Reuters The MV Akademik Shokalskiy is pictured stranded in ice in Antarctica, December 29, 2013.
A Chinese rescue helicopter is expected to take up the rescue operation of the passengers after all other efforts failed.
The Finnish-built Shokalskiy got trapped in Antarctica on 24 December, with 52 passengers and 22 crew members. The Russian scientific research vessel has 26 tourist passengers, along with scientists, onboard.
The first attempt to rescue the vessel was made by Chinese icebreaker Xue Long (Snow Dragon) but, after failing to cut through the thick ice, it had to return back merely 11 km from the vessel.
The thick ice and strong blizzard foiled the second attempt made by French vessel L'Astrolabe to rescue the scientific ship, while Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis was also slowed down by bad weather.
People onboard Shokalskiy will now be rescued by helicopter in groups of 12 and will be initially transported to Xue Long. All 52 passengers will then be moved to Aurora Australis, which is approaching slowly due to the poor weather, a report by Chinese daily Xinhua stated.
The expedition's leader Chris Turney has been sending in live updates from the ship. In his most recent post, he noted that the 'rain' and 'warm' weather has broken up the ice a bit. The trapped scientists and passengers onboard the vessel also wrote a song - We're the AAE in Antarctica - and was broadcasted on New Years Eve from the Shokalskiy.