MARCO POLO RUNS AGROUND (SECOND UPDATE)

Marco Polo in Balestrand, Norway

Marco Polo in Balestrand, Norway

Several news sources are reporting that the cruise ship Marco Polo has run aground in northern Norwegian waters.

The veteran liner- which celebrates her fiftieth anniversary next year- went aground on the Lofoten archipelago this morning. The 22,000 ton ship was under the control of a local Norwegian pilot at the time.

As of now, no obvious damage appears to have been done to the ship, and there are no casualties among either passengers or crew. Two Norwegian tugs are reported to be en route to assist the liner as this is written.

Some passengers have supposedly been disembarked. The Marco Polo is said to have overshot the pier where she was scheduled to dock.

It is worth remembering that the ship-originally built as the Alexsandr Pushkin in 1965- has a specially ice strengthened hull, that would make her far more resistant to such damage than many more modern vessels.

At this time, no further reliable information is in the public sphere.

As always, stay tuned.

UPDATE: ITV Evening News reports that the Marco Polo is actually aground on soft mud, and another attempt will indeed be made to refloat her tonight. They also claimed that there seems to be ‘no damage’ to the ship.

The same programme reports that there are some 750 passengers aboard the ship.

UPDATE 2: Cruise and Maritime has just issued a statement that confirms that the Marco Polo has been successfully refloated, and also confirmed that the vessel had grounded on a mud bank this morning.

The ship, with some 763 passengers on board, has now resumed her fourteen night cruise itinerary, and as of now is on course for her next scheduled call at Alta, Norway.

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