Hurtigruten’s expedition cruise ship Fram had to be rescued when, on 14 January, she became stuck in thick ice in Antarctic Sound while on an Antarctic cruise with 202 passengers aboard. While there is no suggestion that the passengers or crew were in any immediate danger, it took two hours for the British ice patrol ship HMS Protector to break the ice sufficiently to free the Fram.
HMS Protector then escorted Fram into, and later out of, Brown Bluff. One report suggests that the ice in which Fram became trapped was four metres thick, more than the cruise ship’s ice-strengthened hull could cope with. The ship was on her sixth southern summer voyage to Antarctica at the time of the incident.
The 11,647gt Fram, the only Hurtigruten ship to have been built outside northern Europe, was delivered in spring 2007, and has a passenger capacity of 348. Although she has occasionally acted as a stand-in on the Norwegian Coastal Express service, she spends almost all of the year cruising in the cold waters of the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans.