Update: Hurtigruten Grounding in Norway

January 6, 2009
The extent of damage caused by the grounding today of Hurtigruten's Richard With is still unknown.

A strong gust of wind caused the 11,205-ton, 691-passenger expedition ship to run aground this morning near its dock in Trondheim, Norway. The accident damaged the ship's propellers, causing it to take on water, though the hull was not compromised. The ship is now resting on stable ground and divers will assess the extent of the propeller damage; repairs are anticipated and the remainder of the current voyage has been cancelled.

Hurtigruten's initial statement indicated that it had "provisionally cancelled" the next Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen roundtrip; however, a spokesperson for the line tells us that passengers on the next cruise will actually be accommodated on another ship, to be determined, sailing two days later than planned with an additional two nights in Bergen pre-cruise (all passengers accepted this offer).

There were no injuries, and all 153 passengers were evacuated safely. All U.K. passengers were scheduled to debark in Trondheim as they had booked just the Tromso-Trondheim portion of the trip, and returned home as planned after evacuating the vessel. A spokesperson for the line tells us there were no U.S. passengers onboard. Other passengers will be put up overnight and placed on another Hurtigruten ship tomorrow to continue the voyage.

We'll continue to share more information as we receive it.

--by Melissa Baldwin Paloti, Managing Editor, with reporting by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor

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