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cruisemom42

Antarctica on Westerdam....in 2022? How?

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16 minutes ago, wolfie11 said:


There is no specific geographic destination for where what class of ship may go, likely due to ever-shifting conditions and changing ice cover.  If you are traveling above 60 degrees, your ship must have a polar certificate.  I would think most cruise ships would get a Class C certificate, which would be an ice-strengthened hull.  However, according to the code, a non ice-strengthened ship could be granted a certificate if the classification society determined that the hull was sufficiently strong to withstand damage by ice according to the parameters laid out in the code.  It would be incumbent on the ships master to ensure the ship did not get into any ice conditions beyond that for which it is rated.  
 

 

Thanks -- great info. Much appreciated!  👍

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14 hours ago, wolfie11 said:


I spent a little time looking at this.  According to what I read and you highlighted above, ships have 5 years after their last intermediate survey to grandfather in under the polar code.  The date this went into effect is January 1, 2018.  Westerdam was surveyed in April 2017, which may allow her to travel to Antarctica until April, 2022, but not after that.  Surveys are required by the IMO every five years.

This is not correct.  As stated, the "grandfather" extends to their next "intermediate or renewal survey".  Westerdam is due for her intermediate hull survey in April 2022, meaning her last intermediate survey was April 2017, but in between intermediate surveys, you have the "renewal" survey.  The renewal survey is for 5 years, and the ship gets a new certificate, and then 2.5 years later, you do the intermediate survey.  So, Westerdam's renewal survey was around March/April 2019 (this is based on the date of issuance of the "certificate of survey" (or "class certificate"), which was March 2004 (3 five year renewals is March 2019).  So, her grandfathering should have run out then.

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18 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

But where is the tie-in between the ships' Polar Class (e.g., A, B, or C) and where it may navigate? What is the tie-in with the 60 degree limit?  I do not see that spelled out in either the guide or the infographics available on the site. Am I just missing it?

 

14 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

Does it say explicitly that a Class C ship cannot go past "X" degrees, or a Class B/Class A can go...where? 

 

If so, can you point me to it?

The geographic limits are as shown on the charts shown in post #116.  You must have a Polar Certificate, of one class or another (A,B,C) to operate in those waters, but depending on what class your ship is, determines where you can go in those polar waters, and this will vary annually or even monthly based on the actual ice conditions present.

10 hours ago, wolfie11 said:

There is no specific geographic destination for where what class of ship may go, likely due to ever-shifting conditions and changing ice cover.  If you are traveling above 60 degrees, your ship must have a polar certificate.  I would think most cruise ships would get a Class C certificate, which would be an ice-strengthened hull.  However, according to the code, a non ice-strengthened ship could be granted a certificate if the classification society determined that the hull was sufficiently strong to withstand damage by ice according to the parameters laid out in the code.  It would be incumbent on the ships master to ensure the ship did not get into any ice conditions beyond that for which it is rated.

There is so much more to a Polar Certificate than an ice strengthened hull.  The ship has to address stability problems due to snow and ice buildup on the superstructure, the ability to keep doors and hatches from freezing shut, low temperature performance of storage batteries, low temperature performance of on deck hydraulic systems (cold, thick oil), ability to heat incoming sea water to prevent freezing of the sea water inlets, drains for exposed fire main piping to prevent freezing, ability to prevent or remove ice from evacuation routes, muster stations and lifesaving equipment, and so on and so on.

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2 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

 

The geographic limits are as shown on the charts shown in post #116.  You must have a Polar Certificate, of one class or another (A,B,C) to operate in those waters, but depending on what class your ship is, determines where you can go in those polar waters, and this will vary annually or even monthly based on the actual ice conditions present.

There is so much more to a Polar Certificate than an ice strengthened hull.  The ship has to address stability problems due to snow and ice buildup on the superstructure, the ability to keep doors and hatches from freezing shut, low temperature performance of storage batteries, low temperature performance of on deck hydraulic systems (cold, thick oil), ability to heat incoming sea water to prevent freezing of the sea water inlets, drains for exposed fire main piping to prevent freezing, ability to prevent or remove ice from evacuation routes, muster stations and lifesaving equipment, and so on and so on.

