Antarctica News

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…

03 Apr 2020

Viking Launches Mississippi River Cruises

(Image: Viking)

Viking announced it will launch a Mississippi River cruise line with its first vessel, Viking Mississippi, scheduled to sail voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi, between New Orleans and St. Paul from August 2022.Purpose-built for the Mississippi and is currently under construction in Louisiana, the five-deck ship will accommodate 386 passengers in 193 all outside staterooms.“At a time where many of us are at home, looking for inspiration to travel in the future, I am pleased to introduce a new, modern way to explore this great river.

31 Mar 2020

Carnival Brands Pause Cruises for Another Month

© Lauren / Adobe Stock

Four of Carnival Corp‚Äôs cruise lines said on Monday they would extend the suspension of all voyages by a month to May due to the coronavirus crisis that has worsened over the past few weeks.The brands - Holland America Line, Carnival and luxury cruise ship operators Seabourn and Cunard - together operate 49 ships.Carnival Corp, also the operator of two coronavirus-stricken Princess cruises, has already temporarily suspended several of its ships due to concerns over the rapidly spreading COVID-19 crisis earlier this month.‚ÄúThe impact of COVID-19 is affecting personal routines and businesses as

19 Mar 2020

SunStone's Ocean Victory Launched

(Photo: Ulstein)

The third ship in SunStone Ships' INFINITY series was launched on Monday at the CMHI Haimen shipyard in China.Ocean Victory, though a sister vessels to the first vessel in the INFINITY series, Greg Mortimer, the latest newbuild differs from in several ways, reflecting the flexibility of the design series, according to Ulstein Design & Solutions, who is providing the design and equipment package to this project. Ocean Victory is the second exploration cruise vessel built at the yard to feature the ULSTEIN X-BOW…

12 Mar 2020

NOAA-Viking Public Private Partnership, a Win-win for Research

RENDERING OF NEW VIKING SHIP: This rendering shows what the new Viking expedition ships will look like, including the hangar for launching small vessels. Credit: Viking

There was important cruise news in January: Viking ‚Äď a premier European ocean and river cruise company - will offer two new ‚Äúdestination-focused travel experiences,‚ÄĚ starting in 2022. One set of cruises becomes Viking‚Äôs first foray in the inland North American market, in this case the Great Lakes. Another set of cruises will head to the Arctic and Antarctica. Viking is building two new vessels: the Viking Octantis and the Viking Polaris, under construction now in Norway, by Fincantieri‚Äôs VARD.In a press release Viking writes that it has created ‚Äúthe thinking person‚Äôs expedition.‚ÄĚ  Indeed‚Ķ

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.

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…

14 Jan 2020

Iridium Now Authorized for GMDSS Service

Photo: Iridium

Iridium Communication signed on to provide Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) service.On December 19, 2019 a Letter of Compliance was signed by the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO), stating it has positively verified the operational and technical requirements as requested by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for Iridium to provide Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) service. Iridium’s GMDSS service is bringing many capabilities to the maritime industry…

09 Jan 2020

Aurora Expeditions Christens Sylvia Earle

Image: Ulstein

Aurora Expeditions, the luxury cruise company that offers services to Antarctica and Arctic,  will build a second expedition ship, the Sylvia Earle, scheduled to debut in October 2021.The 126-passenger vessel  named ‚ÄėSylvia Earle‚Äô, to honor the renowned marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer.The order comes shortly after the Australia-based company introduced its first new expedition ship in 2019, the Greg Mortimer, named for the Australian mountaineer and Aurora‚Äôs founder.The new ship is one of the vessels in owner, SunStone Ships‚Äô, INFINITY class.

