A cruise ship carrying dozens of Australians is stranded in a remote part of northeast Greenland after it run aground.
Denmark’s Joint Arctic Command said the Ocean Explorer “very seriously” crashed into ground at the National Park in Alpefjord on Monday (local time).
The Greenland National Park is the world’s largest and most northerly national park and is bigger than all but 30 countries across the globe. The Alpefjord is about 240 kilometres away from the nearest settlement in Greenland.
Harsh weather conditions and its remote location mean help is not readily available.
There are 206 passengers and crew members still stranded on board the ship which is operated by Aurora Expeditions.
There are reportedly about 90 Australians on board.
The Arctic Command however said they have sent personnel from a naval unit to assess the situation.
“Although the situation is difficult, the Arctic Command has now gained assurance that the crew and passengers of Ocean Explorer are in good condition,” Arctic Command said in their latest update.
“The crew and passengers are in a difficult situation, but after the circumstances, the atmosphere on the ship is good and everyone on board is fine.
“There are no indications that the ship has suffered serious damage from the foundation.”
The closest command is about 1,200 nautical miles, or 2,000 kilometres, away and can arrive to assist by Friday morning at the earliest.
“As soon as we realized that the Ocean Explorer couldn’t get free on its own, we sent a ship against the wrecker,” Arctic Command’s Captain Brian Jensen said in an earlier statement.
The grounded cruise ship waited for a high tide to escape but it proved unsuccessful. The Arctic Command are also in contact with relevant ships nearby who could assist.
In case of emergency, the naval unit are able to arrive on scene in about an hour and a half.
Aurora Expeditions told the Associated Press they were engaging in efforts to free the Ocean Explorer from its grounding.
“Our foremost commitment is to ensure the vessel’s recovery without compromising safety,” the company said in a statement to the AP.