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No worries on board ice-bound cruise ship

A cruise ship carrying nearly 400 people has been stuck in thick ice in the St. Lawrence River in Eastern Canada for over a day, but passengers are nonetheless having a "festive" time, the company that owns the vessel said Tuesday.
/ Source: Reuters

A cruise ship carrying nearly 400 people has been stuck in thick ice in the St. Lawrence River in Eastern Canada for over a day, but passengers are nonetheless having a “festive” time, the company that owns the vessel said Tuesday.

The ship, CTMA-Vacancier, chartered by a group traveling from Montreal to the Gaspe Peninsula for a cross-country skiing trip to celebrate the 475th anniversary of the region's settlement, is now inching through the heavy ice, said Leonard Arsenault, a spokesman for MTMA Group.

A Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker that was already in the area tried to assist the ship, but was also having difficulty getting through the thick ice, Arsenault said.

He said the 300 passengers, along with a crew of nearly 100, were in no danger and that there was plenty of food on board.

"It's very festive," said Arsenault. "They are having a great time on board, but their schedule has been thrown out."

James Gray, 58, a filmmaker from Montreal aboard the ship, agreed.

Gray told Reuters that passengers were passing the time playing music, telling stories and showing amateur videos.

"The view on the ice is absolutely splendid," he said.

The Gaspe Peninsula is at the mouth of the St. Lawrence, on the eastern tip of the largely French-speaking province of Quebec.