Cruise ship that ran aground in the Dominican Republic canceled, passengers will return to the US by plane

The cruise ship that ran aground in the Dominican Republic canceled the rest of its itinerary after being released, and the passengers will return by plane to the United States, their point of departure, the company and port authorities reported Wednesday.

The Norwegian Escape -with 3,000 passengers and 1,600 crew members on board- returned to the dock on Tuesday after eight hours of work to undo it in the bay of Puerto Plata, about 200 km from the capital Santo Domingo, to be inspected.

"The current cruise will be shortened" and "all passengers on board will disembark in Puerto Plata"indicated the American company Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), owner of the vessel, in a note to AFP.

"We are communicating directly with all affected guests and arranging for their return flights."he added, assuring that the ship’s hull suffered "minor damage" and that "all guests and crew are safe".

The cruise ship was scheduled to end its itinerary in Florida on March 19 to set sail again with other passengers.

But the NCL indicated that this trip would be canceled "in order to carry out the necessary repairs" to the boat.

The Port Authority of the Dominican Republic indicated on Twitter that the inspections in Puerto Plata will take "up to 72 hours more" and that the passengers will be located in "charter flights" To united states.

The Norwegian Escape ran aground on Monday shortly after setting sail from Puerto Plata, amid winds of up to 30 knots (about 56 km/h – 7 out of 12 on the Beaufort scale), according to authorities.

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The Navy indicated that a commission was formed to investigate the incident.

The vessel was built in 2015 with a capacity for 4,266 passengers and a crew of 1,733 people.

Puerto Plata, located on the north coast of the Dominican Atlantic, is known for its paradisiacal beaches, promoted as the "Amber Coast" and "Atlantic Bride".

The arrival of cruise ships is frequent in the Dominican Republic, a country of 10 million inhabitants that finds one of its main sources of income in tourism.

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