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What Happens After a Cruise Ship Hits an Iceberg


A Norwegian Cruise Line ship that hit a small iceberg last month will return to service this week, the cruise line announced Monday.

The ship “made contact with the ice” while heading for the Hubbard Glacier in Alaska on June 25, leading to multiple trip cancellations, although there were no injuries, a doorman said on Monday. -the cruise line’s word to USA TODAY via email. The ship will leave on July 14.

The incident may raise questions about what exactly happens after a ship hits an iceberg. But Ross Klein, a cruise industry expert and professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, told USA TODAY it “really depends on where the iceberg hits the ship and what kind of damage that he may have caused”.

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What happens after a cruise ship hits an iceberg?

Norwegian made several route changes for the Sun after it hit the iceberg.

“The ship sailed to Juneau, Alaska for further assessment, where it was decided that the current voyage would be shortened and the cruise scheduled to embark on June 30, 2022 would be cancelled, so that necessary repairs could be made. made,” said the Norwegian spokesperson. The cruise line also canceled a trip that was scheduled to board on July 5.

“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and are communicating directly with all affected guests,” the spokesperson added.

Klein said these types of route changes are to be expected when there is damage to a vessel. He said if the ice damaged the ship’s propulsion system it would “create a bigger problem than a gash in the side”.

Klein added that a ship’s speed plays a role in the type of damage it takes. When a ship has been damaged, he said, the US Coast Guard must also inspect and clean it.

Where are cruise ships repaired?

After a ship hits an iceberg, Klein said, where the cruise line takes it for repair depends in part on where it’s sailing.

Victoria, British Columbia in Canada, for example, has a shipyard dry dock frequently used by cruise lines, he said. “They are located (at) different places, and part of it depends on the space available, but the other part is related to its proximity to where the ship is.”

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How often do cruise ships hit icebergs?

Although ships can regularly come into contact with ice, it is unusual for this to be a problem. Stewart Chiron, a cruise industry expert known as The Cruise Guy, told USA TODAY last month that the incident was “extraordinarily rare” because cruise ships are extremely careful to avoid icebergs. .

Chiron said it’s common for ice to fall from glaciers and float in the water, but it’s unusual for a cruise line to alter its itinerary after coming into contact with such pieces. “Sometimes they bump into them, and you know, it’s okay,” Chiron said.

Klein echoed this. “I think it’s not uncommon for ships to interact with ice,” he said. “What is unusual is that the ship is physically damaged by the ice.”

However, he said, given the rarity of such occurrences, passengers wishing to take a cruise should not worry. “I wouldn’t be worried,” he said.