Antarctic News

12 May 2020

Vestdavit Supplies New Davit for HMS Protector

The Royal Navy polar research vessel HMS Protector is equipped with seven davits from Vestdavit. Photo: Courtesy of the Royal Navy.

Vestdavit is bringing new fast craft handling capability to HMS Protector, the only Royal Navy ship dedicated to Antarctic patrol and survey duties.The advanced icebreaker, which provides a UK presence in the Antarctic and meets treaty obligations on inspections, hydrographical charting and in support of scientific research, is to be equipped with a specially-enhanced PLR-5000 davit from Vestdavit. All seven of the davits onboard HMS Protector have been supplied by Vestdavit.Part of a five-year docking and recertification package undertaken in the UK…

15 Apr 2020

Sea Trials for Australia's New Icebreaker Delayed Due to COVID-19

(Photo: Australian Antarctic Program)

Australia's newly built Antarctic icebreaking research and supply vessel (RSV) is nearly ready to be delivered, but its sea trials have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) said.Construction of the ship commenced at Damen’s Galați shipyard in Romania in May 2017, and the vessel was floated out in September 2018 prior to its scheduled arrival at home port Hobart in 2020. But delays brought on tby the COVID-19 outbreak have derailed…

15 Apr 2020

USCG Polar Security Cutters: The History and Future

Credit: Halter Marine and Technology Associates, Inc.

The good news is that work has commenced on the first new heavy polar icebreaker for the United States Coast Guard in 43 years. The bad news is that when it enters service, projected to occur in FY2024, it will be the first new heavy polar icebreaker for the USCG in 47 years. Meanwhile, Russia has approximately 30 active polar icebreakers, including four that are nuclear powered. Arktika, the first of a new class of three heavy polar icebreakers, has commenced sea trials in the Gulf of Finland, with the other two under construction.

13 Apr 2020

Uruguay Transports Australians, New Zealanders from Virus-Hit Cruise Ship

Greg Mortimer Cruise Ship - Image by Skye Marr Whelan - MarineTraffic

Uruguay started on Friday to repatriate 112 Australians and New Zealanders from a cruise ship hit by coronavirus and stranded in the La Plata River near the capital of Montevideo since March 27, the government said.The operation began in the evening when the Greg Mortimer, an Antarctic cruise ship operated by Aurora Expeditions, docked in the port of Montevideo.The passengers, most of whom have tested positive for the coronavirus, went by bus to a special airport terminal with strict health controls.

08 Apr 2020

Valmet to Supply Automation for Expedition Cruise Pair

Photo: Valmet

Valmet will supply automation and information systems for two luxury expedition vessels being built by Helsinki Shipyard Oy in Finland for Russia’s largest river cruise company Vodohod Ltd.The 113-meter-long and 20.2-meter-wide vessels will have an ice class of PC5 and a passenger capacity of 157 persons. Their draught is 5.7 meters, and cruising speed is 14 knots. The newbuilds will operate both in the Arctic and Antarctic waters as well as in the tropical waters during the spring and autumn seasons.Valmet’s delivery includes a Valmet DNA automation system…

13 Mar 2020

Icebreaker Aurora Australis Begins Final Voyage

Expeditioners holding up flares to farewell the Aurora Australis, as it departs Mawson research station, February 26, 2020 (Photo: Matt Williams)

It's an end of an era for Australia‚Äôs Antarctic icebreaker RSV Aurora Australis, which departed Hobart earlier this week for its final voyage after 31 years of service to the Australian Antarctic Program.The ship‚Äôs final trip south will be a two-week voyage to resupply sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island and transport expeditioners.‚ÄúThe Aurora Australis has been the backbone of the Australian Antarctic Program for more than three decades, so the vessel has a special place in our history,‚ÄĚ said Australian Antarctic Division‚Äôs General Manager of Operations, Charlton Clark.‚ÄúOver its lifetime the icebr

23 Feb 2020

Hurtigruten Makes History in Antarctica

MS Roald Amundsen carries passengers to 70 Degrees South in the Antarctic region, the furthest south of any Hurtigruten expedition cruise ship in the company's 127-year history. Image: Hurtigruten

MS Roald Amundsen, a battery-hybrid powered expedition cruise ship operated by Hurtigruten, has been exploring waters further south than any ship operated by the line in its 127-year history.The world's first hybrid electric-powered expedition ship crossed the Antarctic Circle and kept going, reaching the ice edge at 70 degrees south on Wednesday at 4:14 p.m. on February 19th Antarctica time."Our guests are thrilled! This is what Hurtigruten's expedition cruises are all about, pushing new frontiers and creating unique experiences for guests from all over the world.

19 Feb 2020

Measuring the Hostile Ocean Beneath Hurricanes

Fig.1: A Slocum glider from Teledyne Webb Research, en route to deployment. Credit: Rutgers University.

