Cruise Ship Disabled in Remote South Georgia

Press Release
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Expedition cruise ship 'Plancius': Photo courtesy of Oceanwide Expeditions

Oceanwide Expeditions' cruise ship 'Plancius' anchored off South Georgia, after repeated propulsion failures, awaits relief ship

Trouble started 12 days into a 31-day journey from Ushuaia, Argentina, one of the southernmost cities in the world, to Ascension Island, an isolated volcanic island near the Equator.

After returning from a small island, the ship suffered a complete power failure. Ship's engineers were able to fix the problem and course was set for Tristan de Cunha heading north in order to avoid a fierce storm system. En route, the ship suffered another engine failure.

It was thought the ship could complete the cruise around the islands, but the situation took a turn for the worse when the engines could no longer reach full power. The ship then returned to Grytviken in the South Georgia Islands where it currently sits in the harbor.

Passengers were told that the present circumstances would make it dangerous to sail in open ocean in rough conditions.

Michel van Gessel, managing director of Oceanwide Expeditions, said that the cruise line has chartered a passenger vessel. M/v Ushuaia to sail from Mar del Plata, Argentina, to get them. After the pickup, the ship will then sail to Montevideo, Uruguay. A tug was also being despatched to the scene.

Owners report that all on board are safe, and there was no threat to life or environment.


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