Excited guests on a dive excursion aboard luxury Scenic Eclipse’s submarine in the the icy Antarctica waters have returned safely to the expedition ship after encountering katabatic winds which affected the submersible’s return to the surface.
All guests, the pilot and sea-based crew returned safely to Scenic Eclipse with the submarine, Scenic Neptune sustaining slight damage to its external tanks.
“All guests including the pilot and his crew returned safely to the ship without injury,” a Scenic spokesperson told Cruise Passenger.
“While on a routine excursion operation in Antarctica’s Weddell Sea and during flat calm conditions, a katabatic wind event took place. At the time, Scenic Eclipse’s submersible, Scenic Neptune, was conducting a dive with guests onboard.
“As per Scenic procedures and IAATO guidelines, the submersible driver and sea-based team aborted the dive. During the return to surface process, Scenic Neptune encountered sea ice floes and sustained slight damage to external tanks.
“The crew continued to follow the Scenic and IAATO protocols and all guests and crew returned safely to the ship within two hours and the Scenic Neptune submersible was taken into its onboard garage shortly after,” said a Scenic statement.
The submarine is being assessed and will return to service when it is repaired and compliant.
“All guests on board and those with upcoming bookings have been informed of the status of the submersible,” the line added.
The 200-guest, Scenic Eclipse is on a 13-day Antarctica in Depth itinerary from Buenos Aires to Buenos Aires and is accompanied by a 20-member Polar Discovery team. Prices start at $19,650 pp.
The luxury expedition ship also has two state-of-the-art helicopters to take guests for a scenic view of the ice. Guests can also enjoy kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding under the guidance of the line’s experienced Discovery team. Scenic Eclipse is on her third Antarctica season.