Image: Ocean Nova
AP
The Ocean Nova, a Bahaman-flagged cruiser, ran aground Tuesday in Antarctica. All 65 passengers and 41 crew members aboard were rescued Wednesday.
updated 2/18/2009 6:57:04 PM ET 2009-02-18T23:57:04

The 65 passengers and 41 crew members aboard a cruise ship that ran aground off Antarctica have been safely transferred to another ship, the operator and Argentine navy announced Wednesday.

Ship operator Quark Expeditions said in a news release that the 106 people aboard the Bahamian-flagged Ocean Nova are now sailing on the Clipper Adventure.

The Clipper Adventure will return to Ushuaia, Argentina's southernmost city and the original jumping-off point for the 15-day voyage exploring the polar circle.

The Ocean Nova ran aground earlier Tuesday morning amid high winds, but was unable to break free during the rising evening tide as officials had hoped. The passengers were more than a week into their 15-day voyage exploring the polar circle.

Quark Expeditions said "continuing high winds thwarted the attempt to dislodge" the ship Wednesday afternoon.

But several hours after the passengers were rescued, the late evening tide lifted the Ocean Nova away from the rocky shore. An inspection by divers showed no damage or leaking, so the ship will host a separate 20-day expedition of the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands beginning Feb. 22, the operator said.

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