Friday, November 20, 2009

Quark's Khlebnikov free of ice in Weddell Sea

Status Details
Vessel: I/B Kapitan Khlebnikov
Time: 1534 UTC / 1034 EST
Location: 61 degrees 4.9' S, 58 degrees 13.5'W
(Drake Passage)

Quark Expeditions reports the icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov has successfully navigated the pack ice of the Weddell Sea and is now in open water, on the way to Ushuaia, Argentina.

The scheduled return to port (November 16, 2009) was delayed due to weather conditions including heavy pack ice, which restricted the vessel's ability to maneuver effectively. During the delay, all 101 passengers, 23 staff and 60 crew on board remained safe and comfortable.

A highlight of this particular voyage included a special departure to visit the emperor penguin colony near Snow Hill Island. Shane Evoy, Quark's Expedition Leader onboard, reported on November 17, 2009, that "although the delay may cause complications for return travel, all passengers are enjoying the extra time we have spent at the Snow Hill Island Emperor Penguin rookery and seeing the icebreaker in action".

The vessel is now expected in the port Ushuaia at 10:00 am the morning of November 22nd. The ship will then take on fresh stores and pick up the passengers awaiting their scheduled journey. Passengers will embark later that same day. The expedition has been adjusted to take into account the delayed departure.

"On behalf of Quark Expeditions I would like to thank all passengers participating in these voyages for their good humor and spirit of adventure in accepting these unexpected changes. Like true adventurers, they have risen to the occasion in embracing both the thrills and challenges that travel to the wondrous Polar Regions entails," says Patrick Shaw, President of Quark Expeditions

Quark Expeditions continues to work with travel agents and companies to ensure that the delayed passengers can efficiently continue their travel home.

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