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A Chinese ice-breaker is expected to arrive tomorrow to rescue the 74 people stranded aboard an ice-trapped expedition cruise ship in Antarctica, according to the professor organizing the trip.

The Russian ship Akademik Shokalskiy has been stuck at sea since Christmas morning, when it was seized by ice on the edge of the continent. The ship contacted the Australian Maritime Safety Authority for assistance, and three ice-breakers that were in the region are now racing through blizzard conditions to reach the vessel.

The Chinese ship Snow Dragon (Xue Long) is expected to reach the ship Friday. In addition, the French vessel Astrolabe and the Australian ship, the Aurora Australis, will arrive soon after, according to Chris Turney, a professor of climate change at the University of New South Wales, Australia, writing on the expedition blog,spiritofmawson.com.

The passengers include 22 crew and 52 tourists, scientists and explorers. The ship, which left New Zealand last month, is on a special research voyage to honor the 100th anniversary of famed Australian explorer Douglas Mawson.

Turney, the expedition leader, has been tweeting and blogging the trip. He posted a video on YouTube on Dec. 26. Speaking over the howling wind, which gusted up to 40 miles per hour, he assured viewers that all was well. "Everyone is safe, the vessel is perfectly safe. We just can't make a passage forward," he says.

On Christmas Day, he tweeted "We're in the ice like the explorers of old! All are well and spirits are high. Happy Christmas."

The ship, located about 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Tasmania, has not suffered damage. Morale remains high and passengers have ample provisions, Turney has written.