Antarctic Rescue!

You can bet that our friends have been asking what ship we are going on in March, following the sinking of the Antarctic tourist liner M/S Explorer on 24 November. Well, there are no worries on that front, we’re going on the Aleksey Maryshev, a modern and comfortable research ship of the Hydrographic Institute of St. Petersburg, Russia. Built in 1990 in Finland. The M/S Explorer was considerably older, and not at all of the same construction.

Our vessel, which has an extreme ice-strengthened hull, built of strong steel, has a range of 70 days independent operation, is ISM certified and a perfect ice-breaker for the polar seas. It is manned by an enthusiastic Russian crew of around 20, all highly experienced in ice navigation and are recognised as experts in polar navigation. So, is that all right then? This is a not just a tourist joint – we’re doing things to the highest possible standard!

ms-explorer.jpg Our ship

The Stricken M/S Explorer and Our Ship

Joking aside, the whole episode just emphasises that this is not a walk in the park; or rather it’s not a common cruise. The Antarctic seas are remote and can be treacherous. The difficulties the passengers on the M/S Explorer experienced were potentially life-threatening. Everything turned out fine, thankfully, but it could have been nasty. All adds to the excitement, though, doesn’t it?