Cruise Ship ‘Ocean Explorer’ with 206 people Aground in Greenland

A cruise ship with 206 passengers and crew members has run aground in Alpefjord in the national park in Northeast Greenland, Denmark’s Joint Arctic Command (JAC) reported Tuesday.

Currently Arctic Command has been in contact with the cruise ship Ocean Explorer, which has stated that they are still grounded in the National Park.

This means that the tide, which came during the day local time, did not provide the needed help to sail on.

Arctic Command is still in contact with relevant ships nearby that could have the opportunity to help free the cruise ship.

There are still no reports that human life or the environment are in acute danger, and the Arctic Command is following the situation closely.

The Ocean Explorer ran aground on Monday in Alpefjord in Northeast Greenland, and there were no reports of injuries, JAC said.

“A cruise ship in trouble in the National Park is of course worrying. The nearest help is far away, our units are far away, and the weather can be very unfavourable,” JAC Commander Captain Brian Jensen said.

“In the specific situation, however, we do not see an acute danger to human life or to the environment, which is reassuring. We are of course following the situation closely and take this incident very seriously,” says Brian Jensen.

Arctic Command’s closest vessel, Knud Rasmussen, was located approximately 1,200 nautical miles from the cruise ship. It can arrive at the grounded ship on Friday morning local time at the earliest, depending on weather, as reported yesterday by JAC.

Another cruise ship which is in the vicinity of the Ocean Explorer has been asked to remain in the area to assist should the situation develop.

The Icelandic Coast Guard may also be called into assist.

“As soon as we realized that the Ocean Explorer couldn’t get free on its own, we sent a ship. We have reached out to relevant partners in the operation area to investigate whether other units can have a shorter and faster route to the grounded ship,” Jensen added.

The JAC is assessing multiple options for freeing the ship.

“They can either try to get free with their own help when the tide becomes high, they can get help from a nearby cruise ship, they can get help from Knud Rasmussen, or they can get help from one of our partners. No matter what, the most important thing for us is that everyone arrives safe,” Jensen said.