02 Jan 2020

Brodosplit Cuts Steel for Expedition Ship

Image: Oceanwide Expeditions

Oceanwide Expeditions, the Dutch company specializing in expedition-style voyages to Antarctica and the Arctic, has cut steel on its newbuild, Polar Class 6 expedition ship, the Janssonius at Croatia’s Brodosplit shipyard.The design, size and 174-passenger capacity is the same as its sibling vessel, the Hondius (174 passengers) delivered in 2019, and a nearly identical size and design, the new ship will be equivalent to a 1A super ice-class ship, the line said.Completely on schedule…

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…

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…

30 Oct 2019

First Feedback From First X-BOW Expedition Cruise Vessel

Photo: Ulstein Group

The first ULSTEIN X-BOW polar cruise vessel, ‚ÄėGreg Mortimer‚Äô is about to set off for her first Antarctica expedition, and will cross the notorious Drake Passage on November 1. The X-BOW feature reduces the slamming in head seas. This was proven on the vessel‚Äôs transit from China to Argentina, when she entered 10m high waves and very strong winds.The vessel is a true globetrotter from birth, having been developed on four continents: The ship owner SunStone Ships is based in the U.S.‚Ķ

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.

07 Oct 2019

Sovcomflot Names New Arctic Shuttle Tanker

Mikhail Lazarev (Photo: Sovcomflot)

On October 6, 2019, a naming and flag raising ceremony was held in Vladivostok for Sovcomflot’s latest Arctic shuttle tanker. The vessel was named after Mikhail Lazarev, a prominent Russian admiral and explorer known for his discovery of Antarctica. The tanker was ordered by Sovcomflot to transport crude oil for the Novy Port project, under a long-term agreement between Sovcomflot and Gazprom Neft.The ceremony was attended by Oleg Melnikov, Vice-Governor of Primorsky Region and Sergey Frank…

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…

19 Sep 2019

CMHI Lays Keel for Ocean Victory

Image: SunStone Ship

China Merchant Heavy Industries (CMHI) held in Haimen a keel-laying ceremony for the Miami-based SunStone Ship's third Infinity-class ship, Ocean Victory.European aesthetic and design, and Chinese ship-building efficiency combine to produce the intimate expedition ship Ocean Victory that deliver on refinement, along with cutting-edge design and operations, claimed a press release from the company.Representatives from the owner, the charterers - American Queen Steamboat Company…

17 Sep 2019

First Hybrid Cruise Ship Sails Northwest Passage

MS Roald Amundsen. Photo: Hurtigruten

Norwegian cruise, ferry and cargo operator Hurtigruten announced that its new expedition cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen became the first battery-hybrid powered ship to ever traverse the legendary Northwest Passage last week.As MS Roald Amundsen arrived in Nome, Alaska on September 10, 2019, Captain Kai Albrigtsen made a monumental entry in the ship’s logbook: The first complete crossing of the more than 3,000 nautical miles passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, by hybrid propulsion.“Every expedition cruise with Hurtigruten is unique…

08 Sep 2019

Vasiliy Golovnin to Supply India's Antarctica Station

Pic: FESCO

Russia's Far East Shipping Company (FESCO) and the National Center for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of India have extended the contract for supplying India‚Äôs research stations in Antarctica.‚ÄúVasiliy Golovnin‚ÄĚ ‚Äď an icebreaking cargo ship ‚Äď will deliver general cargo, food products and fuel to Bharati and Maitri stations during Antarctica‚Äôs summer in 2019-2020.Scientists of the National Center for Polar and Ocean Research will also join the expedition for the research.

06 Sep 2019

First X-BOW Polar Vessel Ready to Explore

Photo: Ulstein Group

The first expedition cruise vessel in SunStone‚Äôs INFINITY class series was named ‚ÄėGreg Mortimer‚Äô at the China Merchants Heavy Industry (CMHI) Haimen base on September 6, 2019. The vessels have been designed and developed by Norway-based Ulstein Design & Solutions together with the ship‚Äôs owner and their client, Aurora Expeditions. The vessel has been delivered and is all set for her first Antarctica venture.In the combined naming and delivery ceremony, the vessel received her name after Greg Mortimer‚Ķ

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…

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