SEATTLE, Washington: A Norwegian cruise liner has canceled its sailing and returned to port after damage was discovered following its striking an iceberg off the Alaskan coast last week.
The cruise ship, the Norwegian Sun, canceled its nine-night Alaskan cruise and changed course to dock at Juneau, Alaska, where divers determined it had been damaged and could not continue the cruise.
It returned to Seattle on June 30.
The Norwegian Sun was sailing towards Hubbard Glacier in Alaska when the ship made contact with a 'growler', which is a small iceberg with less than 3.3 feet of ice showing above the water, and is under 6.6 feet in width.
"The ship was given clearance by the United States Coast Guard and other local maritime authorities to return to Seattle at reduced speed," a spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line said, as quoted by Reuters.
Cruise Hive was further told that the vessel was "engulfed by dense fog, limiting visibility and resulting in the ship making contact with a growler."
In an interview with ABC News, Stewart Chiron, a cruise industry expert known as 'The Cruise Guy', said that proximity to growlers is very common for ships passing through areas with glaciers.
He said that ships do not usually sail within 1,000 feet of glaciers. However, there have been occurrences in which vessels have struck smaller pieces of glaciers that have broken off and floated away from larger glaciers.
However, it is uncommon for a cruise ship to change its scheduled itinerary due to such an impact, he added.
Chiron further said that patrons need not worry, because ship captains are familiar with these conditions and will continue to sail in such waters.
Norwegian Cruise Line has assured its guests on the canceled cruise that they will receive a full refund, along with an additional cruise credit valued at 100 percent of the original voyage fare paid. Travelers scheduled for June 30 will also receive a full refund and a future cruise credit valued at 50 percent of the original fare. In addition, each traveler will receive up to $300 for any airline cancelation or changes in fees.