Hurtigruten will be refunding 50% of the fare to passengers on the MS Fram who faced a change in itinerary after the ship had engine problems in Antarctica on December 28 and drifted into a glacier front at Brown Bluff, suffering damage to a single lifeboat (see photo below). There were no reported injuries to passengers nor damage to the ship itself. Additionally, travel agents’ commissions will be protected at 100% on this sailing and the cancelled January 2 sailing.
Passengers on the Dec. 25 sailing will be offered a 30% reduction of fares for a future sailing in Antarctic or along the Norwegian coast. Passenger booked on the cancelled January 2 departure will receive a full refund of the cruise and its components as well as 50% off future Antarctica or Norwegian Coastal sailings. Hurtigruten is making every effort to book all passengers on departures that run through February, 2008. Re-bookings with the discount must be made by April 1, 2008, are non-transferrable, and can be for 2008-2009 season.
The ship was able to restart its engines quickly and made its way to Chilean base Frei at King Georges Island for inspection. After the inspection, the ship sailed back to Ushuaia, arriving on schedule on January 2, where passengers met their pre-arranged flights.
Hurtigruten takes safety very seriously and it is of the outmost importance that the ship and all safety equipment on board are in perfect condition. This includes replacement of the lifeboat and identifying and repairing the cause of the engine problems. The line has therefore decided to cancel the upcoming January 2 Antarctica cruise in order to accomplish those tasks. Approximately 240 passengers will be affected by this cancellation. MS Fram will resume her scheduled cruise departures on January 10.