(11:20 a.m. EST) -- Engine failure on Lindblad Expeditions' National Geographic Orion has forced the ship to cancel a number of its upcoming Antarctica sailings. All passengers and crew are safe and there was no environmental impact, according to the cruise line.
The incident took place December 27 as Orion was leaving the Antarctic Peninsula on its return to Ushuaia, Argentina. The ship is on its way back to port through the Drake Passage at reduced speed.
In order for the ship to undergo its necessary repairs, the December 27 departure, as well as all January departures, have been canceled.
"A team of engineers has been dispatched and is on their way to Ushuaia to assess the full impact of the technical issues. Once the evaluation is completed, we will release additional information," a representative for Lindblad Expeditions said in a statement.
Passengers onboard when the incident occurred will receive reimbursement for any costs incurred due to their late arrival into Ushuaia, as well as a $1,000 credit toward future travel with Lindblad. Those who had already traveled to Santiago for the December 27 departure will receive a 100 percent refund (including airfare) as well as a full credit in the amount they paid, for future travel.
All passengers booked on the canceled January departures will receive a 100 percent refund for their voyage and air, plus 20 percent off their next expedition if they rebook immediately or a $2,000 travel credit toward future travel.
The ship was at the tail-end of a 14-night Antarctica sailing, when the engine trouble occurred.
To follow along with the ship's journey, daily expedition reports are posted on the Lindblad Expeditions website.
--Brittany Chrusciel, Associate Editor