A Norwegian Cruise Line vessel has docked for repairs after hitting an iceberg in the Alaskan fiords.
Norwegian Sun was sailing with around 2000 passengers around the Hubbard Glacier on Saturday when it struck a lump of ice. Initially dismissed by the cruise line as a minor incident involving a "growler" - a small chunk of ice no bigger than a car - the Sun later decided to skip a scheduled call in Skagway and sail straight for Juneau on Sunday.
In a statement over the weekend the cruise line said the incident was caused by poor visibility: "Norwegian Sun was engulfed by dense fog, limiting visibility and resulting in the ship making contact with a growler," a spokesperson told USA Today. However, they said the ship remained "fully operational" and would be checked for damage.
Passengers aboard the ship were unnerved by the incident.
Jason Newman a passenger from Atlanta, said the impact was not easy to laugh off.
"The ship had a severe judder," he told KTOO public media. "You could feel the strike. And then it listed minorly."
Other passengers complained of being left in the lurch, unsure if they would be able to finish their sailing.
A representative of NCL told passengers they were still "waiting for an update on the assessment of the vessel & guidance from Maritime Authorities on the feasibility of continuing on to Seattle."
There is a lot of mythology around ships being struck by icebergs. Since the Titanic was sunk in 1912 with 1496 souls onboard, it has been embedded in the popular cruise conscious.
Iceberg collisions are rare aboard cruise ships. It is even more unusual for a ship to be taken out of service by a berg.
The last cruise ship to be sunk by an iceberg was the MV Explorer, which was struck on route to Antarctica. All passengers were rescued with no loss of life.
Cruise writer Stewart Chiron and publisher of The Cruise Guy website, said "ships take extraordinary caution to avoid [icebergs]."
Many ships sailing in Alaska and the Polar regions are ice-strengthened to enable them to plough through ice fields.
The Norwegian Sun is due to call next in Ketchaikan, however this would depend on the damage assessment. Coast Guard public affairs told Anchorage Daily News that it would be up to Cruise Lines Agencies of Alaska to decide whether the sailing itinerary could go ahead as planned.