Wave Hits Silversea Cruise Ship; Injures Crew, Forces Cancellation

January 16, 2013

(8:15 a.m. EST) -- Four crewmembers were injured when a wave struck Sliversea's expedition ship, Silver Explorer, on January 12, in the rough waters between Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica.

A statement from the line said the injured crewmembers were treated in the ship's medical center and that all 133 guests and 113 crew onboard were safe. But damage is severe enough that Silversea has been forced to cut short the current cruise and to cancel the upcoming Antarctic sailing, scheduled for January 21.

Silversea has declined to comment on the specific compensation that passengers on the canceled cruise are receiving, saying only, "Our reservations team has contacted guests, or their travel agents, to assist in making alternative arrangements." However, Cruise Critic member kobecat has posted a report on our forums saying cruisers were being offered "50% off another Silversea cruise if they postponed this one to next year, but just a straight refund otherwise."

If multiple reports are true, that the wave that damaged Silver Explorer knocked out a window on the ship's bridge, it would have hit the fifth of the ship's seven decks -- at a height of at least 30 feet above the waterline.

The ship has been forced to return to Ushuaia, Argentina, where it departed in early January for an 18-night cruise to Antarctica. There is no official word from Silversea as to where repairs will take place or how long they might take, but the line has said it anticipates that Silver Explorer will resume its normal Antarctic schedule with a 10-night voyage departing Ushuaia on 31 January, 2013.

--by Jamey Bergman, U.K. Production Editor