Antarctica News

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…

06 May 2019

Interview: Dan Skjeldam, CEO, Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten’s CEO Dan Skjeldam: “bullish” about the expedition cruise sector’s prospects. Photo courtesy of Hurtigruten

Building on its 125-year heritage, Norwegian shipowner Hurtigruten has become a leader in exploration travel offering voyages to more than 200 unique destinations in more than 30 countries ranging across the globe from the Arctic to the Antarctic and including cruises in Norway, Greenland, Svalbard, Iceland, Western Europe, and the Americas. In an interview with Maritime Reporter and Engineering News, Dan Skjeldam, the company’s CEO, emphasizes the need for the cruise industry…

30 Apr 2019

USCG VADM Fagan Weighs in on Arctic Plans

 U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Senior Chief Petty Officer NyxoLyno Cangemi

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Pacific Area commander discussed the service’s new Arctic Strategic Outlook, Polar Security Cutters and innovation efforts to improve maritime domain awareness in the high latitudes April 26, 2019, during the Arctic Encounter Symposium in Seattle.During her keynote speech at the symposium, Vice Adm. Linda Fagan said, “The tyranny of distance and the harsh Arctic climate pose significant challenges to agencies charged with providing maritime safety and security to all Americans, including the hundreds of villages and thousands of seasonal workers in the U.S.

29 Apr 2019

Coast Guard Discusses Developing Arctic Role

U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Senior Chief Petty Officer NyxoLyno Cangemi

The U.S. Coast Guard's Pacific Area commander discussed the service's new Arctic Strategic Outlook, Polar Security Cutters and innovation efforts to improve maritime domain awareness in the high latitudes Friday during the Arctic Encounter Symposium in Seattle.During her keynote speech at the symposium, Vice Adm. Linda Fagan said, “The tyranny of distance and the harsh Arctic climate pose significant challenges to agencies charged with providing maritime safety and security to all Americans, including the hundreds of villages and thousands of seasonal workers in the U.S.

29 Apr 2019

RNZN Tanker Aotearoa Hits the Water

Pic: Royal New Zealand Navy

The Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN) first purpose-built ship in 10 years, the HMNZS Aotearoa,  was launched at Hyundai Heavy Industries’s Ulsan shipyard in South Korea.The HMNZS Aotearoa auxiliary ship was constructed at the Hyundai Heavy Industries dry dock under a USD327 million contract. In 2020, it will replace the Navy’s latest replenishment oiler, the HMNZS Endeavour, which was decommissioned in 2017.“Seeing a ship of this size and capability on the water nearing full completion is a really exciting time for our Navy…

19 Apr 2019

Aus Icebreaker Nearing Completion

Image: Australian Maritime College

Preparations are ramping up for the arrival of Australia’s newest icebreaker, the RSV Nuyina. The Antarctic icebreaker is due to arrive in Hobart in 2020.RSV Nuyina will be the main lifeline to Australia’s Antarctic and sub-Antarctic research stations and the central platform of our Antarctic and Southern Ocean scientific research.Construction of the ship at Damen Shipyards in Romania commenced in May 2017, with a steel cutting ceremony, while a keel laying ceremony in August…

10 Apr 2019

ABB to Equip Seabourn Duo

Seabourn Venture. Image courtesy of Seabourn

ABB said it has secured a power and propulsion contract for the two debut Seabourn ultra-luxury expedition vessels.The contract covers two 170-meter length ships due delivery to the Seattle-based cruise company from Italian yard T. Mariotti, in June 2021 and May 2022 respectively.Seabourn has chosen ABB’s power and propulsion technology for the 23,000gt ships that integrates main generators, switchboard, convertors, bow thruster motors and the remote control system in a single package…

18 Mar 2019

V. Ships Leisure, Mystic Cruises Team Up

Photo: V. Ships Leisure

V.Ships Leisure, part of V.Group, a global marine support services provider, has partnered with Mystic Cruises to provide crew management services including deck, engine, and hotel crew for the 9,300 GRT ice-classed vessel World Explorer.The vessel, which is currently under the final stages of construction at WestSea Viana Shipyard in Portugal will be delivered to Mystic Cruises in Q2 2019. With capacity for 200 passengers, World Explorer will be Mystic Cruises’ first newbuild expedition vessel…

14 Mar 2019

"The best expedition cruise ship ever"

“ ... the best expedition vessel ever built ... ” 
Nikolaos Doulis, Senior Vice President, New Buildings, Lindblad Expeditions, and the model of National Geographic Endurance at the tank testing facility, sporting Ulstein’s signature ‘XBox’. Photo: Lindblad Expeditions

