164,000-ton cruise ship with 4,000 passengers runs aground during Caribbean voyage

A 164,000-ton cruise ship has run aground in the Dominican Republic.

Norwegian Escape, a 2015-built megaship which can accommodate over 4,000 passengers, hit the seabed as it pulled away from Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, damaging the ship’s hull.

The rest of the cruise has now been canceled, with passengers being evacuated at Puerto Plata, from where they will be repatriated over the next two days. Travelers will receive a full refund on the aborted cruise, as well as a credit for the same amount to put towards a future voyage.

The next cruise, which was due to depart March 19, has also been canceled.

Puerto Plata was the first stop in the seven-day cruise, which had set out from Orlando on March 12.

Passengers onboard live-tweeted the grounding, which was due to wind. They were stranded overnight, but were refloated and returned to port at high tide.

“While there is minor damage to the ship’s hull, all guests and crew are safe. The current cruise will be shortened, and the cruise scheduled to embark on March 19 will be canceled so that the necessary repairs can be made.”