Eighty British passengers on an adventure cruise to Antarctica are stranded in pack ice which has surrounded their ship.
The ice-breaker Kapitan Khlebnikov left the southern Argentinian port of Ushuaia on November 3 and has been stuck near Snow Hill island, off the north-eastern tip of the Antarctic peninsula for four days.
Many of the British tourists on board, who have paid up to £10,000 each, booked through the travel company Exodus. Also with them is a three-man BBC crew filming Emperor penguins for the television series The Frozen Planet.
The Russian transport ministry says no-one on board is in any danger, and the ship is expected to be released from the ice when the wind changes. It should be back in Ushuaia by the weekend.
The 12,288-ton vessel was built in 1981, and according to industry expert Douglas Ward, writing in the 2010 Complete Guide to Cruising, it has “an incredibly thick hull.” In 1997, Kapitan Khlebnikov became the first passenger vessel to circumnavigate Antarctica.