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SeaDog-46

The new Polar Code

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We just got back from a S America trip on the Azamara Pursuit.  We were talking to Captain Carl who is the skipper of the Pursuit about the fuel issue.  He said that the problem companies are having now with the new fuel requirements is getting enough of the proper fuel when they get to Ushuiaia.  One can only assume or hope that fuel availability will get better in the futire.

 

DON

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The new fuel requirements came into force world wide on 1st Jan. 2020.

This has very little to do with the new Polat Code.

The Master of A.Pursuit may not be aware of the Polar Code - his company certainly does not.

Then again this is a FOC - Maltese  registered company.

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1 minute ago, SeaDog-46 said:

The new fuel requirements came into force world wide on 1st Jan. 2020.

This has very little to do with the new Polat Code.

The Master of A.Pursuit may not be aware of the Polar Code - his company certainly does not.

Then again this is a FOC - Maltese  registered company.

 

Maybe I had the wrong code.  Aren't there some new regulations that define what fuel types they are allowed in Antarctica or do I have it wrong?

 

DON

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What the master meant when he replied to the question is the world wide low sulphur fuel requirement that came into force on 1st Jan. this year.

The Antarctic / Arctic fuel requirement is still not fully in force as far as I know - but some owners do change over to MDO from IFO for Antarctic voyages.  The MDO should be the low sulphur type - but in South America who knows?

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I was going to wait until 2022 to do an Antartica cruise but thinking I'll need to bring it forward to 2021.  I see Princess has one sailing on 19 Jan 2021 on Coral Princess.  I'd love to do a smaller expedition type ship to get closer but am worried about sea sickness so thinking a bigger ship like a Princess one would be a better choice.  I've heard it can be rough.

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Holland America Westerdam has 2 "drive-by" cruises to Antarctica in January 2022.  From reading all of this it sounds like this possibly will not happen?

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It would appear that way. As has been said, it's likely a very expensive proposition for ships not currently meeting code to make modifications. 

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NCL's Norwegian Star has scheduled cruises that "sail-by" Deception Island and Elephant Island in 2021, 2022 and 2023. They also have two cruises with stops in Greenland in 2022. I'm booked on both for 2022 (small deposit only) and am disappointed to hear that these destinations may be changed once NCL realizes that their ship is not up to code. 

 

I have the "sail-by" cruise also booked for Jan 2021 but sadly I don't think South America will be ready for travelers and cruises by then. 

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I have been closely following this.

We changed our booking from 2022 to 2021 as a precaution.

Now, I have a question. The "Antarctica" itinerary on our ship, Celebrity Silhouette, never actually crosses into the Antarctic Circle.  That may be the case with other large "drive by" type cruises as well.

 

Does the Polar Code apply to these types of itineraries or only those that genuinely sail into the Antarctic region? 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/30/2020 at 9:27 AM, sippican said:

 

 

Does the Polar Code apply to these types of itineraries or only those that genuinely sail into the Antarctic region? 

 

SOLAS regulations appear to define the Antarctic area as being anything 60 degrees south and lower. When we were on the Infinity down there in '17, part of the trip involved places like Paradise Bay and Schollaert Channel -  both of which are approx. 64 degrees. The Antarctic circle starts at 66. I've never heard of the typical "drive-by" as going that far, as you say, but it would seem that the code would apply to the latitudes we visited - which are likely the ones X still goes to.

 

I'm really sorry if you wind up not getting a chance to do this - at least not under the conditions that have been in existence for probably as long as cruise ships have been going to that area. As an alternative, have you considered an expedition vessel that would actually do greater exploration down there, let alone spend more time? While the drive-by worked for us overall - since we had never been to South America - the actual "antarctica" experience left me wanting more. It was basically less than a day's worth. Also, weather is very dicey. A good part of our time was pretty overcast. Having more days would afford for better viewing opportunity. Every time I look at pictures of people either on land or in the zodiacs up real close to icebergs, etc. I feel like we didn't get a real good feel for what that area truly has to offer. Still, I don't foresee going back, and it was really a great cruise. 

Edited by OnTheJourney

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On 5/30/2020 at 9:27 AM, sippican said:

I have been closely following this.

We changed our booking from 2022 to 2021 as a precaution.

Now, I have a question. The "Antarctica" itinerary on our ship, Celebrity Silhouette, never actually crosses into the Antarctic Circle.  That may be the case with other large "drive by" type cruises as well.

 

Does the Polar Code apply to these types of itineraries or only those that genuinely sail into the Antarctic region? 

Most Antarctic cruises don't cross the Circle.  Our SilverSeas cruise 2 years ago, with multiple landings on the peninsula, didn't get within a few hundred miles of the circle.  Check a map to see how far above the circle the peninsula gets.

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On 5/30/2020 at 3:27 PM, sippican said:

I have been closely following this.

We changed our booking from 2022 to 2021 as a precaution.

