Biggest fear of Aussies stranded on ship

As authorities work to rescue a cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Greenland, passengers are remaining calm yet concerned they might run out of essential items like alcohol.

The Ocean Explorer, owned by Norwegian Ulstein Group and sailing under a Bahamas flag, ran aground on Monday off Alpefjord in the Northeast Greenland National Park – about 240km away from the nearest settlement in Greenland.

Authorities say none of the 206 passengers on-board, including about 90 Australians, are in danger and there’s no major damage to the ship.

One Australian passenger, Liz from Wodonga, Victoria, told the Today show on Thursday that her “biggest concern” since the ship ran aground was that it would run out of alcohol.

Speaking from the vessel, Liz said the whole incident was “very exciting” when the boat became stuck.

“We were standing on our balcony because we had just taken off from the glacier and we realised very quickly that we were about to get stuck in the mud,” she told Today.

“So having been a bit of a boatie myself, you could feel the pull of the boat as we pulled up and realised we were in trouble straight away.”

She said passengers had been told that authorities were hoping a higher tide would assist with freeing the cruise ship.

“Tomorrow morning apparently they’re going to have another go when the tide is higher and more favourable, but we do seem fairly stuck in the mud,” Liz said.

“(It’s) Chinese whispers, we are hearing all sorts of stories, everyone has got internet connection and everyone is talking about things. Look, we are getting briefings from the crew; however there is no sort of … no forward forecast, so at this stage we are sitting, eating and drinking, and waiting.”

A statement from Denmark’s Joint Arctic Command (JAC) said it was in constant contact with the vessel, and tidal movements hadn’t been able to free it as yet.

“Arctic Command is still in contact with relevant ships nearby that could have the opportunity to help free the cruise ship,” the statement said.

JAC Commander Brian Jensen said the nearest Danish naval ship wouldn’t reach the Ocean Explorer until Friday morning at the earliest.

“A cruise ship in trouble in the national park is obviously a worry,” Mr Jensen said.

“The nearest help is far away, our units are far away, and the weather can be very unfavourable.

“However, in this specific situation, we do not see any immediate danger to human life or the environment, which is reassuring.”

Ocean Explorer was built in 2021 and is 104.4m long and 18m wide.

Originally published as Greenland: Aussies stranded on Ocean Explorer cruise ship

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