Arctic Cruise Vessel Under Tow


Published Jun 6, 2016 7:49 PM by The Maritime Executive

Oceanwide Expeditions’ cruise ship Ortelius is under tow with 146 people on board after suffering engine trouble on Friday. The vessel is being towed to Longyearbyen in Svalbard, Norway. 

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre for Northern Norway has issued a statement saying there is no danger to passengers and crew, the ship or the environment.

Ortelius was sailing the remote Hinlopen Strait when the captain reported problems.

The Norwegian government vessel Polarsyssel has taken the vessel in tow with the Norwegian Coast Guard following.

Ortelius is scheduled to sail several cruises in the waters around Svalbard this season, and is expected to set sail again on Wednesday.

Ortelius was built in Poland in 1989. Originally named Marina Svetaeva, the high ice-class vessel originally served as a special purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. The vessel is able to navigate in solid one-year sea ice and loose multi-year pack ice. 

Oceanwide Expeditions states on its website that Ortelius is classed by Lloyd’s Register and flies the Cyprus flag.