Unmanned Vehicles Collect Data for Improving Storm ForecastsThe influences of ocean conditions and currents on living environments are now more widely appreciated‚ÄĒfrom the Earth‚Äôs climate and severe weather conditions to fisheries and biodiversity. Sustained and widespread measurements are needed to provide essential clues for understanding the oceans, for effective monitoring of environmental changes, and for helping to clarify the long-term effects of global warming.To meet this challenge, ocean researchers have invented various types of unmanned observing platforms.

31 Jan 2020

Polar Research Ship Commissions Lifeboats

Image: Cammell Laird

UK’s new polar research ship being built at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead RRS Sir David Attenborough has achieved another important milestone with the commissioning and testing of the ship’s lifeboats and lifeboat davits.The lifeboats, each capable of carrying 90 people, are now in position on both sides of the vessel, along with the operational davits that allow for the safe deployment and recovery of the boats.RRS Sir David Attenborough is the first International Maritime Organisation’s Polar Code-compliant ship to have been built in the UK.

23 Jan 2020

US Icebreaker Polar Star Reaches Antarctica

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star breaks ice Jan. 16, 2020, near the ice pier of McMurdo Station, Antarctica. (U.S. Coast Guard photo NyxoLyno Cangemi)

The U.S. Coast Guard's sole heavy icebreaker arrived January 22 at McMurdo Station, following a 58-day transit from the United States. Cutter Polar Star (WAGB 10) departed its’ homeport of Seattle on November 26.This year marks the Polar Star’s 23rd journey to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze, an annual joint military service mission to resupply the United States Antarctic stations, in support of the National Science Foundation, the lead agency for the United States Antarctic Program.The 399-foot…

15 Dec 2019

MacGregor-Equipped Icebreaker for China

Image: MacGregor

A MacGregor project team has been involved in the polar icebreaker Xue Long (Snow Dragon) 2 project for China’s 36th Antarctic expedition from the very early stage back in 2011MacGregor is working collaboratively with the he Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC) project team and the Marine Design and Research Institute of China (MARIC) in Shanghai to develop different technical solutions required to enable deck handling equipment to operate effectively at temperatures of minus…

12 Dec 2019

Damen Inks Deal for Hydrographic R/V

Photo: Damen Shipyards Group

Damen Shipyards Group signed a Damen Technical Cooperation (DTC) contract with Cotecmar during ExpoDefensa 2019 in Bogota. The contract will see DTC provide design, engineering and technical assistance for the construction of a Scientific Marine Research Vessel (Buque de Investigación Científico Marina (BICM)).Cotemcar  will build the hydrographic and oceanogrpahic research vessel for DIMAR (Direccion Maritima ‚Äď Maritime Authority) at their Mamonal location. The vessel, which will be 83 meters in length with a beam of 16 meters‚Ķ

14 Nov 2019

USCG PSC Equals meaningful Polar Presence

An emperor penguin poses for a photo in front of the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star in McMurdo Sound near Antarctica on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. The crew of the Seattle-based Polar Star is on its way to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2018, the U.S. military’s contribution to the National Science Foundation-managed U.S. Antarctic Program. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameen.

The Coast Guard needs a ship that can do more than just break ice; it needs a multi-mission ship to provide for the nation’s security, asserting its sovereign rights, and protecting its long-term economic interests. That ship is the Polar Security Cutter.Since Russia cashed the check in 1867 for the purchase of Alaska the U.S. has been an Arctic nation. Today, it is one of eight countries that have territorial land or seas above the Arctic Circle or in the polar region (six of those countries have Arctic Ocean coastline or an exclusive economic zone above the Arctic Circle). The U.S.

10 Nov 2019

Hurtigruten Names World's 1st Hybrid Ship

Image: Hurtigruten

The world's first hybrid electric-powered expedition ship and newest member of the Hurtigruten fleet, MS Roald Amundsen, was officially named in Antarctica.The ceremony took place in Chiriguano Bay on Brabant Island - and instead of a traditional champagne bottle, godmother Karin Strand opted for a chunk of ice.According to the Norwegean cruise company, the ship will offer itineraries across the Antarctic. It was named after iconic polar explorer Roald Amundsen who led the first expeditions to the likes of the Northern Passage…

16 Oct 2019

NATO RV Alliance is not just quiet, it’s ice-capable

NATO’s 3,100-ton, 305-foot research vessel NRV Alliance has been a leading platform for underwater acoustics research to the benefit of NATO navies. Photo: NATO CMRE

An interview with Ian Sage, director for marine operations, NATO Center for Maritime Research and Experimentation, La Spezia, Italy.NATO’s 3,100-ton, 305-foot research vessel NRV Alliance has been a leading platform for underwater acoustics research to the benefit of NATO navies. The ship operated with a civilian crew under the German flag for many years for the NATO SACLANT Center, later renamed the NATO Undersea Research Center, and now known as the NATO Center for Maritime Research and Experimentation. Now Alliance flies a new flag, and has a broader mission.