All the above is, of course, true.  I am just wondering if any cruise line would be tempted to apply to their Association for a polar certificate based on the fact that they would be traveling only a few degrees south of 60 and the mean daily low temperature would be above 20 degrees F (MDLT for Elephant Island in January) for a period of less than four days, which should not pose a significant threat to equipment.  Stability under ice accretion conditions could be a problem.  A baseball bat on every balcony? 😆 My biggest worry with large vessels would be emergency evacuations, which, unless conditions were very good, might result in a disaster (what could have happened on Viking Sky).  You can carry Gumby suits on board but can passengers actually don them without considerable help?  In rough seas and with a list, how many can make it to their muster stations? 
 

I would like to believe that cruise lines are selling Antarctica cruises beyond 2021 in good faith with the idea that they will have ships with polar certificates to make these cruises happen, but on the other hand, I have become somewhat cynical about their business methods over the years...

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Given that the flag state is a signatory to SOLAS, and the Polar Code is defined by SOLAS, no flag state can allow a class society to issue a "sort of, I'm just skirting the edges" Polar Certificate, since there is no language about a "kind of" Polar Certificate.

 

And, the ships do not need to provide "Gumby" immersion suits, just "Thermal Protection Aids", which are merely body bags, some with sleeves, some without.  No struggling with clinging foam rubber.

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Thanks Chengkp75 as always for your insight.

So just to clarify, based on information that you have access to, these cruises to Elephant and Deception Island and the like advertised for 2022 and 2023 will NOT operate as described?

(Whether through cruise line ignorance or intentional fraud can be debated later.)

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26 minutes ago, foodsvcmgr said:

Thanks Chengkp75 as always for your insight.

So just to clarify, based on information that you have access to, these cruises to Elephant and Deception Island and the like advertised for 2022 and 2023 will NOT operate as described?

(Whether through cruise line ignorance or intentional fraud can be debated later.)

To the best of my knowledge, no they won't.

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Thank you.

Then hopefully the cruise lines will reply to the direct questions they have been asked and explain exactly where they will be sailing and under what authority to do so.

The ball is in their court now to respond in a forthcoming manner.

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25 minutes ago, foodsvcmgr said:

Thank you.

Then hopefully the cruise lines will reply to the direct questions they have been asked and explain exactly where they will be sailing and under what authority to do so.

The ball is in their court now to respond in a forthcoming manner.

 

But we are expecting answers to questions that the cruiseline itself has no answers at this time.  How would they know where they are going to be sailing when they don't know when and if they will be sailing, particularly since they just lost four ships.  

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Fair enough, however based on the hope of a vaccine, they should be advertising destinations that they are otherwise legally entitled to offer.

In HAL’s case these sailings are on Westerdam, not an “R” class, and many other lines are also offering similar itineraries so it is an industry wide question not exclusive to HAL.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

This is not correct.  As stated, the "grandfather" extends to their next "intermediate or renewal survey".  Westerdam is due for her intermediate hull survey in April 2022, meaning her last intermediate survey was April 2017, but in between intermediate surveys, you have the "renewal" survey.  The renewal survey is for 5 years, and the ship gets a new certificate, and then 2.5 years later, you do the intermediate survey.  So, Westerdam's renewal survey was around March/April 2019 (this is based on the date of issuance of the "certificate of survey" (or "class certificate"), which was March 2004 (3 five year renewals is March 2019).  So, her grandfathering should have run out then.

 

So if this is the actual schedule for Westerdam, then the Polar Code would also have impacted her late 2020 sailings scheduled for Antarctica (if there are/were any), as well as all of 2021 and 2022 Antarctica "cruising" offerings?

 

(Sorry, I think we've gone over this ground already, but be patient, the third time may be the charm in terms of me actually understanding it!!)

