A Japanese-operated ship carrying thousands of vehicles, including German luxury cars, remains adrift in the Atlantic Ocean after it caught fire Wednesday, the vessel's operator said.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., the operator of the Felicity Ace, said all 22 crew members aboard the ship have been safely evacuated to a nearby island.

The vessel is reportedly still adrift near the Azores in Portugal as firefighting efforts continue. It is carrying about 4,000 cars, including Porsches and other vehicles made by Germany's Volkswagen Group.

According to Mitsui O.S.K Lines, the fire was first reported around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday as it was en route from Germany to the United States. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

No oil leakage has been observed, with a warship dispatched by the Portuguese Navy on standby and monitoring the situation, the operator said.

The crew was transported by helicopter to the nearest island in the Azores and are all in good health, it added.

A spokesperson for an incident response team established by Mitsui O.S.K Lines, and others, said the team would work with local authorities to handle the emergency.

The Panama-flagged car carrier was built in 2005 and is around 200 meters long. It has a gross tonnage of about 60,000 and a carrying capacity of 17,738 tons.