Passengers aboard the Norwegian Sun cruise ship felt a sudden jolt on Saturday when the 78,000-gross-ton vessel plowed into a low-peak iceberg about the size of a semi-truck that glaciologists have dubbed growlers while in transit to Hubbard Glacier in Alaska.
While cruising on a nine-night voyage from Seattle, Washington, the Titanic-like incident terrified some of the 2,000 passengers. One video obtained by the New York Post showed footage of the growler — which typically span less than 6.6 feet across and float with less than 3.3 feet showing above water, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
“That’s what hit the boat,” the passenger said. “Oh, my goodness, I’m shaking.”
Another passenger onboard, Jennifer Lopez — not the artist — told Fox Weather that the impact knocked her over while jogging on the vessel’s running track.
“It was a pretty hard hit,” Lopez said. “It seems that we sliced the glacier right through the middle. It was frightening, but was more frightening was that we continued to sail.”
Another passenger told the Juneau Empire that the vessel came to a complete stop from the impact.
“It was a scary experience,” Alicia Amado said while describing the impact producing a “big noise.”
Norwegian Cruise Line said to Cruise Hive that while transiting to its destination, dense fog engulfed the ship, which limited its visibility, resulting in the cruise line making contact with a growler.
The cruise line told Fox Weather that the ship sailed to Juneau, Alaska, for further assessment, where officials decided to cut short the scheduled voyage.
“The cruise scheduled to embark on June 30, 2022, will be canceled so that the necessary repairs can be made,” the cruise line said. “The ship was given clearance by the United States Coast Guard and other local maritime authorities to return to Seattle at reduced speed.”
U.S. Coast Guard Public Affairs Specialist Melissa McKenzie told Fox Weather that the “Norwegian Sun sustained damage to the starboard bow (right, front) of the ship after making contact with an iceberg …”
“Contracted divers along with a member from the Coast Guard Sector Juneau Prevention Team assessed the damage and deemed it seaworthy to make way to its home port in Seattle for repairs,” McKenzie said.
Passengers sailed at a reduced speed, making it back to their final destination. No injuries were reported.
Aside from the initial scare, one family onboard didn’t waste the moment and took the opportunity to recreate their rendition of James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster film “Titanic.”