Spirit of Nantucket, one of the small ships in Cruise West's fleet, was heading south on a 10-day cruise from Alexandria, VA., to Charleston, SC with 66 passenger aboard when it hit something in the Intracoastal Waterway around 5:30 am and began taking on water. The captain ran the vessel aground to prevent its sinking.
The Coast Guard evacuated everyone in the Intracoastal Waterway near an isolated area of Virginia Beach and took them to a ferry landing about two miles away. Cruise West made arrangements to take the passengers to a hotel. No injuries have been reported.
For its 2008 Alaska season, Cruise West plans to rename the 102-passenger ship Spirit of Glacier Bay.