 

In your opinion, is there anything we are all overlooking that is causing so many mass market cruise lines to offer an "Antarctic cruising" experience in the next two years even though all of the regulations that have been discussed here would seem to say that it is impossible?

Edited by cruisemom42

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28 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

So if this is the actual schedule for Westerdam, then the Polar Code would also have impacted her late 2020 sailings scheduled for Antarctica (if there are/were any), as well as all of 2021 and 2022 Antarctica "cruising" offerings?

 

(Sorry, I think we've gone over this ground already, but be patient, the third time may be the charm in terms of me actually understanding it!!)

 

In your opinion, is there anything we are all overlooking that is causing so many mass market cruise lines to offer an "Antarctic cruising" experience in the next two years even though all of the regulations that have been discussed here would seem to say that it is impossible?

Unless they had some slip in their survey schedules, and the renewal surveys are pretty tight on scheduling, then she should not have been able to do any 2020 Antarctic cruises at all, let alone 2021 or 2022.  I am at a loss to explain why so many cruises are being sold as "Antarctic" experiences, when they clearly can't.

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Thanks again Cheng for all your help with this matter and your very informed factual input on all topics.

It is obviously now incumbent on HAL and the several other lines offering these drive by itineraries to be truthful about any exemptions or technicalities they may be working under and absent that to cease and desist intentionally promoting false information.

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Posted (edited)

It will definitely be interesting to see how this all eventually turns out as we would very much enjoy going back on another "drive by" cruise around the Antarctica peninsula in Jan 2023/4. But, if the only way after Jan 2022 winds up being on expedition ships at $1,000+ pp/day, not counting the adventure flying between the US and Ushuaia, then we will always cherish those past memories of when we went there on the Zaandam in 2018.

 

BTW we were booked on the upcoming Nov 27th Westerdam Solar Eclipse/Antarctica cruise in an aft-facing cabin I might add, but recently decided to cancel as there is no way that cruise is going to happen in our current environment.

Edited by Ken the cruiser

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8 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

BTW we were booked on the upcoming Nov 27th Westerdam Solar Eclipse/Antarctica cruise in an aft-facing cabin I might add, but recently decided to cancel as there is no way that cruise is going to happen in our current environment.

 

Oh, how disappointing for you!  That sounds like it would have been fantastic.

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6 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Oh, how disappointing for you!  That sounds like it would have been fantastic.

It definitely would have been a cool cruise. But, that's the way it goes. And who knows, maybe down the road some of those expedition cruises will drop down to $550 pp/day like Seabourn used to offer on their Antarctica expedition cruises on the Quest before the Venture will replace her in late 2021.

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22 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

It will definitely be interesting to see how this all eventually turns out as we would very much enjoy going back on another "drive by" cruise around the Antarctica peninsula in Jan 2023/4. But, if the only way after Jan 2022 winds up being on expedition ships at $1,000+ pp/day, not counting the adventure flying between the US and Ushuaia, then we will always cherish those past memories of when we went there on the Zaandam in 2018.

 

 

 

Our LAN charter flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia gave us an almost up-too-close-and-personal view of the Andes as we approached Ushuaia.  Definitely one of those landings you remember. 😁   

 

enhance

 

(photo by turtles06)

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1 hour ago, Turtles06 said:

 

Our LAN charter flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia gave us an almost up-too-close-and-personal view of the Andes as we approached Ushuaia.  Definitely one of those landings you remember. 😁   

 

enhance

 

(photo by turtles06)

 

The Andes are spectacular!  I can remember another landing that was, at least for me, unique.  When my plane arrived at Santiago, Chile where the airport is on a plain between two sets of mountains.  

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Maybe they expect the Polar Code to be redefined by SOLAS and there will be palm trees on Elephant Island in a few years if we can believe everything we read about "human caused climate change".😀

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8 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

The Andes are spectacular!  I can remember another landing that was, at least for me, unique.  When my plane arrived at Santiago, Chile where the airport is on a plain between two sets of mountains.  

