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SeaDog-46

The new Polar Code

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Anyone considering an Arctic or Antarctic cruise should be aware of the new IMO Polar Code that comes into full force on 1st Jan. 2022.

The code will effect all large cruise ships & current expedition vessels as they renew there 5 year certificates before 2022.

New buildings are built to the code & this is why many have delayed completion dates & are costing a lot more to build.

A few ships have had very expensive refits to meet the code requirements.

IMO-Polar-Class.jpg

Antarctic-Polar Code.jpg

Arctic-Polar Code.jpg

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That will end all of the drive by cruises to Antarctica.

 

DON

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Yes donaldsc - the end of Drive By cruises is in sight with the current cruise & expedition ships falling foul of the new rules as they go through there drydocking & certificate renewals.

Maybe the last ones are the 2 being done by Westerdam in January 2021.

 

One of the first of the new building expedition ships - Hanseatic Nature is currently sailing in Europe.

Hanseatic Nature.jpg

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Russian owners have advised One Ocean Expeditions that 2 vessels they have on charter will NOT be available for 2019/2020 season.  Maybe this is because they have lost there Ice Class & do not comply with new Polar Code.

Ships are Akademmik Ioffe & Akademmik Sergey Vavilov.  Could end up in court.

 

Good news that Hondius has left Split & is underway in Adriatic for arrival Vlissingen June 1st.

First cruise to Spitzbergen will sail on 3rd of June.  Some discounts available.

Hondius.jpeg

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8 hours ago, SeaDog-46 said:

Russian owners have advised One Ocean Expeditions that 2 vessels they have on charter will NOT be available for 2019/2020 season.  Maybe this is because they have lost there Ice Class & do not comply with new Polar Code.

I highly doubt that’s the reason. They wouldn’t lose their rating until the changes go into effect, and it’s a pretty major move to rescind the charter with only a month’s notice. This is affecting the 2019 Arctic season, which has already begun, and has stranded passengers who’ve booked their flights to the Longyearbyen a while ago.

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The Polar Code went into force on 1st January 2017 & comes into full force 1st Jan. 2022.

As vessels with ICE ratings go for there 5 year surveys - they are not able to get the new Polar Code unless the can comply.

This is a very expensive exercise & very few ships will go through unless the owners have planned to expend the money & have the vessel out of operation for months.  This is why there are so many NEW expedition ships on order & starting to operate.

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World Explorer is now operational.

Registered in Madeira with plag of Portugal - she is about 9270 gt & carries 200 pax.

Will be chartered by Quark & Nicko for Arctic & Antarctic cruises.

World Explorer.jpg

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Hapag - Lloyd's Hanseatic Inspiration has been handed over on time & after christening in Hamburg by Laura Dekker sailed for Antwerp to start her maiden voyage on 14th Oct.

Sister ship to Hanseatic Nature but with English as onboard language she is 15540 gt - 230 pax. - PC6.

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I am just beginning my Antarctic cruise research.

Can someone explain the various polar classes of ship's, if it isn't too much trouble?

Appreciate it!🙂

 

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12 hours ago, bob brown said:

I am just beginning my Antarctic cruise research.

Can someone explain the various polar classes of ship's, if it isn't too much trouble?

Appreciate it!🙂

 

How much detail do you want? 😉

 

If you’re just starting your research, you really only need to look at the size:

 

<150 passengers - Small ship, several long landings (<100 is fantastic as several sites cap landings to 100 at a time, but most ships under 150 will arrange it so that you still have plenty of time ashore and can typically get everyone out in zodiacs at once)

 

150-250 passengers - Medium ship. Typically still manages two operations per day, but shorter landing times due to passenger rotations. Zodiac cruising will likely also be shorter and require rotations.

 

250-500 passengers - Large ship. Expect just one operation per day and limited options for changes of plan in case of problematic weather/ice conditions.

 

>500 passengers - Massive ship. Typically no landings and ship cruising only. Several are likely to be disallowed under tightening environmental regulations.

 

Beyond that, there’s not much noticeable difference. All passenger expedition ships have a sufficient ice rating to maneuver effectively in the most visited areas and can push through thin or scattered sea ice. The only difference you’d see would be traveling on a true icebreaker, which is not available so often and typically used to visit specific hard-to-reach areas.

 

Most people strongly recommend the smallest ship you can afford and are comfortable with.

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I 'get' that about ship size...I was more curious about ice ratings....such as 1A, 1A+, 1B, etc....or 6P?

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Bob - The Ice ratings as quoted by cruise agents have little to do with the Polar Code.  The new code covers so much more than just strengthened hulls - see above.

Old Ice ratings are issued by some nations like Russia, for different areas like the Baltic & by various Classification Societies like Lloyds, ABS, DNV etc.

The current crop of expedition vessels will soon be falling foul of the new code & will no longer work at plus 60 latitude except maybe around Iceland / Norway.

 

To understand the code you need to Google - Polar Code & read the technical sites downloading the PDF's available.

Below is list of PC1 to PC7  operational ice conditions where PC1 is a year round operational icebreaker & PC6 is the usual expedition vessel rating - this is also similar rating to the current larger ships doing sail by cruises.

Lloyd's Register decoding the Polar Code.

IMO have publications & videos available online.

Remember that the Polar Code applies to all commercial ships operating in the area - see below the Russian shuttle tanker Shturman Albanov that was one of the first ships to comply with the code several years ago.2120893670_PolarCode-Iceconditions.thumb.JPG.0076ee587d15500844653f15853e556a.JPG

846518680_Ru.shuttletankerShturmanAlbanov.jpg.b38ff5f0361203d9ce6650eafab665f3.jpg

890802790_PolarCode.thumb.jpg.2aa4446ef3187943931488f2825456e3.jpg

 

 

 

363656148_LloydsRegister.jpg.2dcb3e52c7e88e1d645a2701a22f8cff.jpg

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12 hours ago, bob brown said:

I 'get' that about ship size...I was more curious about ice ratings....such as 1A, 1A+, 1B, etc....or 6P?

It doesn’t really matter. As I mentioned, any passenger expedition ship will have a sufficient ice rating. A higher ice rating will not have a noticeable impact on the expedition (the individual captain will be a much bigger factor go/no-go decisions). So unless you’re choosing between an icebreaker and an expedition ship, ice rating really shouldn’t influence your decision.

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Magellan Explorer - another new expedition vessel starting inaugral cruise from Punta Arenas, Chile on 28th Nov. 2019.

Ship is 4900 gt,  100 passengers,  PC6 with Bahmas flag.

From US$13000 for 8 day cruise - $1625 pp/day.

Magellan Explorer.jpg

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I see that Celebrity has an Antarctica cruises advertised for the 2022 season. Will they be in violation of the Code?

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10 hours ago, debrowe2 said:

I see that Celebrity has an Antarctica cruises advertised for the 2022 season. Will they be in violation of the Code?

Do you think a Multi-Billion dollar company would take a chance like that?

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No I don't. Just confused by the statement earlier in this thread that the last "drive-by" sailings might be the 2 being done by Westerdam in January 2021. The Celebrity cruise in 2022 is definitely a drive-by so I guess that poster was incorrect. 

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No - debrowe2 - the poster is NOT incorrect.

NONE  OF  THE  CURRENT  LARGE  CRUISE   SHIPS  WILL  BE  DOING  "DRIVE -BY"  CRUISES  AFTER  2021.

 

Please read  the above on the new Polar Code & google for more info.

Ignore experdition ship adverts.

 

Azamara & Celebrity are just not up to the new rules & it is indicative of the management of these FOC companies.

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