and all services on-board remained fully operational while getting everyone back to port. The ship limped to shore and departed their guests; from there, the ship went out of service for repairs for the run-in.
The most famous cruise ship run-in with an iceberg happened on April 14, 1912 on board the Titanic. The luxury liner sunk in the early morning hours of April 15, four days into its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. Less than a third on board the Titanic survived the disaster which ultimately claimed 1,635 lives. The disaster led to major changes in maritime regulations to implement new safety measures, such as ensuring that more lifeboats were provided, that lifeboat drills were properly carried out and that radio equipment on passenger ships was manned around the clock., The International Ice Patrol was also created to monitor the presence of icebergs in the North Atlantic.