The 4,841 tourists and crew members of the Norwegian Cruise company cruise ship that ran aground on Monday in Puerto Plata will return to the United States by plane, the Dominican Port Authority informed on Wednesday.
Through Twitter, the Port Authority explained that the Norwegian Cruise company canceled the itinerary of the cruise ship, whose route began last March 12, due to the fact that inspections and investigations will take up to 72 hours more, and said itinerary had stipulated a return to Florida for this Saturday, March 19.
Norwegian Cruise is coordinating the disembarkation of cruise passengers and crew to place them on charter flights back to the United States, he added.
Together with said company and other state agencies, the Port Authority assured that it is working “to expedite the processes and guarantee both the well-being and safety of the cruise passengers, as well as the adequate compliance of the processes”.
The tourist cruise will remain until Thursday at the Taíno Bay dock, in Puerto Plata, following the protocols of the shipping company.
The company decided to delay the departure, initially scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, due to its own safety standards, informed to Efe the spokesman of the Dominican Navy, Captain José Vásquez.
The cruise ship ran aground on Monday afternoon after leaving port on its way to Saint Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, carrying 4,841 people on board, including 3,223 tourists and 1,618 crew members, according to data from the Port Authority.
The maneuvers to undock the Bahamas-flagged ship lasted eight hours and concluded in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The cruise ship returned to port yesterday morning and was subsequently inspected by specialized divers from the Dominican Navy and others hired by the shipping company, without any damage of any kind being reported, according to the sources.