Antarctic cruise safety fears

//Antarctic cruise safety fears

The grounding of an expedition ship in Antarctica has raised fresh fears about the safety of cruises in the region.
The Ocean Nova, carrying 64 passengers and 41 crew, has been stranded on rocks near the Argentine research station at San Martin in Marguerite Bay since yesterday, and attempts to refloat the ship have been thwarted by high winds.
The stranded passengers have now been transferred to Clipper Adventurer, a sister vessel also operated by Quark Expeditions, which is on its way to the port of Ushuaia in southern Argentina.
A Quark spokesman said: “There is still no sign of leakage of any kind. Quark does not anticipate any environmental impact,” adding that Ocean Nova’s hull would be inspected for damage as soon as it was freed.
Ocean Nova was built in 1992 to navigate the icy waters around Greenland. Quark took it over in 2006.
Every Antarctic summer seems to bring similar incidents.
Last December, MV Ushuaia ran aground near Cape Anna. In November 2007, the MS Explorer sank after hitting an iceberg, and in January that year the MS Nordkapp hit rocks near Deception Isle.
So far there has been no loss of life, and only minimal injuries, but some fear it is only a matter of time before disaster strikes.
Daniel Smale, author of a report for the British Antarctic Survey, believes global warming has led to the break-up of ice shelves and to an increase in the amount of icebergs and smaller “growlers.

By | 2009-02-18T20:16:03+00:00 18 February 2009|Cruise News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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