Antarctica 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…

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 ‘Sylvia Earle’, 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’s founder.The new ship is one of the vessels in owner, SunStone Ships’, 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, ‘Greg Mortimer’ 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’s 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.…

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’s 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’s research stations in Antarctica.“Vasiliy Golovnin” – an icebreaking cargo ship – will deliver general cargo, food products and fuel to Bharati and Maitri stations during Antarctica’s 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’s INFINITY class series was named ‘Greg Mortimer’ 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’s 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…

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…

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.

19 Jul 2019

Quark Expeditions Intros Ultramarine

Image: Quark Expeditions

Polar adventures specialist Quark Expeditions is to introduce new livery on Ultramarine, it’s latest expedition cruise vessel, which will debut in time for the 2020-2021 season in Antarctica.The 200 passenger polar expedition ship is under construction at Croatia’s Brodosplit shipyard. The 128 meter vessel is being built to a design by Sembcorp Marine’s Bergen, Norway, headquartered subsidiary LMG Marin.The renderings showcase new livery featuring Quark Expeditions’ distinctive yellow “Q” logo spanning the full height of the ship…

11 Jul 2019

First Hybrid Cruise Ship to be Named in Antarctica

Hurtigruten's new hybrid powered MS Roald Amundsen will be the first ship in history to be named in Antarctica. Photo: ESPEN MILLS/Hurtigruten

Hybrid powered expedition cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen continues to make history – as Hurtigruten has announced the first ever ship naming ceremony in Antarctica. Instead of the traditional bottle of champagne, MS Roald Amundsen’s explorer heritage will be honored by naming the vessel with a chunk of ice.The naming ceremony will take place this fall, as the first world’s first hybrid powered cruise ship makes her way to the white continent on her maiden Antarctica voyage."We…

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…

17 Jun 2019

PROPULSION: The OXE Diesel Outboard Arrives

OXE’s gear box eliminates beveled gears and transfer shafts, the weakness found in other outboards and inboards. The commonly used dog clutch system used mainly on outboard systems has been substituted with more sophisticated electro hydraulically operated solution.

Swedish manufacturer Cimco Marine has developed the world’s first 200hp diesel marine outboard – named the OXE Diesel – for maritime security agencies, yacht tenders, municipalities and military applications.As Trace Laborde, Marine Manager for Laborde Products, said, “The OXE diesel is the complete package, a true diesel engine. It’s great for any maritime application that requires fuel efficiency, simple maintenance, compliance with all European and EPA Tier 3 regulations, and unmatched performance.

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…

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