CARNIVAL Corp said its Nieuw Amsterdam cruise ship, which ran aground on August 9, returned to service on Sunday, sailing from Seward, Alaska, on a seven-day Alaska cruise. The 1,200-passenger ship underwent repairs to the hull and starboard propeller, the company said. The grounding took place in dense fog near Ketchikan, Alaska, on the second day of a seven-day sight-seeing cruise from Vancouver, British Columbia. The ship refloated on the next tide without assistance. Most passengers stayed with the ship on the trip to Seattle, where they received a full refund or were re-booked. At the time, the company said it expected insurance to cover most of the repair costs, which were estimated in excess of $2 million, according to spokesman Larry Dressler of Carnival's Holland America unit, which operates the Nieuw Amsterdam. Peter Oakes, an analyst at Merrill Lynch, estimated revenue loss at US$6 million during the ship's stay at Todd Shipyards in Seattle. The other factor in lowering the estimate was the company's unexpected announcement that it would discontinue its one-ship Fiesta Marina programme aimed at Hispanic vacationers. Dressler said company and Coast Guard investigations into the cause of the grounding are continuing.