Back home: Passengers disembark from the icebreaker Aurora Australis on Wednesday at a harbor in Hobart, Australia. The ship brought 52 scientists and adventure tourists back to Australia from Antarctica, where the ship they had been on got stuck in ice. Rob Blakers /EPA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Rob Blakers /EPA/Landov

The Chinese research vessel and icebreaker Xue Long broke free from ice and was back in the open waters off Antarctica on Tuesday. Zhang Jiansong /Xinhua/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Zhang Jiansong /Xinhua/Landov

There's ice as far as the eye can see from the deck of the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long, which is stuck in the Antarctic. The captain says he and his crew can wait for conditions to improve. Zhang Jiansong /Xinhua /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Zhang Jiansong /Xinhua /Landov

Help arrives: an image from video taken as a helicopter landed Thursday on an ice floe in the Antarctic. The copter then carried passengers from a stranded ship to another vessel waiting nearby in open waters. Intrepid Science hide caption

itoggle caption Intrepid Science

Nowhere to go: A view from the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia. Andrew Peacock/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Andrew Peacock/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography/AP