GAP Adventure’s MV Explorer sank in Antarctic waters today after hitting submerged ice. Luckily all passengers and crew were safe. Ironically, it was the first custom-built Antarctic cruise ship, and the first cruise ship to visit the Antarctic. It was also the first cruise ship to navigate the northwest passage without help of an icebreaker.
The accident may have a ripple effect on other antarctic cruises, as people may look for real icebreakers to travel on, rather than ships with ice-strengthened hulls (like the Explorer).
Adventure Canada charters the ship in summer for its arctic expeditions, so it is scrambling to find a new ship for next year’s expeditions.