Majestic America Assesses Empress Damage

May 15, 2007

Empress of the North Runs Aground in Alaska

(7:15 p.m.) -- A spokeswoman for Majestic America Line tells us that Empress of the North guests are en route home, with assistance from the company (there were a few folks who chose to remain in Alaska and travel independently).

The line's paddlewheeler Empress of the North ran aground on May 14 outside of Alaska's Icy Strait Point and began taking on water. Passengers and crewmembers were evacuated, and the ship was able to return to Juneau, where it began its journey, on its own power.

The company is currently conducting a full damage assessment. Once an inspection is complete, Majestic America Line will communicate a plan and timeline for repairs, as well as timing for when the ship will return to service.

According to media reports, passengers will have their travel costs reimbursed -- and receive a free future cruise.

Stay tuned to Cruise Critic News for the latest.

--by Melissa Baldwin, Senior Editor