The ship got stuck in the ice in a remote region off the coast of Antarctica.
"We've been in touch with the master of the vessel, who says they are beset by ice," spokeswoman Hayward-Maher said. "They are basically trapped or stuck in the ice and can't move."
Now, three vessels are heading toward the Russian-operated Akademik Shokalskiy.
Of the 57 souls on board, 22 are crewmen and 35 are passengers. The ship cruised to the site of a 1911-1914 expedition of British explorer Sir Douglas Mawson, according to Expeditions Online, a travel agency that sells tickets for the cruise.
Officials believe the passengers are safe and have enough supplies to wait out their rescue.
ABC News contributed to this report.