Passengers evacuated after fire breaks out on cruise ship in Glacier Bay

a cruise ship
The Wilderness Discoverer sailing in November 2022 (Photo Courtesy of UnCruise Adventures)

Nearly 70 passengers and crew were evacuated from a small cruise ship on Monday morning after an engine room fire disabled UnCruise’s Wilderness Discoverer in Glacier Bay.

The fire was reported to the U.S. Coast Guard around 7:30 a.m.

“By the time we got there, they had put the fire out,” Coast Guard Petty Officer Ian Gray said. “All of the passengers were taken off and were in good health.”

The Sapphire Princess, a larger Princess Cruises ship that was sailing nearby, responded to radio calls from the Wilderness Discoverer and used one of its lifeboats to bring over the 51 passengers and 16 crew members. A handful of crew members stayed behind on the ship, which is being towed to a shipyard in Ketchikan.

Local and federal authorities will examine the damage in the coming days. 

“Once it’s moored up at the pier, we’ll start the investigation process,” Gray said. “We’ll get Coast Guard personnel aboard and probably more than likely the Alaska State Troopers.” 

A different UnCruise ship picked up the Wilderness Discoverer’s passengers and brought them back to the company’s headquarters in Juneau on Monday afternoon. UnCruise representatives said all of the passengers would get full refunds.

Correction: 51 passengers and 16 crew members were taken off the Wilderness Discoverer.

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