Luxury cruise ship runs aground with 206 passengers on board as rescue efforts underway

FILE photo — Alison Wright/Getty Images

(LONDON) — A luxury cruise ship carrying 206 passengers has run aground off the coast of Greenland.

The Ocean Explorer, a 104.4-meter (343-foot) long and 18-meter (60 foot) ship ran aground on Monday near Alpefjord in the Northeast Greenland National Park — a 375,000 square mile area that is the most northerly national park in the world.

Although no injuries and no damage to the ship have been reported, officials are taking this incident very seriously.

“Arctic Command has been in contact with the cruise ship Ocean Explorer, which has stated that they are still grounded in the National Park, read a statement from the Joint Arctic Command posted on social media on Tuesday. “This means that the tide, which came during the day local time, did not provide the desired help to sail on. Arctic Command is still in contact with relevant ships in the vicinity, which could be able to help the cruise ship free.”

The ship — belonging to Ulstein Group in Ulsteinvik, southern Norway — had its maiden voyage only two years ago in 2021, according to AE Expeditions.

“Accommodating just 134 expeditioners, the Ocean Explorer was purpose-built for expedition travel to the world’s most remote destinations. This small ship is outfitted with the latest cutting-edge technology, sustainability and navigation capabilities,” AE Expeditions says on its website detailing the vessel.

The National Park is so remote that only a limited number of people get the chance to visit each year, according to Greenland’s tourist board, and more people summit Mount Everest every year than there are visitors in The Northeast Greenland National Park.

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