MV Ushuaia Cruise Ship Grounded Gerlache Strait, Antarctica – On December 4, 2008, the 278-foot-long M/V Ushuaia, named after an Argentine city is a steel hulled, ice-strengthened vessel built originally for oceanographic research. She was recently converted to passenger voyages for Antarppy Expeditions.
The ship grounded today off the coast of Antarctica while on an 11-day Classic Antarctica cruise.
There are 122 passengers and crew aboard the grounded vessel.
All 89 passengers and 33 crew members are aboard the cruise ship awaiting rescue. Currently there are two Chilean naval vessels in the area who are going to engage in the rescue.
The Panamanian registered ship is said to be leaking fuel and taking on water in the Gerlache Strait about 186 miles southwest of the Argentine Marambio Naval Base on the Antarctic Peninsula.
The ship originally departed from the southern Argentine city of Ushuaia.
Passengers pay between $4,000 and $7,000 per person for the cruise on the Ushuaia. They spend two days crossing the Drake Passage, then four days exploring the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, before heading back into the Drake Passage and disembarking.
The Drake Passage is the body of water between the southern tip of South America at Cape Horn, Chile and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica.
It connects the southwestern part of the Atlantic Ocean (Scotia Sea) with the southeastern part of the Pacific Ocean and extends into the Ushuaia is the capital of the Argentine province of Tierra del Fuego and is said to be the southernmost city in the world.
Video: MV Ushuaia in F11 storm, Drakes Passage