08 Oct 2019

Keel Laid for National Geographic Resolution

 Keel Laying 'National Geographic Resolution'. Photo: Ulstein Group

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, a global provider of expedition cruises and adventure travel experiences,  and Norwegian shipbuilder and ship designer Ulstein Group have celebrated the keel laying of Lindblad‚Äôs second polar new build at the Crist shipyard in Gdynia, Poland.The occasion also served as the official naming ceremony of the vessel. It is named as National Geographic Resolution,  in honor of Captain James Cook.Captain James Cook was the first to circumnavigate Antarctica, cross the Antarctic Circle, and the first European to reach Hawaii.

06 Oct 2019

Vard Delivers Hanseatic Inspiration

Image: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

Vard, a Fincantieri subsidiary, has delivered the new Hanseatic Inspiration to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, the second in a series of three 230-guest luxury expedition ships for the German cruise operator.With her close to 16,000 gross tons and 139 meters long, ‚ÄúHanseatic inspiration‚ÄĚ follows sister ship ‚ÄúHanseatic nature‚ÄĚ, delivered in April by Vard Langsten in Norway, while a third vessel, ‚ÄúHanseatic spirit‚ÄĚ, is scheduled for completion in 2021.Each ship is tailored to allow passengers to access remote regions‚Ķ

26 Sep 2019

UK Polar Research Vessel Named

Built by Cammell Laird and operated by the British Antarctic Survey, the RRS Sir David Attenborough polar research vessel aims transform how ship-borne science is conducted in the polar regions. (Photo: British Antarctic Survey)

The UK’s new polar research ship is being formally named the RRS Sir David Attenborough today (Thursday, September 26) by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and special guest Sir David Attenborough will be in attendance. A three-day public celebration, hosted at the shipyard by British Antarctic Survey and Cammell Laird, will follow the naming ceremony and aims to inspire and inform people about polar science, engineering and technology. Primary school students from the STEM Polar…

06 Sep 2019

Polar RV Sir David Attenborough Naming Ceremony

The RRS Sir David Attenborough, Britain’s new polar research vessel: the naming ceremony for the ship will be held at shipbuilder Cammell Laird’s yard in Birkenhead, England on September 26.

(Photo: British Antarctic Survey)

On Thursday, 26 September, the ceremonial naming of the new British polar research ship RRS Sir David Attenborough will take place at the Cammell Laird Birkenhead shipyard.The ship was commissioned by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council, built by Cammell Laird, and operated by the British Antarctic Survey. This vessel is designed to transform how ship-borne science is conducted in the Polar Regions and its commissioning is part of a major UK Government polar infrastructure…

30 Aug 2019

AkzoNobel to Coat Chinese Icebreaker

Image: Akzo Nobel N.V.

Dutch multinational company AkzoNobel‚Äės coatings solution selected by Polar Research Institute of China to protect its first domestically built polar icebreaker, Xue Long 2 from harsh Arctic and Antarctic condition.Purpose-built to cope with thick ice sheets and the extreme challenges of polar exploration, the 12,366 ton research vessel is coated with Intershield 163 Inerta 160 from the International product range.The tried and tested abrasion resistant system has a proven 47-year track record of performing in temperatures as low as -50°C and has already been used on more than 1‚Ķ

28 Aug 2019

Greenland Summit Focus on Polar Code

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Changing climatic conditions are opening up the polar regions to more and more maritime activity, said International Maritime Organization (IMO).But ships which operate in the harsh Arctic and Antarctic regions are exposed to many unique risks ‚Äď so their safety, and the protection of the polar environment, have always been a matter of concern for IMO.IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim is visiting Ilulissat, Greenland (25-29 August) to participate in a high-level roundtable on Arctic shipping.

04 Sep 2019

Expedition Cruise Market Powers Ahead

National Geographic Endurance for Lindblad. Source: Ulstein Verft AS

While nothing lasts forever, the cruise industry ‚Äď and particularly the ‚Äėexpedition‚Äô cruise sector ‚Äď remain on a historic run with no indication of a near-term slowdown.The leisure travel sector, of which expedition cruising is a part, offers numerous possibilities for delivering new ‚Äúexperiences‚ÄĚ unlike industrial shipping businesses (or even conventional ferry and passenger transport), which can only grow as fast as the demand in a particular sector.Though there is no precise definition of ‚Äúexpedition‚Ä̂Ķ

21 Aug 2019

UN Treaty to Protect Marine Biodiversity

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretariat is attending the latest in a series of conferences to develop a legally binding international instrument, under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction - known as 'BBNJ'.According to the UN body, the 3rd Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) is being held at UN Headquarters in New York, United States (19-30 August).

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