Terrifying footage shows 95ft waves crashing over luxury Atlas World Voyager cruise ship as it makes its way through ferocious storm with 115mph winds off Antarctica

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Written By Maya Cantina

Terrifying new footage has emerged from a luxury cruise liner negotiating a ferocious storm off Antarctica, capturing the moment waves measuring almost 100ft smashed the vessel and swamped the deck with freezing seawater.

The Atlas World Voyager cruise ship was traversing the Drake Passage – the spot at which the Atlantic and Pacific oceans converge between the southernmost tip of South America and Antarctica – when it was caught in a punishing tempest.

Winds of up to 115mph whipped the sea into a frenzy and sent 30 metre (93ft) waves slamming into the luxury yacht during the perilous journey on December 2, 2023.

The heart-pounding clip taken from the deck shows how the yacht was lifted to the top of massive waves before angling over and plunging several storeys down.

Tables, chairs, sunloungers and all sorts of other detritus were seen floating about after the deck was overrun by the deluge. 

Fortunately, the crew managed to expertly navigate the treacherous waters and the yacht reached its destination – Ushuaia in southern Argentina – without suffering major damage. 

Winds of up to 115mph whipped the sea into a frenzy and sent 30 metre (93ft) waves slamming into the luxury yacht during the perilous journey on December 2, 2023

Tables, chairs, sunloungers and all sorts of other detritus were seen floating about after the deck was overrun by the deluge

Tables, chairs, sunloungers and all sorts of other detritus were seen floating about after the deck was overrun by the deluge

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‘It was the roughest crossing many of the crew and staff had ever had… Made it back to Ushuaia safely under the guidance of our expert captain,’ one tourist said

World Voyager - the latest luxury yacht to have been added to the fleet of Atlas Ocean Voyages

World Voyager – the latest luxury yacht to have been added to the fleet of Atlas Ocean Voyages

Tourist Rich Bush who was on board the yacht and was forced to brave the storm in Drake Passage said: ‘We had high winds with one gust hitting 115 mph. Also 10 meter waves and one wave that washed over the bridge level. The captain estimated it was 30 meters. 

‘It was the roughest crossing many of the crew and staff had ever had… Made it back to Ushuaia safely under the guidance of our expert captain,’ he wrote on Facebook.

World Voyager, the most modern and advanced addition to the fleet of Atlas Ocean Voyages, is specially designed to deal with such brutal conditions. 

Measuring 429ft in length and weighing in at close to 10,000 tons, the decadent yacht boasts more than fancy fixtures and fittings.

It is specially designed to negotiate the most punishing of seas, with state-of-the-art retractable fins designed by Rolls Royce providing extra stabilisation when traversing a furiously churning ocean. 

World Voyager is also equipped with top class sonar system that allows it to navigate potentially dangerous polar regions.

Despite the unforgiving environment, the yacht was able to traverse the Drake Passage without incident.

The same cannot be said for MS Maud, a Norwegian cruise liner that was sailing through the North Sea just days before Christmas when a freak wave battered the ship with such force that it lost power and was left adrift.

MS Maud was sailing some 162 miles off Denmark’s west coast and about 217 miles off Britain’s east coast when the monster wave shattered its windows on the bridge. 

The ship, which was carrying 400 passengers and crew, had started a 14-day Northern Lights expedition sailing from Tilbury on December 9 and was due to return to the Essex port on December 23.

Dramatic footage obtained by MailOnline shows the exact moment the rogue wave hit, leaving the ship impossible to navigate and requiring a tow to Germany. 

One passenger, who was filming the bridge camera at the time, captured the moment the ‘rogue wave’ struck MS Maud

Terrifying footage shows the enormous wave crashing into the Norwegian ship, which resulted in a power outage

Terrifying footage shows the enormous wave crashing into the Norwegian ship, which resulted in a power outage

MS Maud (pictured) had started a 14-day Northern Lights expedition sailing from Tilbury, in the UK, on December 9 and it was due to return to the Essex port on December 23

MS Maud (pictured) had started a 14-day Northern Lights expedition sailing from Tilbury, in the UK, on December 9 and it was due to return to the Essex port on December 23

The passenger who filmed the moment said: ‘I had the bridge camera showing on the TV to try to stop dizziness and just randomly decided to film it! 

‘As soon as the wave struck, the TV screen went blank and the ship’s horn distress signal sounded so I knew something was wrong.’

The holidaymaker, who expected it was going to be a ‘rough ride’ after going over several other big waves, described how passengers, fixed tables and chairs were sent sliding across the floor. 

Another passenger, Betty Little, was on the trip with her 96-year-old mother Jessie when the wave struck. She praised the crew for their response as they are both disabled and needed extra support amid the panic.

Ms Little told MailOnline: ‘When we had to go to muster stations, we almost immediately had assistance. One crew member, with the further assistance of four others, gave my mother a piggyback down the stairs, and I had two assisting me. We had assistance to don our survival gear and were made as comfortable as possible.

‘Later, water was provided along with cans of Coca-Cola and ginger ale, as well as sandwiches. Absolutely amazing crew!’

Other stomach-churning footage shared by passengers showed just how choppy the conditions were, with the ship seen aggressively rocking up and down as it was ravaged by huge waves.

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