Argentina is assessing the environmental impact of the wrecked Liberian flagged Canadian cruiser Explorer and will closely monitor events as well as demand stricter conditions for cruise operators in Antarctic waters.
At 18:30 hours Chilean time Zodiac boats belonging to a Norwegian cruise vessel began landing the 154 passengers from the stricken MV Explorer at the Chilean Antarctic base President Frei in King George Island.
A legal and insurance storm of Antarctic proportions could be in the making for the M/V Explorer and its owners if a report in the maritime market news portal Lloyd's List proves to be correct.
Argentina's Antarctic 2007/08 season had a modest launching on this occasion with two vintage patrol vessels replacing icebreaker Almirante Irizar which suffered a major fire accident last April and is still undergoing repairs.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the Antarctica on Friday to see firsthand the impact of climate change and the melting of glaciers.
Chile's Institute of Antarctica (INACH) has proposed a US$4 million microorganism research project for the increasingly disputed Antarctica. If funding is approved, Chilean scientists can look forward to spending the next four years on the icy continent.
The logistics of the coming Argentine Antarctic 2007/08 season has been contracted to Russian companies that will be providing an icebreaker and an air bridge for the most Southern of Argentine polar stations, according to reports in the Buenos Aires press.
Chile and Argentina's Foreign Affairs ministers, Alejandro Foxley and Jorge Taiana will be meeting in Santiago to coordinate a common position on Antarctica following on Britain's announced intention of claiming continental shelf rights off Antarctica.
Continuing his efforts to spotlight the issue of climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel to Latin America, Antarctica and Europe next week where in addition to making diplomatic contacts, he will see first-hand deforestation and other environmental problems caused by the phenomenon.
Russia is decisively opposed to any splitting of Antarctica based on unilateral territorial claims, although was cautious about UK's seabed claims in that region, announced a release from the Russian Foreign Ministry.