Previous attempts to free the stuck ship were unsuccessful.
LONDON – A luxury cruise ship carrying 206 people has been towed days after it broke down off the coast of Greenland, authorities said.
The Joint Arctic Command, part of the Danish Defense Forces, announced in a social media post on Thursday that the ship, named Ocean Explorer, was finally towed at high tide in Greenland, a semi-autonomous region of Denmark.
The 343-foot-long, 60-foot-wide ship, operated by Australia-based cruise company Aurora Expeditions, was headed toward a remote corner of Greenland on Monday when it ran aground above the Arctic Circle near the Alpfjord in Northeast Greenland National Park. The northernmost national park in the world.
The Greenland Nature Institute’s research vessel, Tarajok, which unsuccessfully tried to free the cruise ship on Wednesday, was able to free the Ocean Explorer, the Joint Polar Command said.
“We are really happy that it went so well and that the passengers and crew can now see an end to the difficult situation they have been in over the past few days,” said Commander Captain Brian Jensen of the Joint Arctic Command. He said in a statement.
The cruise ship is now sailing to a port run by the Maritime Accidents Investigation Board for further inspection, Joint Arctic Command said.
SunStone Maritime Group, which chartered Aurora Expeditions’ flights, said in a statement that no one was injured during the incident. “There was no environmental pollution and no breach of the ship’s hull occurred,” the statement said.
The company said: “The ship and its passengers will now be placed in a port where the damage to the bottom of the ship can be assessed, and the passengers will be transferred to a port from which they can be returned to their home country.”
Previous attempts to free the stuck ship on Tuesday and Wednesday were unsuccessful.
Officials said that it is not yet clear why the ship ran aground, and the incident will remain under investigation.
ABC News’ John Haworth, Will Gretzky and Emma Ojao contributed to this report.
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