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Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Bahamas-Flagged Norwegian Cruise Ship Runs Aground in Greenland But Help May not Arrive until Friday

In an unexpected turn of events, a Bahamas-flagged Norwegian cruise ship named the Ocean Explorer found itself in a precarious situation as it ran aground in northwestern Greenland. With 206 passengers and crew members on board, the incident raised concerns but fortunately didn’t result in any immediate danger or damage. Here’s an overview of the situation and the response from authorities.

The Stranded Cruise Ship:

The 343-foot-long, 60-foot-wide Ocean Explorer ran aground on a Monday in Alpefjord, located within the stunning Northeast Greenland National Park. Known for its breathtaking icebergs and the presence of musk oxen, this remote park is an unusual place for a cruise ship to encounter trouble. The ship is owned by the Ulstein Group, based in southern Norway.

Response from Authorities:

The situation presented unique challenges due to its remote location. Cmdr. Brian Jensen of the Joint Arctic Command expressed concerns about the distance of their units and the unpredictable weather in the area. The closest Danish navy ship was approximately 1,380 miles away but was making its way to the site and expected to arrive by Friday.

Despite the initial difficulty, authorities emphasized that there was no immediate danger to human life or the environment. Nevertheless, they stressed the seriousness of the incident, and their primary focus was ensuring the safety of everyone on board.

Assistance from Other Cruise Ships:

To enhance safety measures, authorities contacted another cruise ship in the vicinity, although it wasn’t identified in the reports. This ship was asked to remain nearby in case assistance was needed during the situation.

Hope for High Tide:

Greenland television KNR reported that the grounded cruise ship might have a chance to free itself when the tide rises. However, authorities remained vigilant, emphasizing that the paramount concern was the safety of all individuals involved.

Continued Monitoring:

Despite the tide, subsequent updates from the Joint Arctic Command indicated that the ship remained stuck. Fortunately, there were still no reports of imminent danger to human life or the environment.

The Role of the Joint Arctic Command:

The Joint Arctic Command, primarily responsible for monitoring the area around the Faeroe Islands and Greenland, played a crucial role in overseeing the situation and ensuring Danish sovereignty in the region.


The grounding of the Bahamas-flagged Ocean Explorer cruise ship in the pristine wilderness of Greenland has captured attention due to its unusual circumstances. While the ship remained stuck, authorities maintained their vigilance and commitment to the safety of passengers and crew members, as well as the environment. As developments unfold, it remains a testament to the challenges and resilience of maritime operations in remote regions.

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