A cruise industry veteran of more than 25 years, Nikolaos Doulis, Lindblad Expeditions’ SVP, New Buildings, discusses with Maritime Reporter & Engineering News the build plan for “the best expedition cruise ship ever built.”Born in Greece to a seafaring family, Nikolaos Doulis was destined for a maritime career. His father was a ship captain and eventually a ship owner, and to support the family business he wanted his son to have an engineering education. So at the age of 14, Doulis started spending more time in and around ships…

13 Mar 2019

Seabourn Names First Expedition Ship

Pic: Seabourn

Cruise line Seabourn has announced that it will name its first new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship Seabourn Venture. The newbuilding is scheduled to be launched at Mariotti Damen Cruise yard in Italy in June 2021.The cruise line said the name is paying tribute to the remote destinations visited by the brand’s expeditions and Ventures by Seabourn excursion programs and the places yet to be explored in the future.Seabourn began offering expedition experiences during its first sailing to Antarctica in 2013 led by a highly qualified…

13 Mar 2019

Explorer Profile: Sven Lindblad

Now 68 and living in New York City’s West Village, Sven Lindblad hails from Sweden. Early adulthood was in Kenya where he lived until from 1969 to 1977. Nature, wild places and people who understood real survival challenges in Africa shaped his formative years. Photo: David Vargas/Lindblad Expeditions

Profiled in the March 2019 "cruise" edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News is Sven Lindblad, intrepid explorer and wildlife photographer Sven Lindblad blazed the trail for environmentally sensitive travelers to Antarctica on Lindblad Expedition’s fleet of cruise ships with National Geographic.You can tell a lot about a man by whom his heroes are, whether famous athletes, virtuoso musicians, brave warriors or movie stars. As we age, we choose our heroes by their moral compass…

01 Mar 2019

Fire Breaks out on USCG's Polar Star

Image Courtesy US Coast Guard

It seems the U.S. cannot do enough to fast-track the construction of its new icebreaking fleet, as the USCG announce last night that the 150-member crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star fought a fire at approximately 9 p.m. PST Feb. 10 that broke out in the ship's incinerator room about 650 miles north of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.After initial response efforts using four fire extinguishers failed, fire crews spent almost two hours extinguishing the fire. Fire damage was contained inside the incinerator housing…

25 Feb 2019

World First: Hybrid Cruise Ship Completes Sea Trial

MS Roald Amundsen undergoing sea trials in the waters off Kleven Yard in Norway. Photo: UAVPIC.COM/Tor Erik Kvalsvik/Kleven/Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten’s MS Roald Amundsen is nearing completion at Kleven Yard. This weekend the world’s first hybrid powered cruise ship completed her first sea trials in the fjords along the western coast of Norway.With Norwegian fjords as testing ground – and the famous Sunnmøre alps as a spectacular backdrop – MS Roald Amundsen’s advanced, green technology was put to a test in the waters off Kleven Yard in Ulsteinvik, Norway, over the weekend.Custom built for some of the most extreme waters on the planet…

15 Feb 2019

Tomas Tillberg: Rebel with a Cause

Born to be wild. Tomas Tillberg rides his Harley Davidson, his third motorcycle, every weekend. Photo courtesy of Tomas Tillberg.

Designer Tomas Tillberg’s quest for freedom breaks down barriers and expands to China, where his team builds China’s first expedition cruise ships putting Antarctica - and the most remote, mysterious parts of the world - within reach.All for freedom. Freedom for all. Tomas Tillberg could be Harley Davidson’s new poster boy. As he views the open road from behind his handle bars, he’s filled with an amazing feeling of personal freedom.With formal training from Royal Academy of Arts in Stockholm, Tillberg’s artistry expresses his aspiration for independence.

05 Feb 2019

Polar Cruise Deploys Mooring Magnets

Silver Cloud passengers aboard the ship's Zodiacs. Photo by Miko Marine

Polar Cruises, the provider small-ship travel to Antarctica and the Arctic, is now using high power permanent magnets for its 'Silver Cloud' when deploying boats for passenger excursions.The magnets, supplied by Miko Marine of Norway, each have a holding power of 500 kg and are being used by the boat crews to create additional mooring points on the hull of the ship, said a press release.This enables Zodiacs and other boats to be held close against the ship before being relocated to the point where passengers must disembark for excursions…

28 Jan 2019

Cruise Shipping: 'Green Cruising' with Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten has plans for cruises to a wide range of new destinations, including the Norway Fjords, Svalbard, Russia, South America and Antarctica. Photo: Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten orders third hybrid-powered expedition cruise shipGrowth in the global cruise sector continues, as Hurtigruten, the world’s largest expedition cruise operator, signed an MOU with shipbuilder Kleven Verft AS for the construction of a third hybrid-powered expedition cruise ship. Tom Mulligan, Maritime Reporter’s Science & Technology writer, reports from Norway.“We are thrilled to introduce yet another revolutionary hybrid-powered expedition ship,” enthused Hurtigruten’s CEO, Daniel Skjeldam.

