February 10, 2016 3:40 pm
Updated: February 11, 2016 9:57 am

Storm-battered cruise ship returns to New Jersey homeport

WATCH ABOVE: Lawmakers are calling for an investigation into Royal Caribbean after one of its ships sailed right into the path of a dangerous storm over the weekend. The luxury cruise liner, along with thousands of passengers on board, returned to its home port in Bayonne, New Jersey Wednesday night following the nightmare trip. Don Champion is there.

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BAYONNE, N.J. – A cruise ship battered by a major storm in the Atlantic Ocean returned to its New Jersey port on Wednesday night.

Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas docked at Bayonne’s Cape Liberty shortly after 9 p.m., its passengers cheering wildly. It was escorted by two tugboats and a Coast Guard vessel.

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MORE: ‘I was shaking all over’: Cruise ship passengers describe terrifying storm

“I could kiss the ground” a woman cried as she rushed toward the cruise terminal, where passengers were being reunited with family members. “Free at last,” shouted a man.

The ship was carrying 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew members when it departed Saturday on a seven-day cruise to the Bahamas. But the 1,141-foot vessel sailed into a major winter storm Sunday.

WATCH: Royal Caribbean cruise ship heads home after storm wreaks havoc

Powerful winds and waves as high as 30 feet tossed the vessel around. Royal Caribbean says four passengers reported minor injuries and the ship sustained some damage to its public areas and staterooms.

Passengers will get a full refund and a certificate toward 50 per cent off a future cruise.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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