Cruise ship that unexpectedly visited S.C. freed from Bermuda reef

The Norwegian Dawn went aground near Bermuda’s North Channel (above) on Tuesday.

A cruise ship that was diverted to the Port of Charleston for repairs after being hit by a freak wave a decade ago had another run of bad luck at sea this week.

The Norwegian Dawn struck a reef and ran aground near Bermuda on Tuesday with nearly 3,500 passengers and crew members on board.

Norwegian Cruise Line said a rising tide helped free the pleasure ship and push it into deeper water after being stuck for nearly 6½ hours.

The company said a temporary malfunction in the steering system forced the vessel off course as it departed Bermuda, where it had spent three days in port.

The company said Wednesday that a team of experts had inspected the ship and found it safe to operate.

After repairs were made to the steering system, the Norwegian Dawn was back at sea Wednesday. It was expected to reach Boston on Friday, in time for its scheduled departure later that day for a return voyage to Bermuda, the company said.

The 2,443 passengers on the ship will receive a 15 percent credit for a future cruise.

“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and greatly appreciate our guests’ understanding,” the cruise line said in a statement.

It was 10 years ago last month when a seven-story-high wave crashed into the Norwegian Dawn off the South Carolina coast. The towering wall of water smashed windows, flooded more than 60 cabins, injured four passengers and damaged the hull.

The vessel was returning from the Bahamas to New York and was about 150 miles east of McClellanville when the rogue wave struck in April 2005.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.