Small ship cruise company UnCruise Adventures is reporting no injuries after its ship Wilderness Discoverer caught fire while in Glacier National Park earlier this week.
The ship was carrying 78 passengers and crew when an engine room fire forced the cruise line to evacuate most onboard early on Tuesday (11 crew members remained onboard). Passengers and some crew were ferried to Princess Cruises’ Sapphire Princess, which was in the area, sailing a 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers Alaska itinerary out of Vancouver.
“We are relieved to confirm that there have been no injuries resulting from the fire. Our highly trained crew promptly extinguished the fire using established emergency protocols, and CO2 was successfully deployed for everyone's safety,” UnCruise Owner & CEO, Captain Dan Blanchard, said in a statement.
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but the company is currently working with authorities and said it would conduct a thorough assessment. It added that “in adherence to our commitment to environmental responsibility…we are pleased to report that there are currently no discernible environmental impacts within the affected area.”
UnCruise said that all passengers onboard affected by the incident are in the process of getting full refunds and were provided with hotels and flights home after the fire.
Wilderness Discoverer was originally built in 1992 and was refurbished in 2011. The ship is one of the company’s classic adventure ships, small enough to easily access some of Southeast Alaska’s inlets. It is one of two sister ships, alongside 86-guest Wilderness Legacy.
For advisors who are unfamiliar with the company, UnCruise Adventures comprises two former expedition cruise brands, InnerSea Discoveries and American Safari Cruises. A vestige of the previous brands lives on in the names of the ships. Those with “Safari” names are from the latter brand. Those with “Wilderness” names, including Wilderness Discoverer, are from the former (with the exception of Wilderness Legacy, the former S.S. Legacy).