After failing to get free using its own power during high tides, to assist the cruise ship was dispatched ‘Tarajoq’, a 2021-built Fishery Research Vessel: on September 14th, after several attempts, Tarajoq finally managed to pull free ‘Ocean Explorer’. The good news was officially confirmed by Commander Brian Jensen (Joint Arctic Command’s Head of Operations) as well as by Carsten Lund (Sunstone Ships Inc’s/shipowner’s CEO).
On September 11, 2023, at 3:10pm (UTC), while navigating in Alpefjord (near Camp Nyhavn/Mestersvig, Greenland) the luxury cruise ship ‘Ocean Explorer’ ran aground. There are no reports of injuries to the 206 passengers onboard nor of water ingress/pollution. Initial reports from ‘Joint Arctic Command’ (Danish Defence’s Level II authority, the Danish military unit responsible for protecting Greenland) indicated that the ship did not sustain significant hull damage. Unfortunately, the tide was not high enough to free the vessel of Australian cruise operator ‘Aurora Expeditions’. Greenland‘s maritime authorities considered the possibility of evacuating all passengers, if necessary: the Arctic Command (Military Ops) dispatched HDMS Knud Rasmussen to assist the cruise ship, but it would take 4 days (Sept 15th) for Knud Rasmussen to reach the area, being approx 2200 km away from the site. The Arctic Command also contacted another cruise vessel in the area and commanded it to remain nearby if urgent assistance is needed. According to CruiseMapper‘s satellite AIS tracker, the closest cruise ship was ‘Silver Endeavour’ off Ymer Island or just 100 km to the north.
Main update on 14.09.23 and on 16.09.23 from Cruisemapper