Soon-to-be Orion II breaks down mid-cruise

Clelia II broke down in rough Antarctic weather with 160 passengers on board.

Clelia II, which will soon be acquired by Orion Expedition Cruises and become Orion II, lost power to one of its engines in rough Antarctic seas on December 7, the Argentinean Navy said.

The ship was making a northbound crossing of the Drake Passage, considered one of the roughest stretches of water in the world, when heavy seas broke a bridge window and some electrical circuits causing the engine to fail.

Crew eventually managed to regain power to the engine and the ship sailed towards the Ushuaia capital of Tierra del Fuego province at a speed of six knots – much slower than the winds, which were howling at 60 kilometres an hour. Click here for to see what it was like onboard Clelia II at the time.

Fortunately none of the 160 passengers onboard were injured and the ship is now cruising back to Ushuaia and is expected to arrive in the early hours of tomorrow morning, December 10.

Although many news sources are reporting the ship as being owned by Polar Cruises, the cruise company has assured passengers on it’s website that the ship is in fact owned by Helios Shipping in Greece, and operated by New York-based Travel Dynamics International.

Have you ever had an experience like this at sea? Did it turn you off cruising? Please share with us…

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