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Norwegian Dawn Loses Power, Runs Aground, Is Refloated

May 20, 2015 By: Susan Young

Norwegian Dawn, shown here in a file photo from New Orleans, made contact with the seabed while leaving Bermuda on Tuesday afternoon. 

Update May 20, 1:18 p.m.: Norwegian Cruise Line has reported in a statement that the line has completed its assessment of Norwegian Dawn, and the ship is expected to be cleared to depart Bermuda at 3 p.m.

"On Wednesday, May 20, a thorough assessment of Norwegian Dawn was completed by Norwegian's technical operations team, an independent dive team, and DNVGL inspectors, representing the ship's classification society, while the ship was alongside in Heritage Wharf, Bermuda.," the line said in a statement. "The team confirmed the structural integrity of the ship and the technical issue which caused the steering malfunction was identified and corrected. The ship is expected to be cleared to depart Bermuda at 3pm today and resume sailing to Boston, and is expected to arrive on Friday as scheduled. Norwegian Dawn's next voyage will depart as scheduled on May 22.
"We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and greatly appreciate our guests' understanding. All guests sailing on the current voyage will receive a future cruise credit of 15 percent of their cruise fare to use towards a future Norwegian cruise."

The original story appears below.

Norwegian Cruise Line reported in a statement that on Tuesday, May 19, at 5 p.m., Norwegian Dawn's steering system temporarily malfunctioned as the ship was departing Bermuda, "resulting in the vessel making contact with the sea bed." In essence, the ship ran aground.

"All guests and crew are safe and there were absolutely no injuries," the line's statement said.

In addition, Norwegian said the ship's officers, engineers and an independent dive team have confirmed the structural integrity of the ship. With high tide on Tuesday evening, the ship was floated and moved to a nearby anchorage position where it remained overnight. As of 7 a.m. on Wednesday, May 20, Norwegian Dawn docked alongside at Heritage Wharf in Bermuda.

Norwegian said the ship will be thoroughly inspected in Bermuda by DNVGL, the ship's classification society, before returning to Boston.

Right now, the ship is fully operational with the full complement of onboard services available to guests, according to the line's statement.

Norwegian Dawn is sailing a seven-night Boston to Bermuda cruise with 2,443 passengers and 1,059 crew. 

The cruise line is expected to make additional updates today. 

Stay tuned to for further details. 

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About the Author

Susan Young
A veteran of 100-plus cruises, Susan J. Young, is senior contributing editor for cruises – covering ocean, river and niche cruises for Travel Agent and

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By Susan Young | May 20, 2015
Norwegian Dawn lost power briefly in Bermuda, ran aground on the seabed, then was refloated with the tide and is now at anchorage. No injuries were reported to passengers or crew.
Filed under : Cruises, ocean cruises