Stranded Cruise Ship in Greenland Sparks Fears of Alcohol Shortage


A cruise ship called the Ocean Explorer ran aground on Monday off Alpefjord in the Northeast Greenland National Park, causing mild concern among its passengers. Owned by the Norwegian Ulstein Group, the vessel sails under a Bahamas flag and found itself stranded approximately 240 kilometers away from any settlement in Greenland.

While the efforts to rescue the ship are underway, the 206 passengers, around 90 of whom are Australians, remain safe. The ship, according to authorities, has suffered no major damage. Despite the ongoing crisis, an unusual worry is brewing among the passengers: a possible shortage of alcohol.

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Liz, an Australian passenger from Wodonga, Victoria, humorously acknowledged her “biggest concern” since the ship ran aground was that it might run out of alcohol. Describing the incident at the Today show, Liz recounted the moment when she realized that the vessel is about to get stuck. She recounts, “We were standing on our balcony because we had just taken off from the glacier and we realized very quickly that we were about to get stuck in the mud.”

Liz revealed that passengers received information suggesting a higher tide might help free the ship. Despite this, the mood remains uncertain with no clear forecast, as she put it, “Tomorrow morning apparently they’re going to have another go when the tide is higher and more favorable. But we do seem fairly stuck in the mud.”

Denmark’s Joint Arctic Command (JAC) said it was unable to free the ship with tidal movements so far, but it remains in constant communication with the stranded vessel. It is currently exploring options for reinforcement from nearby ships.

Commander Brian Jensen of the JAC confirmed that the earliest a Danish naval ship could reach the Ocean Explorer would be Friday morning. While expressing concern over the situation given the remote and potentially harsh weather conditions, he emphasized that there was no immediate danger to the passengers or the environment.

The stranded ship, Ocean Explorer, which was built in 2021, measures 104.4 meters in length and 18 meters in width. As the vessel and its passengers hold their breath in anticipation of the rescuing high tide, one thing is certain; stories and alcohol are not running out any time soon.