Now, I have a question. The "Antarctica" itinerary on our ship, Celebrity Silhouette, never actually crosses into the Antarctic Circle.  That may be the case with other large "drive by" type cruises as well.

 

Does the Polar Code apply to these types of itineraries or only those that genuinely sail into the Antarctic region? 

The Antarctic Circle is really only important to seasonal solar differences and travelers.

 

As mentioned above, the geopolitical boundary of the Antarctic region is 60°S, well above the peninsula and the South Shetland Islands.

 

There is also a biological delineation at the Antarctic Convergence, where you find a fairly sharp division between the colder water of the Antarctic, and the warmer sub-Antarctic ocean waters. You can see noticeable differences in the ecosystems on either side of this line. It varies in latitude but tends to follow fairly closely to the 60° limit on the Pacific side, but it stretches much farther north on the Atlantic side, encompassing South Georgia, Bouvet Island, etc.

 

So even though you likely won’t cross the Antarctic Circle, you will typically cross first the biological boundary, and then the political line.

 

My last trip was to the Ross Sea, so we spent nearly all of our time below the Antarctic Circle, and aside from being able to say I’ve done it, there was nothing terribly special about being south of the Circle (other than losing access to the satellite internet connection).

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Thank you all for the replies!

My post mainly concerns the Polar Code and how it will impact big ship "drive-bys" after next year.  It appears that OnTheJourney was able to provide me with the answer regarding the SOLAS regulations applying 60 degrees south and lower. With that in mind, those itineraries sailing into the region lower than 60 degrees, will be impacted. So, I am glad we made the decision to rebook to 2021.

 

Yes, we did consider a  more in depth trip. For a number of reasons, the drive-by will be our first taste of the region. Hopefully, we may be able to consider a real expedition in the future. We currently have our second Galapgos trip in the works, and a trip to Africa. Such a bucket list!

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Nitemare said:

Most Antarctic cruises don't cross the Circle.  Our SilverSeas cruise 2 years ago, with multiple landings on the peninsula, didn't get within a few hundred miles of the circle.  Check a map to see how far above the circle the peninsula gets.

 

As I understand the regulations following OnTheJourney's reply, Silverseas may not qualify to sail into that area after 2021 if the Polar Code is implemented as planned. 

Edited by sippican

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Posted (edited)

Sippican - truly hope you get down there. We were amazingly fortunate in several ways on the Infinity - 1) First and foremost, we got there. Not all ships do - or at least not on a first attempt as scheduled  2) We had amazingly smooth seas both ways across the Drake (for this I am eternally grateful since I was dreading it)  3) We got to Port Stanley (not all ships get there either - had we been scheduled one day before we could not have come in due to storms) AND had unbelievably warm weather - I wasn't even wearing a thin jacket that day. 

 

From looking at your list of prior and upcoming trips, looks like the AUS, Antarctica, and Africa trips will complete a run of all 7 continents. China has been high on my list - not sure what's going to happen there. Have not been to AUS/NZ yet either,  nor Africa. The "bucket" list could develop some unforeseen leaks depending on the virus situation. Be careful about claiming a drive-by as a bonafide visit to Antarctica, however. If you've been around the threads dealing with this sort of thing, you know what I mean 😏

Edited by OnTheJourney

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I was planning a Silversea cruise for December 2022 and not clear whether they meet the Polar Code. Is there a list of ships that do meet the code or are planning to upgrade?

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Silver Cloud has been converted to Polar Code & her sister Silver Wind is suposed to convert this northern summer.

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Two other new Polar Code vessels are Hurtigruten's Roald Amundsen & sister ship Fridtjof Nansen. A third is building.

These ships are bigger than the new expedition ships & not as expensive.

There is no list of ships that meet the new Polar Code that comes into full force on Jan. 1st 2022.

Apart from the 2 Silversea vessels that were converted all Polar Code ships are new builds.

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On 7/27/2020 at 9:04 PM, SeaDog-46 said:

Silver Cloud has been converted to Polar Code & her sister Silver Wind is suposed to convert this northern summer.

 

On 7/27/2020 at 9:20 PM, SeaDog-46 said:

Two other new Polar Code vessels are Hurtigruten's Roald Amundsen & sister ship Fridtjof Nansen. A third is building.

These ships are bigger than the new expedition ships & not as expensive.

There is no list of ships that meet the new Polar Code that comes into full force on Jan. 1st 2022.

Apart from the 2 Silversea vessels that were converted all Polar Code ships are new builds.

 

Thanks for the info.

Can you tell me where this came from?

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Info comes from the web & has been out there for months.  Silverses site has the info concerning Silver Wind indicating the docking for upgrading to Ice Class will happen in the northern summer 2020. 

Crew Centre list Silver Wind for docking at Valletta from  21st August to 21st October 2020.

Hurtigrutens site will have info on their ships operating the coastal service & when the distant water cruises will restart. 

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Silver Seas has scrapped the Wind's retrofit.  The cruises scheduled for November 2020 to May 2021 have been cancelled.

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