Three passengers on grounded expedition ship confirmed to have COVID

By Travel Gossip Reporters
14/09/2023
Home » Three passengers on grounded expedition ship confirmed to have COVID

It’s been confirmed that three passengers onboard the AE Expeditions cruise ship Ocean Explorer, which has run aground off Greenland, have tested positive to COVID.

The ship, which has 206 passengers and crew onboard including British, Australian and American passengers, ran aground in a remote part of eastern Greenland earlier this week.

The passengers with COVID are isolating but are doing well and being looked after by the onboard doctor, parent company Aurora Expeditions said.

The remaining passengers are said to be safe and well as the company continues its efforts to free the vessel from its grounding.

Ocean Explorer is currently situated in the remote Northeast Greenland National Park.  The park is 950 miles from Greenland’s capital, Nuuk, and has no permanent residents.

During high tide on Wednesday a fishing research vessel owned by the government of Greenland, attempted to dislodge the cruise ship without success, the Joint Arctic Command (JAC), which patrols Greenland, confirmed to CNN.

Retired Australian couple Steven Fraser and Gina Hill told the Sydney Morning Herald the restaurant is still functioning and passengers have been occupying their days with talks and presentations from the expedition crew, including learning to tie nautical knots.

“Everyone’s in good spirits. It’s a little bit frustrating, but we are in a beautiful part of the world. We’re sitting right near the glacier when we open our window,” Steven said.

“They’ve offloaded the anchor… and they’ve taken the lifeboats, so they’re floating in the water but they’re still attached to the boat, just to try and lighten the load a bit,” he said.

The cruise line confirmed the COVID cases, adding: “These passengers are currently in isolation. They are looked after by our onboard doctor, medical team and crew, and they are doing well.

“All other passengers, expedition team and crew remain safe and healthy.

“We are actively engaged in efforts to free the MV Ocean Explorer, from its grounding. Our foremost commitment is to ensure the vessel’s recovery without compromising safety.

“As we continue to gather more information and progress in our efforts, we will provide further updates.”

Travel Gossip reported yesterday that the JAC is sending aircraft to assess Ocean Explorer’s position and has alerted other ships in the area to be prepared to assist.

The nearest ship, Knud Rasmussen, was 1,200 nautical miles away when Ocean Explorer ran aground and is expected to reach the ship on Friday.

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