Russia seized two cruise ships from the Canada-based cruise company One Ocean Expeditions, allegedly ‘without warning’. The cruise company has leased the two Russian-seized cruise vessels using them to transmit travellers on cruises through the Arctic and Antarctic.
The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators has included Iceland in its geographical range. Guidelines and other measures will also be applied to ensure sustainable expedition cruise operations in Iceland. At least 25% of AECO’s operating members have itineraries that already include or will include Iceland in the future.
On the aftermath of the polar-bear-shot-dead incident by a Hapag-Lloyd guard, AECO reiterated its guidelines for passengers and guards when encountering polar bears, to ensure that wildlife is not disturbed in this extremely fragile environment, as well as ensuring human safety.
As Hapag-Lloyd Cruises informed, during the weekend, on a trip ashore in Spitsbergen during a Bremen cruise, a polar bear guard was attacked on land by a polar bear. The guard suffered head injuries, however, he was responsive after the attack and was airlifted. However, the polar bear was shot dead.
This summer, Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators is working with cruise operators on identifying how the expedition cruise industry can drastically reduce the use of disposable plastics on ships. AECO will also continue to engage thousands of cruise passengers in beach cleanups in the Arctic.
Atomflot, a Russian company that maintains nuclear-powered icebreakers, informed that an icebreaker of the company will conduct five cruises to the North Pole the coming summer. The cruise will start on late June and will last until the beginning of August. During one of the icebreaker’s voyage the ship will transport 120 tourists to the North Pole.
More and more companies are attempting to expand into Arctic cruise shipping. The newest attempt is by Lindblad, which celebrated the keel laying of its first polar new build at the CRIST shipyard in Gdynia, Poland. However, this is not the first cruise ship aimed to sail in the Arctic. Namely, 16 new expedition vessels for Arctic waters are being designed.
Namely, the vessel will be 104.4 meters long, 18.4 meters wide and will have a weight of 7,400 tonnes, reaching a speed of at least 15.5 knots. Moreover, it will have electric propulsion and control system, thus being able to sail through high-latitude sea ice. The ship will be designed by the Norwegian shipbuilding company Ulstein.
“Crystal Endeavor” will be the largest and is expected to start its journey on 2020, travelling in the world’s polar and most remote destinations. The megayacht will cruise in Polar Regions during the summer and autumn in medium “first year” ice, possibly including old ice inclusions.
Crystal Cruises luxury cruise ship, Crystal Serenity, has embarked on a 32-day journey through the Northwest Passage, the Arctic region north of Canada that was unattainable until just 100 years ago.
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