Cruise Ship Finally Back In Service Weeks After Running Aground

On Saturday, Norwegian Escape returned to service after being out of service since March 14. The ship is sailing her last seven-night Caribbean cruise from Port Canaveral before repositioning to Europe later this month.

Stuck in the Mud

On March 12, Norwegian Escape departed on a seven-night Western Caribbean cruise from Central Florida, with its first stop on March 14 in the Dominican Republic. On departure, a crosswind hit the ship and pushed it onto a sand bar. With the assistance of tug boats, Escape was finally freed in the early hours of the next morning. After underwater divers inspected the ship, the company made the decision to cancel the voyage and fly everyone home.

NCL escape grounded, tugs

(Note: A lot of people don’t realize the power of the wind at sea. How can wind push a ship when it can barely push a sailboat? You have to look at it this way: the side of the ship is essentially a large sail with thousands of square feet of surface area.)

The ship eventually sailed back to Port Canaveral with just the crew onboard. The next four voyages were also canceled one-by-one. Underwater welders spent about four weeks repairing the hull of Escape making her seaworthy again.

underwater welders norwegian escape

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A Perfect Sail Away

Late Friday afternoon, Port Canaveral pilots repositioned the ship to Terminal 10.

On Saturday afternoon, Norwegian Escape left Terminal 10 bound for Norwegian’s private island Great Stirrup Cay.

norwegian escape repairs port canaveral april 2022

Once Escape returns to Florida, it’ll then sail to New York City where on April 25, it’ll depart on a 16-night transatlantic voyage to Rome. The vessel will spend the summer in the Mediterranean.

Launched in 2015, Norwegian Escape is a Breakaway Plus-class ship that sails the Caribbean and Europe. Every Caribbean voyage stops at the ship’s island Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas or private destination Harvest Caye in the Western Caribbean.

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