Antarctica Cruise Ship Runs Aground

Posted Feb 1st 2011 10:15 AMUpdated Feb 3rd 2011 08:40 AM



Passengers onboard a cruise ship visiting Antarctica had to be evacuated after it ran aground on an uncharted rock north of Detaille Island at the Antarctic Peninsula on Monday.

The 4,998-ton Polar Star struck the rock while anchoring, the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators said in a statement. The 80 passengers onbaord the vessel include 32 Americans, nine Canadians and eight Australians.

"The captain reports there is no apparent oil spill outside the ship, but booms have been deployed as a precaution," the association says.

No one was injured in the incident, but an initial damage assessment shows the ship's outer hull was breached.

Rescue workers based at the Chilean port of Punto Arenas were evacuating the ship, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. The ship, which flies the Bahamas flag, left the southern Argentine port of Ushuaia last week.

Another cruise ship visiting Antarctica, the Clelia II, was damaged in December when a massive 30-foot wave hit the ship and wiped out power and communications for a brief period of time.

Photo, John Dalkin, flickr

This article has been updated.
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Rogue waves can hit a cruise ship and capsize it. The captain is not necessarily warned about one of these gigantic waves!

February 02 2011 at 6:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Assuming the writer actually did mean "uncharted" rather than "unchartered," my question is this: Have they now charted that rock for future reference?

February 02 2011 at 3:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Unchartered" rock??? Surely you mean "Uncharted", as in not on the chart.

February 02 2011 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jonathan's comment

Glad I am not the only one to notice this. And this person writes for a living?

February 02 2011 at 3:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

'Been there . . ."done that . . .I'd do it again in an instant.

February 02 2011 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There should be no cruise vessels operating in the Antarctic. There have been mishaps like this almost every year for the past 10 years. One Chilean vessel sank about 8 years back. The wreck has not been removed. The place is supposed to be a world park.

February 02 2011 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim Barnes

An "unchartered" rock?

February 02 2011 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tim Barnes's comment

Yeah. You know. A rock that nobody wanted to ride on. So it just sits there. Unchartered.

February 02 2011 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Been on over 70+ cruises, but this ship is way to small for the body of water it is sailing in. Waves can easily overtake something this small in that region. I'll stick with Caribbean waters thank you.

February 02 2011 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cheryl H.

My husband and I went to Antarctica about five years ago and loved it. We'd go again in a heartbeat. Large cruise ships are not allowed there as they cannot maneuver efficiently. Smaller boats are wonderful to travel as they provide more personal attention (if you need it), wonderful food and one gets to know the other passengers more easily than on a big ship. We don't care for the large cruise liners at all. Different strokes for different folks, I guess, but don't judge this trip to Antarctica by what happened to this ship. About 7,000 people each year travel to this continent and it is mesmerizing with a beauty all of its own.

February 02 2011 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, with anything you take a chance. Now, I personally am a warm weather person myself. But that doesn't mean you will catch me on a ship in the bahamas during hurricane season either. Would you not fly because of the amount of plan crashes or drive because of the amount of car accidents? Just something to think about.

February 02 2011 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jvt.99's comment

Good point, but as a rule many people are compelled to fly or drive. Virtually no one NEEDS to get on a cruise ship; that is a risk you assume purely by choice.

February 02 2011 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You would never catch me on ANY cruise ship. Too many mishaps in the last few years.

February 02 2011 at 1:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply