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New Ice Class in force 1st Jan. 2018

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13 minutes ago, knittinggirl said:

I wish someone would explain the ice class certification to me.  How much extra does a ship cost to ice rate the ship?   Why can't they build the new ice class requirements into the new ship builds?

 

Is this an environmental issue or a safety issue?

Someone else can describe everything that goes into it, but it is definitely safety.

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Just now, RDC1 said:

Someone else can describe everything that goes into it, but it is definitely safety.

Are we getting more ice flow recently?

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Knittinggirl - There are other threads on CC including one on Princess board regarding the new Ice Class.

As well - Google Polar Code - ignore all travel agent sites & read the others.

Westerdam has her 5 year certificates up for renewal some time later than Zaandam & currently has an ice class the same as some / all other HAL ships.

As these ships go through there 5 year recertification - drydock in 5 year incriments from build date - they LOOSE there Ice Class because they no longer comply with the new POLAR  CODE  that comes into force on 1st Jan. 2022.

 

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Posted (edited)

If you look at the new listed Westerdam "Antarctica Experience" and compare it with the Antarctic cruise destinations in earlier years, judging by the map, the new Antarctic cruise looks a lot different and appears not to venture as much south anymore! 

 

First picture is of our cruise in 2015, second one is the new 2020 cruise.

 

SN519W.jpg

Untitled.jpg

Edited by Alphen

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9 hours ago, knittinggirl said:

I wish someone would explain the ice class certification to me.  How much extra does a ship cost to ice rate the ship?   Why can't they build the new ice class requirements into the new ship builds?

 

Is this an environmental issue or a safety issue?

 

9 hours ago, knittinggirl said:

Are we getting more ice flow recently?

What is happening is that cruise lines are going to more places, like the Northwest Passage cruises, and the IMO has looked at the risks of these cruises by ships that don't meet the previous Ice Classes, and decided to upgrade their requirements into the new Polar Code.  It is all about passenger safety in areas where the threat to the ship from the environment (bad weather, ice damage) is very real, and where rescue can be far away and take days to get there.  Building a ship to Polar Class costs a lot of money (lots more steel to reinforce the hull, special safety equipment), and for a ship that only does an occasional trip into Arctic waters, it probably isn't justified unless the line charges a whopping supplement for these occasional cruises.  Arctic cruises will be limited to expedition type ships that are built for the environment, and rightly so.  Even though the ships that have done the Northwest Passage are Ice Class (though not the highest class), I cringed when I thought of the risks taken for these cruises (and I know the passengers signed liability waivers to go).

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Now I'm really confused.  Do the Antarctic cruises also require signed liability waivers?  

 

When we were in Alaska, we couldn't get into Tracy Arm Fjord a couple of times due to ice flow.  Doesn't the ship captains check the weather and know when to cancel a portion of a cruise?   I know Tracy Arm Fjord is different from Antarctica.

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28 minutes ago, knittinggirl said:

Now I'm really confused.  Do the Antarctic cruises also require signed liability waivers?  

I never had to sign a liability waiver on my Antarctica cruises. It was the Crystal cruises above North America, the Northwest Passage cruises from Alaska to New York, that had to have a liability waiver.

Yes, the captains certainly do pay attention to weather forecasts and do everything possible to avoid bad weather and heavy ice. On my Antarctica cruises there were several days when we had to skip Plan A, and skip right over Plans B-J and go straight to Plan L! It was always an adventure.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, RuthC said:

I never had to sign a liability waiver on my Antarctica cruises. It was the Crystal cruises above North America, the Northwest Passage cruises from Alaska to New York, that had to have a liability waiver.

Yes, the captains certainly do pay attention to weather forecasts and do everything possible to avoid bad weather and heavy ice. On my Antarctica cruises there were several days when we had to skip Plan A, and skip right over Plans B-J and go straight to Plan L! It was always an adventure.

Very good to know.  We usually don't do trips/excursions that require a waiver.     Does plan "L" mean you skip Antarctica entirely?

 

I really hope they don't scrap Greenland and Prince Christian Sund.  We didn't see much ice flow in Prince Christian Sund, but Voyage of the Vikingd 2015  did see a lot of ice flow.

Edited by knittinggirl

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7 minutes ago, knittinggirl said:

Does plan "L" mean you skip Antarctica entirely?

Oh, no! We saw plenty that day; we just didn't see what had been planned originally. Or second, third, or 4th choices, for that matter! It was still all good.


One good thing was that what we had to skip one day was possible the next, when we couldn't to what was planned. Another good thing was returning to an area, but with different weather, let us get a real feel for the different 'moods' that can be experienced.

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12 minutes ago, knittinggirl said:

We didn't see much ice flow in Prince Christian Sund,

You can, though. It just depends on conditions when you are going through. On one of my trips there the ship was able to get only part way into the Sund, and it was blocked. We had to go back, and get around the southern end of Greenland another way.


