The next sailing aboard the Norwegian Escape has been canceled after it sustained what the cruise line called “minor damage” to its hull. The rest of its current trip was also canceled, and the 3,157 passengers aboard were flown back to Florida from the Dominican Republic.
They were also given a full refund and a 100% credit for a future cruise through March 25, 2023.
The cruise ship ran aground Monday evening while leaving Puerto Plato, Dominican Republic. Officials said that the grounding was most likely caused by shallow waters and strong winds.
Norwegian Cruise Line made a statement saying that all the passengers and crew were safe, and that activities onboard the ship would still continue.
Early Tuesday morning the Norwegian Escape broke free from the sandbar it was stuck on as the tide came in and tugboats helped it out. It was taken back to Puerto Plata for inspection.
While the ship was being inspected, passengers were able to go back ashore in Puerto Plata.
The Norwegian Escape left Port Canaveral on Saturday for a 7-day cruise to the Caribbean, with Puerto Plata as its first destination. Its next scheduled port of call was supposed to be St. Thomas, followed by Tortola and Norwegian’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay.
The ship’s captain wrote a letter to the passengers, saying that the rest of the trip was canceled in “an abundance of caution.” The letter also mentioned the refund and it explained how the cruise line was going to get them home.
“We apologize for this unforeseen event,” the captain’s letter said. “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused, as we understand, now more than ever, the desire the desire to travel and reconnect with the places and people we’ve missed more.”