Norwegian Cruise Line Ship Returns To Boston After Striking Reef Near Bermuda Coast

The Norwegian Cruise Line ship that struck a coral reef barrier off the coast of Bermuda Tuesday afternoon returned to Boston on schedule and without incident.

The Norwegian Dawn, which held 2,443 passengers and just under half that number in crew members, ran into the reef about 3 miles off the coast after it temporarily lost power.

The ship was stuck for nearly 6 and a half hours before being freed by a rising tide and towed back to shore.

An earlier power outage caused a malfunction in the steering system, which made the ship run off course and hit the channel bed beneath it.

No injuries were reported by Norwegian Cruise Line after the ship hit the reef, but passengers like Rachel Hansen said they definitely felt the collision occur.

“We definitely felt it. We were in the middle of eating dinner… There was a shudder for maybe 30 seconds to a minute and then there was a sudden stop.”

Passengers of the Norwegian Dawn got to enjoy an extra morning in Bermuda once the ship was back at its port for inspection, and evening activities went on as planned while the ship was stuck.

Norwegian Cruise Line passenger Amy Groden said that after the initial curiosity wore off and passengers’ questions were answered, the fun of the cruise continued.

“The music was going, the pina colada machine was making ice… It was great.”

According to Norwegian Cruise Line, the captain kept everyone informed on the situation while the ship was stuck, and passengers were able to make free calls.


Before leaving for Boston, Norwegian Cruise Line officers and engineers, an independent dive team, and inspectors from the certification and safety organization DNV GL checked the condition of the ship.

Norwegian Cruise Line released an official statement on their website regarding the incident Tuesday.

“On Tuesday, May 19th at approximately 5:00 pm ET, Norwegian Dawn had a temporary malfunction of its steering system, causing the ship to sail slightly off course as the ship was departing Bermuda, resulting in the vessel making contact with the sea bed. All guests and crew are safe and there were absolutely no injuries.”

Passengers will get a cruise credit of 15 percent of the price they paid for this trip that can be used on a future cruise, Norwegian Cruise Line said.

Norwegian Cruise Line officials said the Norwegian Dawn is expected to leave on its next trip Friday despite the quick turnaround.

[Photo by U.S. Coast Guard/Getty Images News]