Update on Antarctic cruise ship Clelia II

Yesterday we posted a story about an Antarctic cruise ship, named Clelia II, that ran into trouble when it reportedly lost an engine while crossing the legendary Drake Passage on its way back to Ushuaia, Argentina. To make matters worse, the weather was incredibly bad, with 30 foot waves crashing against the vessel, adding even more of a challenge to completing repairs and continuing the journey. Later in the day, we received an update on the ship courtesy of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO).

According to the IAATO, the Clelia II is making its way north to Ushuaia under its own power and at regular speed. Contrary to early reports, the ship did not lose an engine, but instead suffered damage when a powerful wave crashed over the bow, smashing a window on the bridge and damaging important electronic equipment. The damage to that equipment caused the vessel to temporally lose communications and engine power, dropping its operational speed dramatically. Once repairs were finalized however, the ship got back underway with just the heavy seas causing issues for the passengers and crew.

The IAATO reiterated that the ship suffered no damage to its hull, nor was there a discharge of any oil or other types of fuel that could have an impact on the environments of the Southern Ocean. Furthermore, the organization confirmed that one crew member did indeed suffer minor injuries in the storm.

If all goes as planned, the Clelia II should arrive back in Ushuaia today, with all passengers safe and sound. I’m sure they’ll all be more than happy to be back on dry land when they reach port, but at least they’ll have a great story to tell their friends back home.