Ocean Explorer Freed After Running Aground in Greenland

Ocean Explorer Grounding

After four days stranded at Greenland’s Alpefjord, the Ocean Explorer was freed on Thursday morning.

According to the Joint Arctic Command, the 140-guest ship was pulled free by the research ship Tarajoq, which is operated by Greenland’s Institute of Nature.

The Ocean Explorer will now sail to a port designated by the Danish Maritime Board for a closer examination, that is also being planned by the ship’s owners and other players.

“Arctic Command is responsible for the safety of the sea around Greenland,” said Commander Captain Brian Jensen of the Joint Arctic Command, noting that the Danish authorities continue to follow the incident closely.

“We’re really happy that it went so well and that the passengers and crew of the ship can now see an end to the difficult situation they’ve been in for the last few days,” added Jensen.

“Regardless that no one was in direct danger, I understand that being stuck in such a deserted area with no possibility to move forward has been uncomfortable,” he remarked.

Currently operating under charter for Aurora Expeditions, the Ocean Explorer was cruising at the Northeast Greenland National Park when it ran aground on Monday.

Almost 210 passengers and crew were reportedly onboard the 8,000-ton vessel, which is offering a series of itineraries to the Arctic this summer.

No reports of danger to human life or the environment have been registered during the incident.

Before running aground, the Ocean Explorer was sailing a 22-night expedition named “Northern Lights Explorer.”

The cruise departed from Kirkenes, in Norway, on Sep. 2, and was scheduled to end in Bergen, also in Norway, on Sep. 22.

The original itinerary included visits the Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, Torshavn, the Greenland Fjords and the Jan Mayen Island.

Built in China, the Ocean Explorer is part of SunStone Ships’ Infinity Class and originally entered service in 2021.

Photos: SIRIUS/Arctic Command

Cruise Industry News Email Alerts

Cruise Industry News Email Alerts



Get the latest breaking cruise newsSign up.


54 Ships | 122,002 Berths | $36 Billion | View

New 2024 Drydock REPORT


  • Mkt. Overview
  • Record Year
  • Refit Schedule
  • 120 Pages
  • PDF Download
  • Order Today
New 2024 Annual Report


  • 2033 Industry Outlook 
  • All Operators
  • Easy to Use
  • Pre-Order Offer
  • Order Today