My first international flight (except for Vancouver) was to SCL. I remember thinking how much the area reminded of California’s Central Valley. And the last part of the road to valpo, like old Oxnard and finally old Laguna Canyon Road. In the 70s and 80s.

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Turtles06 -We did LAN Ushuaia-El Calafate- BA-Cordoba a decade back. At each landing the passengers applauded the touchdown. The ex-military pilots prided themselves on getting stopped halfway down the runway so that they could turn directly to the terminal instead of having to taxi back from the far end.

 

TiogaCruiser -We did a wine tour east out of SCL. If I took the Spanish off the road signs I could have sworn I was in BC's Okanogan wine country.

 

Bill

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I received a reply to my email to HAL.  I don't get the feeling that he read my question which included the Antarctica rules.

I sent the email here:   Office of the President (HAL) <Officeofthepresident@HollandAmerica.com>

Received the reply from here:  Reservations Submit <Reservations_Submit@hollandamerica.com>

 

 

Dear  xxxxx,

 

Thank you for your recent correspondence with Holland America Line regarding upcoming cruise.

 

Our guest and crew are our highest concern so we will continue to review these itineraries during this time and advise our guests as soon as there is any needs for changes.

 

Please feel free to contact us if we may be of additional assistance or visit us online. We look forward to welcoming you onboard in the near future!

 

Kind Regards,

 

Joshua

Holland America Line

U.S. and Canada: 877-724-5425

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Posted (edited)

Thanks so much, bizeesheri, for sending the question to HAL, and for posting the answer here. I agree HAL probably didn't read your question about the Antarctica polar code rules, and sadly, I don't think Joshua even bothered to re-read his reply.

Edited by Mandalay1903

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34 minutes ago, bizeesheri said:

I received a reply to my email to HAL.  I don't get the feeling that he read my question which included the Antarctica rules.

I sent the email here:   Office of the President (HAL) <Officeofthepresident@HollandAmerica.com>

Received the reply from here:  Reservations Submit <Reservations_Submit@hollandamerica.com>

 

 

Dear  xxxxx,

 

Thank you for your recent correspondence with Holland America Line regarding upcoming cruise.

 

Our guest and crew are our highest concern so we will continue to review these itineraries during this time and advise our guests as soon as there is any needs for changes.

 

Please feel free to contact us if we may be of additional assistance or visit us online. We look forward to welcoming you onboard in the near future!

 

Kind Regards,

 

Joshua

Holland America Line

U.S. and Canada: 877-724-5425

 

Sounds like a form letter -- par for the course, I'm afraid...

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Unfortunately, it’s very hard to get honest, fact-based answers from the cruise lines regarding specific questions like this about an itinerary. That shouldn’t be the case, but, sad to say, it is.

 

Earlier this year, we took a (very wonderful) Panama Canal cruise on NCL.  One of the many ports on the itinerary was Zihuatanejo in the Mexican state of Guerrero.  The U.S. State Department had all of Guerrero, specifically including Zihuatanejo, under a Level 4: Do Not Travel warning  (the highest level of warning there is, the same warning level for Iran, Iraq, and North Korea) because of crime and safety issues.  In fact, U.S. government employees were expressly prohibited from traveling to Zihua.

 

Long before the cruise, I emailed NCL's executive office to ask why Zihua was on the itinerary, given the "Do Not Travel" warning.  My email was not answered and I emailed again.  Still no reply.  I finally called, and a very nice person in the Executive Office spoke with their itinerary department (or whatever it's named) and was told "Because we think it's safe."     My wife's response when I told her that: "What did you think they would say?"  🤣

 

HAL and all the other cruise lines selling these Antarctic itineraries really do owe people who inquire an explanation about the Polar Code and why they think these itineraries can really sail, but, unfortunately, it will be difficult to get to someone who can or will give you an honest answer. 

 

Oh, and this was what it looked like on the streets of Zihua:

 

enhance

 

(photo by turtles06)

 

 

 

 

 

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