Update: CLELIA II made it safely back to Ushuaia on December 9 with all passengers and crew.
The 4,077 gt, 1990-built CLELIA II (ex RENAISSANCE FOUR), operated by Travel Dynamics, is now heading at normal speed to Ushuaia after a temporary failure of her port engine, reportedly caused when a huge wave broke a bridge window, cutting off electrical power to the motor. The incident occurred on Tuesday night in the notoriously rough Drake Passage during the return leg of an eight day cruise to Antarctica. Shadowed by the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORER, which responded to the CLELIA II’s distress call, she is expected in port late Thursday or early Friday. Thus far, there are no reports of casualties to her 88 passengers and approximately 77 member crew although the ship endured 30 foot seas and 60 MPH winds during the peak of the crisis.
Very dramatic video footage shot from the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORER can be viewed on YouTube.
CLELIA II experienced another Antarctic near miss on December 26, 2009 when she went adrift in strong currents off Petermann Island and had to be pulled to safety by near sister ship CORINTHIAN II (ex RENAISSANCE SEVEN).
Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea. With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications. Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India. He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."