On a different trip we were in a horrible storm, so the Captain was able to bring the ship in to the Sund to spend the night and get a rest. We had to miss a port later on, due to the loss of sailing time, but at least we got some sleep that night.

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Will Prince Christian Sund and Greenland be skipped after the new Polar Class and 60°N rules take affect?  A map on Polar Class regulation included all of Greenland.  This is something I plan to ask on our Voyage of the Vikings this July.

 

Having been to Prince Christian Sund, the New Zealand Sounds and Alaska stuff, I've decided I really don't want to miss Prince Christian Sund.  So special, since we get all day.  With Alaska scenery, we only get a few hours.

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According to the map posted, it looks like all of Greenland is above 60ºN, so would be off limits.
Do you have any idea just how much ice there is around Greenland? It's one gigantic ice cube, with some earth and rock under it.
Some areas also above 60ºN are exempt because the Gulf Stream moderates the water temperature.

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6 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

 

What is happening is that cruise lines are going to more places, like the Northwest Passage cruises, and the IMO has looked at the risks of these cruises by ships that don't meet the previous Ice Classes, and decided to upgrade their requirements into the new Polar Code.  It is all about passenger safety in areas where the threat to the ship from the environment (bad weather, ice damage) is very real, and where rescue can be far away and take days to get there.  Building a ship to Polar Class costs a lot of money (lots more steel to reinforce the hull, special safety equipment), and for a ship that only does an occasional trip into Arctic waters, it probably isn't justified unless the line charges a whopping supplement for these occasional cruises.  Arctic cruises will be limited to expedition type ships that are built for the environment, and rightly so.  Even though the ships that have done the Northwest Passage are Ice Class (though not the highest class), I cringed when I thought of the risks taken for these cruises (and I know the passengers signed liability waivers to go).

How have the cruise lines gotten around the requirement in the polar code for having a survival suit for each passenger? I suspect that the large cruise ships don't meet the 1 for each passenger requirement.

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17 minutes ago, RuthC said:

According to the map posted, it looks like all of Greenland is above 60ºN, so would be off limits.
Do you have any idea just how much ice there is around Greenland? It's one gigantic ice cube, with some earth and rock under it.
Some areas also above 60ºN are exempt because the Gulf Stream moderates the water temperature.

We must have been there on a relatively warm summer in 2016.  I remember seeing some buildings perched on the rocks, but not much ice.    I also remember 39°F in August!  I think one of the ports is a pier, but most are tender ports.    This time, with my hip fixed, we're checking the wind forecast before embarking.

 

We stayed on the ship, tender ports are not our cup of anything.

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6 minutes ago, RDC1 said:

How have the cruise lines gotten around the requirement in the polar code for having a survival suit for each passenger? I suspect that the large cruise ships don't meet the 1 for each passenger requirement.

As noted by SeaDog46 in his original post, there are only a couple of ships that meet the Polar Code at this time, all the others are working under grandfather waivers.  The ships don't need a "survival suit" or "immersion suit" for each passenger, they can provide a "thermal protective aid"  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_Protective_Aid

 

These are cheaper than survival or immersion suits since they don't provide buoyancy like a survival suit does, it is designed to be worn over a lifejacket.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

As noted by SeaDog46 in his original post, there are only a couple of ships that meet the Polar Code at this time, all the others are working under grandfather waivers.  The ships don't need a "survival suit" or "immersion suit" for each passenger, they can provide a "thermal protective aid"  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_Protective_Aid

 

These are cheaper than survival or immersion suits since they don't provide buoyancy like a survival suit does, it is designed to be worn over a lifejacket.

The info I was going off of was from IMO adopted in Nov 2014 so not even the latest changes. I see that they can use a thermal aid, but do they carry enough for all, compared to the normal 10% of lifeboat capacity.

 

http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTopics/polar/Documents/Polar Code Ship Safety - Infographic_smaller_.pdf

Edited by RDC1

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23 minutes ago, RDC1 said:

The info I was going off of was from IMO adopted in Nov 2014 so not even the latest changes. I see that they can use a thermal aid, but do they carry enough for all, compared to the normal 10% of lifeboat capacity.

 

http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTopics/polar/Documents/Polar Code Ship Safety - Infographic_smaller_.pdf

I'm sure they do, but only when making the cruises into the arctic areas.  And by the way, that is the new Polar Code.  Just because it was adopted in 2014, that just means that the proper number of nations approved it, it didn't come into force until last year.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

I'm sure they do, but only when making the cruises into the arctic areas.  And by the way, that is the new Polar Code.  Just because it was adopted in 2014, that just means that the proper number of nations approved it, it didn't come into force until last year.