22 Jan 2019

Coast Guard's Only Heavy Icebreaker Arrives at Antarctica

Photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameen 
U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area

The 150 crew members of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star arrived Thursday in Antarctica along with a resupply vessel during Operation Deep Freeze – a joint military service mission to resupply U.S. interests in Antarctica.Homeported in Seattle, the 42-year-old Coast Guard cutter is the United States’ only operational heavy icebreaker, and the crew is making their sixth deployment in as many years to directly support the resupply of McMurdo Station – the United States’ main…

04 Jan 2019

Wharf-Building Equipment Arrives Antarctica

The DS Wisconsin alongside at Rothera Research Station. Credit: Jenny Symons, British Antarctic Survey (BAS)

A cargo ship loaded with 4,500 tonnes of steel and construction equipment required to build a new Antarctic wharf has arrived at British Antarctic Survey (BAS)'s Rothera Research Station.Staff awaiting its arrival cheered as the DS Wisconsin pulled alongside, guided for the final few hours through sea ice by the ice-strengthened RRS Ernest Shackleton. Work began immediately on the huge task of unloading the cargo, which is likely to take around two weeks.The ship, containing plant…

04 Jan 2019

A Record-Low Start to Ice the New Year in Antarctica

Figure 1: Sea ice extent for January 1, 2019 (Photo: NSIDC)

As of January 1, 2019, Antarctic sea ice extent had experienced several days of record lows. These record-low extents, which followed a period of rapid ice loss in December, exemplify the high seasonal and year-to-year variability in Antarctic sea ice. With six to eight weeks remaining in the melt season, it remains to be seen whether the present situation will persist and lead to a record-low annual minimum. A discussion of Arctic conditions will be posted next week.Overview of conditionsOn January 1…

17 Dec 2018

Shipbuilding: Hurtigruten Hybrid Construction Forges Ahead

The first of Hurtigruten’s new hybrid powered expedition cruise vessels, the MS Roald Amundsen, under construction at the Kleven Yard in Ulsteinvik, Norway: delivery is expected in May 2019. (Photo: Tom Mulligan)

Norwegian company Hurtigruten, the world’s largest expedition cruise operator, is continuing to push the boundaries when it comes to green travel with its order for three hybrid-powered vessels nearing completion, the first ship being due for delivery in May 2019.Two of these revolutionary ships are currently under construction at the Kleven Yard in Ulsteinvik, Norway, the MS Roald Amundsen and its sister ship, the MS Fritjof Nansen, both of which are custom-designed to cope with some of the most extreme conditions seen on our planet, each having a specially-designed, ice-strengthened hull.

16 Dec 2018

Hurtigruten expands to Alaska

MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen. Photo: Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten is to expand Alaska sailings in 2020 by deploying new hybrid-powered MS Roald Amundsen in the region.The Norwegian expedition cruise specialist, who claims to be  the world’s greenest and most extensive expedition cruise program, said that this new location adds to the company's expanding cruise program, which offers more than 250 worldwide destinations in the 2020/2021 season.Hurtigruten will run a series of seven voyages covering the highlights of the Inside Passage…

05 Dec 2018

Ship Sets Sail for Antarctica Wharf Works

All aboard and bound for Antartica. Photo: BAM Construct UK

A ship loaded with 4,500t of equipment by BAM Construct UK has been sent on a month-long journey to Antarctica, where it will be used for building a new wharf at Rothera Research Station.The new wharf, being built over the next two Antarctic seasons, will provide safe berthing and efficient unloading for the new polar research vessel the RRS Sir David Attenborough. The Rothera Research Station is a British Antarctic Survey (BAS) base on the Antarctic Peninsula, located at Rothera Point…

04 Dec 2018

Interview: Admiral Karl Schultz, Commandant, United States Coast Guard

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz visits with Coast Guard crews stationed in
New York City. U.S. Coast Guard photo illustration by Petty Officer 1st Class Jetta Disco.

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was offered the opportunity to interview Admiral Karl Schultz, the 26th Commandant in the history of the United States Coast Guard, in his office in Washington, DC. Just five months into his tenure, his plate is predictably full with a number of challenges, including: Attracting and retaining future U.S. Coast Guard personnel; addressing a number of assymetric threats, including cyber attacks; and ensuring captial and operating budgets are adequate to safely and efficiently carry out a global mission envelope, to name but a few.

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