Yesterday, we received information from a passenger aboard Holland America Line’s Volendam that the cruise ship ran aground on a sandbar on the Amazon River between Macapá and Santarém in Brazil.

The passenger, who did not wish to be identified, is a retired Coast Guard officer. He stated:

Volendam ran aground on a sandbar in the Amazon River this morning around 4:15 AM. It took seven hours to inspect for damage, hull integrity and they finally got going after shifting ballast to no avail and finally draining the forward pool. No damages and the ship got off the sandbar OK. We were five hours late arriving in Santarem for a more thorough inspection. The two pilots onboard reportedly said, ‘This wasn’t here last week!’ This is typical of the Amazon especially during low water season. All is well it seems.”

Cruise expert Professor Ross Klein received similar information from a passenger on the HAL ship:

“We are about 50 miles from Santarem near Monte Alegre on the Amazon River.  We have been grounded since 4:22am 11/29/2019 on a mud bank. It’s  now 8:48am local time. The first attempt to self power ourselves off the mud was unsuccessful.  Another attempt will be made.  If unsuccessful; tugs will be called in. All passengers are safe; per the Captain, there has been no breech of the hull. UPDATE: As of 11:24am we are free and heading upriver.  No news about schedule changes.”

The Volendam is on a 30 days cruise, having left Ft. Lauderdale on November 20th. It sailed through the Caribbean and will cruise to several additional ports in Brazil before sailing back to Ft. Lauderdale through the Caribbean.

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Photo credit: Amazon River – HAL