IMO 8010336

Registered Owner: Far Eastern Research - Vladivostok - Russia

Expedition cruise ship.  Charter: Aurora Expeditions - Australia.

Original built in Finland: 1982 - Refit: 1998 - Tonnage: 1.764 - Passenger lower beds: 48 - All berths: 54 - Length: 71,06 m. - Beam: 12.80 m.- Max.speed: 14 knots - Service speed 12 knots - Flag: Russia - Propulsion: 2 - 1147 kW. diesel engines - 1-Controllable pitch propeller ice-strengthened hull acc. to Russian ice-class notation LU(1), identical with Lloyds Register 1D - Yard no.346 - Classification: Russian Maritime Register of Shipping

Sisterships: Professor Multanovskiy - Professor Molchanov - Spirit of Enderby - Polar Pioneer

   Passenger space ratio all berths: 32.66
Dec.24-2012 A Russian cruise liner with 74 crew and passengers faces a chilly Christmas after being trapped amidst ice flows off the coast of Antarctica, the Australian Associated Press reported on Wednesday. All on board the Akademik Shokalskiy are accounted for and uninjured, a representative of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said. The ship sent a distress signal alerting the agency of the situation. Three icebreakers have been dispatched to rescue those on board the stranded ship, but it will take at least two days for the closest of them to arrive, the Authority said. A team of scientists and tourists on the Academic Shokalskiy had been retracing the steps of the famous Australasian Antarctic Expedition 101 years ago. The fare for tourists was $15,000 each, according to tour agency Expeditions Online’s website. The ship, built by a Finnish shipyard for the Soviet Union in 1982 for Arctic research, is described as "fully ice-strengthened" by the tour agency. The vessel, chartered by the Australian company Aurora Expeditions, is owned by the Russia government and is based out of Vladivostok. Two reporters for the British media outlet The Guardian are accompanying the month-long expedition. Their travel blog, Antarctica Live, has over a dozen posts since the expedition began on December 9. No update has been made since the distress call was sent.

A group of scientists and tourists aboard the research ship, the Akademik Shokalskiy, has been stuck in dense ice pack since Tuesday (26/12). The team on board is recreating Sir Douglas Mawson's historic voyage to Antarctica about a century ago. But a blizzard and strong winds forced the ice to close in on the ship. Now we just have to guess and hope and wonder which ice breaker is going to come rescue us," Rogers told BBC reporter Andrew Luck-Baker. " Australian Maritime Safety Authority said that three ships with icebreaking capability are en route to the vessel. Passengers on board a ship stuck in ice off Antarctica were last Saturday placing their hopes in an Australian icebreaker hurrying to their remote location, after the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long failed to free them. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which is co-ordinating the rescue of the Russian passenger ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, said the Xue Long came within 6.5 nautical miles of the ship but had to stop.(30/12)The Chinese vessel unfortunately encountered some heavy ice that it's not capable of breaking through," AMSA spokeswoman Andrea Hayward-Maher said. "The rescue unfortunately has stalled." The Russian ship, with 74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, has been trapped in ice about 100 nautical miles east of the French base Dumont d'Urville since Tuesday. The Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, came tantalisingly close to the stranded ship but it was forced to turn back once it realised it could not break through. Passengers are now waiting for the arrival, of Australia's Antarctic resupply ship Aurora Australis, which has the highest icebreaking rating of the three vessels originally asked to respond.

The AURORA AUSTRALIS arrived off the Antarctic coast about 2am last Monday(30/12) and was trying to find a way to reach the MV AKADEMIK SHOKALSKIY without becoming stuck itself. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said the icebreaker managed to get within 10 nautical miles of the Russian ship in the afternoon but was forced to retreat about 18 miles east of the stranded vessel. The area was being lashed by gale-force winds and snow showers. "These weather conditions have resulted in poor visibility and made it difficult and unsafe for the AURORA AUSTRALIS to continue the attempt," AMSA said late Monday. "Further attempts may be made in due course to undertake the rescue once weather conditions improve." It had been hoped a second option would be to ferry some passengers off the AKADEMIK SHOKALSKIY with a helicopter, but AMSA said it was too dangerous to fly in such conditions. AMSA's Rescue Coordination Centre said the 74 people on the ship were safe and well, with supplies for several weeks.

Jan.2-2014  All 52 passengers have been lifted by helicopter from the ice-beset Akademik Shokalskiy in Antarctica and were safely transferred to the rescue vessel Aurora Australis. The 22 crew members are to remain with the stranded ship.

Jan.20-2014 A failure to respond to an order from the ship's captain may have played a critical role in the operational fiasco that led to the stranding of the Akademik Shokalskiy in thick Antarctic sea ice on Christmas Eve. Serious questions have been raised about the behaviour of the expedition scientists who led a group of tourists and journalists onto the ice without properly planning for the rapid evacuation ordered by the ship's captain as he became increasingly concerned about being trapped by sea ice. Delays of several hours in getting the passengers back

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