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Guantanamera explodes in Academy Bay and Astrea runs aground

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
Level Contributor
3,660 posts
20 reviews
Guantanamera explodes in Academy Bay and Astrea runs aground

I just spoke with the owner of the Samba a few minutes ago - he reported that the 16 passenger tourist superior ship Guantanamera exploded while anchored in Academy Bay last night (this is right in Puerto Ayora). He was in the Santa Cruz highlands, and reported having heard the explosion from there. The guess is that gas from a leaking propane tank ignited. Apparently, the engineer is missing, while one crew member is in hospital with a broken leg. No other people were on board.

He also informed that the Astrea, a live-aboard dive ship (which also does some regular naturalist cruises) ran aground earlier this month while navigating in the islands. No one was injured, and the ship was successfully removed with little hull damage, but it will likely be out of service for repairs for the next several months.

What with the fire aboard the Queen Beatriz earlier this month (while it was in dry dock undergoing annual maintenance), that's three ships out of service.

If you were scheduled to sail on any of these ships, I would recommend that you get in touch with your agent to discuss alternatives as soon as possible.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
11,484 posts
101 reviews
1. Re: Guantanamera explodes in Academy Bay and Astrea runs aground

For those who can read Spanish, there is an article in El Comercio elcomercio.com/actualidad/herida-desaparecid… The article indicates that it was a fishing boat, not the Guantanamera, that exploded.

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
14 posts
1 review
2. Re: Guantanamera explodes in Academy Bay and Astrea runs aground

Thanks for the info. I am happy to report that we cruise is not on any of these ships. I hope everything works out well for those who may have booked these lines.

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
Level Contributor
3,660 posts
20 reviews
3. Re: Guantanamera explodes in Academy Bay and Astrea runs aground

I was in touch with the sales representative of the Guantanamera today, and this is what they said: "Yes, I have a really bad experience at this moment". Also, my former colleague at the Darwin Station corroborated it. It was indeed the Guantanamera.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
11,484 posts
101 reviews
4. Re: Guantanamera explodes in Academy Bay and Astrea runs aground

Thanks for that update, Heather. I was surprised that your contact could have confused a fishing boat with a cruise boat, when it turns out it was El Comercio got it wrong.

The article has been updated and shows video of the boat completely engulfed. The body of the missing crewman has been found. Tragic news.

Edited: 29 October 2016, 01:04
5. Re: Guantanamera explodes in Academy Bay and Astrea runs aground

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