Antarctic News

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).

16 Aug 2019

July: Earth's Hottest Month Ever Recorded

© Alexander/Adobe Stock

According to the latest monthly climate report from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), July 2019 was hottest month on record for the planet and Polar sea ice melted to record lows.Much of the planet sweltered in unprecedented heat in July, as temperatures soared to new heights in the hottest month ever recorded. The record warmth also shrank Arctic and Antarctic sea ice to historic lows.The average global temperature in July was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees…

12 Aug 2019

Aker Arctic's Icebreaking Ships Busy

Image: Aker Arctic Technology

Finnish engineering company Aker Arctic Technology Oy said that its Arctic condensate tanker Boris Sokolov has now been transporting gas condensate from Sabetta to various ports in Europe for more than half a year.Last spring, Aker Arctic’s expedition team carried out full-scale ice trials on the vessel based on our Aker ARC 212 design.In order to evaluate the performance of the vessel, the fully-laden Boris Sokolov deviated from her regular route and headed towards the Siberian coast to seek ice conditions that were closer to the tanker’s maximum independent icebreaking capability.

13 Aug 2019

Green Group Asks Cosco to Avoid HFO in Arctic

Photo by Clean Arctic Alliance

Clean Arctic Alliance has sent its second letter to Cosco, in which the NGOs urge the Chinese liner company to make public what fuel types its vessels use in the Arctic.Responding to reports that the 190m-long COSCO-owned cargo vessel Tian‚Äôen is due to arrive in the Swedish port of Gävle on August 18, having traversed the Arctic‚Äôs Northern Sea Route between the Pacific and the Atlantic, Clean Arctic Alliance Lead Advisor Sian Prior said: ‚ÄúEarlier this year, the Clean Arctic Alliance wrote to COSCO requesting it make public the nature of the fuel that the Tian‚Äôen‚Ķ

07 Aug 2019

World First: Saildrone Circumnavigates Antarctica

 From the top of the wing to the bottom of the keel, saildrones are loaded with science sensors. Pic: Saildrone

A seven-meter (23-foot) long, wind-powered unmanned surface vehicle (USV) called a saildrone has become the first unmanned system to circumnavigate Antarctica.The vehicle, known as SD 1020, was equipped with a suite of climate-grade sensors and collected data in previously unchartered waters, enabling new key insights into ocean and climate processes.The 196-day mission was launched from Southport in Bluff, New Zealand, on January 19, 2019, returning to the same port on August 3 after sailing over 22,000 km (13,670 miles) around Antarctica.

07 Aug 2019

Quark Expeditions Holds Keel-Laying Ceremony

Photo: Quark Expeditions

Quark Expeditions, a leader in polar adventures, held the keel-laying ceremony for its pioneering new ship Ultramarine on August 2, officially kicking off the next stage in the ship’s construction: the build of its hull and superstructure.Held at Brodosplit, the largest shipyard in Croatia, the event was attended by a mix of senior staff from Brodosplit, its parent company DIV Group, Quark Expeditions, its parent company Travelopia, and private equity investors KKR. Speeches were given by Joerg Metzner…

21 Jun 2019

Oceanwide Expeditions: another Ship on Order

Photo courtesy of Oceanwide Expeditions

Due to the success of our new Polar Class 6 ship, Hondius, Oceanwide Expeditions has ordered a sister ship built by the same manufacturer: M/v Janssonius is scheduled to be completed in October, 2021. She will have the same passenger capacity as Hondius (174), a nearly identical size and design, and will be a Polar Class 6 ice-strengthened vessel equivalent to a 1A super ice-class ship.Like Hondius, Janssonius will come equipped with a number of advanced systems and features specifically designed for safe…

04 Jun 2019

Iridium Unveils First GMDSS Terminal

Photo: Iridium

Iridium Communications and partner Lars Thrane, has unveiled the Lars Thrane (LT) 3100S terminal designed to operate on the Iridium network for Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) vessel carriage requirements, with service targeted to launch in January 2020. This is the first terminal designed to provide truly global GMDSS services and is the first to be offered after the International Maritime Organization’s decision to recognize Iridium as just the second-ever satellite provider for this critical service.

20 May 2019

IAATO Votes for Whale Protection Measures

Pic: Oceanwide Expeditions

The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) voted measures into effect that will reduce the incidence of tourist ships striking whales around the Antarctic Peninsula. The vote occurred at its annual meeting, held in Cape Town this year, and offers Antarctic tour operators two possible options: They must either commit to a 10-knot speed restriction within a specific time zone and area, or (if they already have a program to reduce whale strike) they must recruit…

10 May 2019

GC Rieber Sells Ernest Shackleton

Ernest Shackleton. Photo: GC Rieber Shipping

Norwegian shipping company GC Rieber Shipping has completed the process of redelivery and sale of the icebreaking research vessel 'Ernest Shackleton' to the new owner Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS).The redelivery of the vessel from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) marked the end of a nearly 20-year relationship between British Antarctic Survey and GC Rieber Shipping, said a press release from the operator of offshore subsea support vessels,…

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