Argentine Cruise Ship Runs Aground in Antarctica

A small Argentine expedition ship, the Ciudad de Ushuaia, ran aground off the coast of Antarctica on Thursday with a total of 122 passengers, 12 of whom are American, and crew on board. Chilean navy vessels have evacuated all passengers, a Chilean commander in charge of the operation said. The ship is also said to be taking on water and losing fuel, though it is presently not in danger of sinking. 

The Ciudad de Ushuaia is currently in the Gerlache Strait, about 186 miles southwest of Argentina’s Marambio naval base on the Antarctic Peninsula. The ship originally departed from Ushuaia.

Last year, two expedition vessels, G.A.P. Adventures' Explorer and Hurtigruten's Fram, collided with icebergs in the region, with the Explorer eventually sinking.

From November to March, when enough ice has broken up, small expedition ships like the Ushuaia operate voyages in Antarctica, usually for well seasoned cruisers, who can get up close and personal with penguins and other attractions.