March 3rd, 2008, 04:00 AM
As much as I can find .. the Corinthian II is not "Ice rated" .. whatever that actually means .. although the accomodation seems to be among the best.
Explorer II is supposed to be "Ice rated" .. but what does this mean.
After the recent sinking one tends to give some weight to the sturdiness of a little ship cruising among the ice, yet there seems to be no real standard , or way of determing the "Ice worthiness".
How do we decide ??
March 3rd, 2008, 12:29 PM
Corinthian II ice rating - 1B.
1A SUPER Service in extreme ice-conditions. Must be able to maintain a speed of 5 knots in a channel with 1.0 m thick ice and a 0.1 m frozen top layer. - Russian Research Vessels on our site, I believe.
1A Service in difficult ice-conditions. 5 knots in a channel with 1.0 m thick ice.
1B Service in moderately difficult ice-conditions. 5 knots in a channel with 0.8 m thick ice. - Corinthian
We spent a good bit of time debating ships. Our first choice was an ice-breaker, the Khlebnikov being the noteworthy example, but duration of journey, scheduling, cost, all had to be factored into the equation. Then we looked at the Polar Star and the Clipper Adventurer and their A-1 ice class ratings. Both ships looked great, but the amenities were lacking. You can Wiki ice class ratings for further info. The ship just added to the National Geographic fleet, the Explorer, is 1B "ice-strengthened" as is the Corinthian II, but the trips start in Santiago and we needed Buenos Aires....Last month we had a long talk with a ship's Captain. We went over the options with him. He made a little smirk when we talked "ice class" hulls. Personally he would prefer an ice breaker so he could ram his way into unusual spaces, but he told us that the Captain and the "powers that be" are really more important than hull ratings. If you crash into something, hulls matter. If you don't, well... nice amenities make the experience even more enjoyable. He mentioned that many bastions of higher learning, Yale, Columbia, even the American Geographical Society, had chartered the Corinthian from Travel Dynamics. This is second hand info, unconfirmed by me, but he seemed to be a knowledgeable guy.
His opinion on the ship that sank last year, Gap Adventure's Explorer, was that she was a very fine ship and the accident was just that, a freak accident. His fear for Antarctica is more about number of passengers aboard. If a similar freak accident occurred on a ship carrying 2,000+ people, in bad weather, what would happen? Small ships are safer than large ships. He also made the point to stick with members of the IAATO. Apparently there are a few passenger ships leaving Ush (Argentina) that are getting into trouble and requiring the assistance of the nearest Airforce (Chile) and they are starting to get on the Chilean government's last nerve.
The Corinthian II surely will need to navigate easy water. Perhaps she will give a slightly "softer" adventure experience. We are slightly softer too, no worries there, so how do we decide? In my case, I caved in to my husband. I wanted the Clipper Adventurer. He wanted the Buenos Aires Hyatt, the group flight to Ush, the nice wines and good amenities...
His final comment when I asked "What if we hit an iceberg?" was... "Whaddaya wanna live forever?" :rolleyes:
March 3rd, 2008, 05:29 PM
I'm with your hubby... past sleeping rough ..been there done that.
The positive spin that others apply to the spartan conditions on the Russian ships leaves me ... er... cold.
Regent prices look a bit high .. hmmm .. maybe the Corinthian is the go
Thanks once more for the good feedback.
March 5th, 2008, 04:54 PM
...ah but we once had fun sleeping rough, eh? :cool:
Look at the Polar Star too. She's a fine ship.