Norwegian Coastal Voyage's Nordkapp may have leaked oil in Antarctic waters after running aground, but good news is finally on the horizon. According to a statement by the cruise line today, "no environmental damage or traces of pollution have been found at or around Deception Island."
According to the statement, the "limited discharge of marine gas oil" from Nordkapp had disappeared by Saturday, February 3. Researchers and crews of other cruise ships (such as the Polar Star and Hanseatic) have chipped in to monitor the area and gather samples, all of which came back clean. This outcome is in line with what NCV expected, as light marine diesel dissolves relatively quickly in water.
The Norwegian Polar Institute -- which is in charge of Norwegian environmental regulations in the Antarctic -- has confirmed that the diesel fuel has caused no damage to the fragile environment, according to MSNBC. This is good news for the line, as the institute last week expressed concern via a statement: "A spill of such limited extent would normally not pose a threat to the environment. But the spill happened at Deception Island, which has a special ecosystem because of its volcanic origin."
Nordkapp has undergone temporary repairs and is currently en route to Buenos Aires for permanent repairs; the remainder of the ship's season in Antarctica has been canceled.
Norwegian Coastal Voyage will continue to monitor the area to ensure there have been no other discharges -- and will conduct another inspection when sister ship Nordnorge arrives at Deception Island next week.