Is That A 'Cruise' Ship Wa-y-y-y Down South?

The sage of the Russian ship ice-locked in Antarctica has been a news item since Christmas Day because, well, how would you like to be one of the 74 people on a ship surrounded by frozen water and freezing air? 

The likelihood that all passengers will soon be rescued — and remaining crew members will somewhere down the line — means that as a news story this one will quickly fade from the public psyche.

Unlike the Carnival Triumph.

But that was a cruise ship, you say?

And what do you think the Academician Shokalskiy is?

The fact that it's from Russia (the Costa Concordia was from Italy) shouldn't make any difference. It is a cruise ship. Aside from crew, there are 52 passengers…some scientists, some tourists, many from Australia. The cruise was an expedition to Antarctica ship in ice

-Photo: ABC News

mark the 100th anniversary of an Antarctic journey by a famous Australian explorer. That makes it a theme cruise.

What's different from this unfortunate incident and the others noted here is that (a) in the case of the Triumph, the "accident" was caused by man and not an act of God and (b) in the case of the Concordia, there was no loss of life.

But if the ship stuck in the ice was from one of the major cruise lines (some do go to Antarctica, by the way), is it possible that there would be an immediate flurry of questions? Did the ship venture into uncharted waters and risk passenger safety? Was there a meteorologist on board to track weather systems? Did the captain hit an iceberg? Who was at fault…somebody must be at fault?

Functioning in obscurity, like the Academician Shokalskiy, does have its merits.

And the fact that it happened where it did may teach people — specifically proof readers — that Antarctica is not spelled "Antartica."

Carnival Miracle
7 nights
February 22, 2014
Long Beach (return): Puerto VallartaCabo San Lucas 
Inside: $589
Cost per day: $84
www.carnival.com

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