OK thanks. I had thought I read somewhere about other changes in 2017.  

Edited by RDC1

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10 hours ago, Alphen said:

If you look at the new listed Westerdam "Antarctica Experience" and compare it with the Antarctic cruise destinations in earlier years, judging by the map, the new Antarctic cruise looks a lot different and appears not to venture as much south anymore! 

 

First picture is of our cruise in 2015, second one is the new 2020 cruise.

 

SN519W.jpg

Untitled.jpg

 

This is really interesting, Alphen.  It does look less comprehensive, for sure.  Do you remember if you actually got in that "tight"?  The Westerdam cruise does say the route is subject to weather and ice -- as I'm sure yours did.  Maybe they were overly optimistic in the prior route maps and often had to do less, so customers were disappointed?  

 

The trip you took definitely looks more interesting.  But then part of me says, well, it really is a shame to risk this magnificent and ecologically fragile area, so if they keep us out, they keep us out.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, AncientWanderer said:

 

This is really interesting, Alphen.  It does look less comprehensive, for sure.  Do you remember if you actually got in that "tight"?  The Westerdam cruise does say the route is subject to weather and ice -- as I'm sure yours did.  Maybe they were overly optimistic in the prior route maps and often had to do less, so customers were disappointed?  

 

The trip you took definitely looks more interesting.  But then part of me says, well, it really is a shame to risk this magnificent and ecologically fragile area, so if they keep us out, they keep us out.

 

 

 

This is our actual route taken, much more south than the intended route now indicated for Westerdam and close to what was indicated beforehand, when we booked the cruise;

 

 

 

IMG_1435.JPG

Edited by Alphen

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2 minutes ago, AncientWanderer said:

Wow...that looks like a thrilling experience.  👍

For us, still by far the best cruise we ever did, still regular look at our video 🙂

 

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23 hours ago, knittinggirl said:

I wish someone would explain the ice class certification to me.  How much extra does a ship cost to ice rate the ship?   Why can't they build the new ice class requirements into the new ship builds?

 

Is this an environmental issue or a safety issue?

Massive more hull/ frame construction  $$$$$$$$  And its both safety and environmental

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On 3/25/2019 at 8:29 PM, knittinggirl said:

I contacted HAL.com, and they only told me what ships were scheduled to sail Antarctica.  I obviously worded my question wrong.

 

I'm very disappointed that Greenland is going to be off limits.  Does this mean that Voyage of the Vikings going to have to drop Greenland Ports and Prince Christian Sund soon?

 

Westerdam wasn't even mentioned in early posts of this thread, so I'm confused.  Is the Westerdam a newly converted Polar Class 6?

 

 

If I have  understood D

On 3/25/2019 at 8:09 PM, knittinggirl said:

We're doing the November 27, 2020 from Santiago to Buenos Aires that also includes the eclipse.   

 

If I have understood SeaDog-46 correctly, the regulation went into effect on January 1, 2017, but since the ships have been grandfathered in until their 5-year certificate runs out, January 1, 2022 is the last time any ship w/o a Class 6 rating can sail Antarctic waters. ( Note- am I right so far? ) The Westerdam will be sailing in 2021, so apparently her certificate is good until after the date of the cruise.

 

As far as Westerdam being newly converted, perhaps SeaDog and Cheng can explain what is required to convert, if that is even possible.  From the articles that I have read, the necessary changes should be done at the initial construction of the ship because it affects the very "bones"  of the ship.  I doubt that HAL will be doing conversions, and I wonder how many cruise lines will pay to have their future ships built as a Class 6.

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2 minutes ago, Tampa Girl said:

 

 

If I have  understood D

 

If I have understood SeaDog-46 correctly, the regulation went into effect on January 1, 2017, but since the ships have been grandfathered in until their 5-year certificate runs out, January 1, 2022 is the last time any ship w/o a Class 6 rating can sail Antarctic waters. ( Note- am I right so far? ) The Westerdam will be sailing in 2021, so apparently her certificate is good until after the date of the cruise.

 

As far as Westerdam being newly converted, perhaps SeaDog and Cheng can explain what is required to convert, if that is even possible.  From the articles that I have read, the necessary changes should be done at the initial construction of the ship because it affects the very "bones"  of the ship.  I doubt that HAL will be doing conversions, and I wonder how many cruise lines will pay to have their future ships built as a Class 6.

You are correct.  The Polar Class construction requires thicker steel in the hull plates and more framing behind those hull plates in areas subject to ice, like the waterline area and the bow.  I don't believe that "conversion" would be practical from a cost standpoint, so the only ships will be new builds.  As for how many ships will be built to this class, likely it will be limited to expedition ships that would specialize in these arctic cruises and maybe one ship per fleet, if there is sufficient demand for the part time employment of a larger ship is found to be warranted.

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