November 20, 2018
(2 p.m. EDT) -- Le Soleal, an expedition cruise ship operated by Ponant, has been stranded in Chile since November 14 after one of the ship's propellers was damaged while sailing through the Kirke Passage. The incident forced the cancellation of the current sailing as well as a subsequent cruise that was scheduled to depart today from Ushuaia, Argentina.
"Le Soleal, which at the time was under the control of a Chilean pilot, on board to comply with maritime regulations, suffered a technical incident as she was sailing through the Kirke Passage in Chile, and one of her propellers," the line said in a prepared statement. "Following this incident, which was not serious and had no impact on the safety of the guests and crew on board, the ship make her way, by her own means and unaided, to Puerto Natales."
The ship was taken out of service to assess the damage and conduct necessary repairs, prompting the cancellations.
According to MercoPress, a news agency based in Montevideo, Uruguay, all 222 passengers on the sailing that ended in Puerto Natales had departed from the Punta Arenas airport by the end of Monday, November 19, with some 30 opting to join sister ship Le Lyrial in Ushuaia for a 10-night trip to Antarctica.
Passengers on the canceled November 20 sailing have been contacted and offered a number of alternatives "along with goodwill gestures."
The ship is expected to be back in service on November 30 for a departure from Ushuaia.