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The new Polar Code


SeaDog-46
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16 hours ago, bob brown said:

I finally did an excellent Antarctica Expedition on Hurtigruten’s splendid Roald Amundsen last February (its last account the pandemic).

 

I just booked an Around The World cruise departing January of 2023, aboard the Oceania Insignia, and in light of what has been said in this thread, am surprised to see we are “cruising by” Admiralty Bay on  Feb 17, Paradise Bay on Feb 18, and Half Moon Island on Feb 19...

I'm similarly surprised, Bob.  We've done two expedition cruises to the Antarctic ... one on a 50 pax ship to the peninsula, South Georgia and Falklands, and the other a partial circumnavigation on a 100-pax ship from Ushuaia to New Zealand by way of the Peninsula and the Ross Sea ... both fabulous experiences.

 

I would love to go back on Insignia in 2023, even if it is just cruising and no landing, but I just can't see how they are going to manage to get down there due to the code.  Holland America has a 2022 itinerary that includes Antarctica as well.  I just read on their thread that people are hoping there might be a delay to deadlines for ship's to get their ratings due to no one sailing last year.  I personally don't expect that to happen.

 

Nothing to do but wait, I guess.  At least, we booked ATW 2023 on O with no expectation of that portion of the itinerary happening as published, so we won't be disappointed.

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7 minutes ago, bob brown said:

If we don't do the Antarctic "cruise by", I would like to slip over to South Georgia, as an alternative, since my Hurtigruten expedition didn't go that way.  It is a bit out of the way, so doubtful, I suppose....

That would be nice ... South Georgia was by far better than the Peninsula ... and that's saying something since we loved our stops on the Peninsula.

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Celebrity and NCL are also selling drive by itineraries for 2023.

Although many on a Holland America thread for this topic have attempted to get an answer,

the facts are elusive.

It seems unlikely, to me anyway, that the cruise lines continue to market these itineraries in ignorance or intentional deception.

There must be some sort of exemption or loophole.

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56 minutes ago, foodsvcmgr said:

Celebrity and NCL are also selling drive by itineraries for 2023.

Although many on a Holland America thread for this topic have attempted to get an answer,

the facts are elusive.

It seems unlikely, to me anyway, that the cruise lines continue to market these itineraries in ignorance or intentional deception.

There must be some sort of exemption or loophole.

🤞🏻🤞🏻

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On 1/29/2021 at 12:28 PM, bob brown said:

If we don't do the Antarctic "cruise by", I would like to slip over to South Georgia, as an alternative, since my Hurtigruten expedition didn't go that way.  It is a bit out of the way, so doubtful, I suppose....

 

On 1/29/2021 at 12:28 PM, bob brown said:

If we don't do the Antarctic "cruise by", I would like to slip over to South Georgia, as an alternative, since my Hurtigruten expedition didn't go that way.  It is a bit out of the way, so doubtful, I suppose....

 

This is going to be a bit long.  Bear w me.  As with 2552phxcrzr, I too have done 2 trips in the region and I agree w most of what he says.  My first trip was a trip to Antarctica which if I remember correctly gave us 6 or 7 days in Antarctica followed by a cruise through the Chilean Fjords (incredibly beautiful) ending up in Puntas Arenas Chile.  The 2nd trip was to the Falklands (3 days) and to South Georgia (6 days).  I chose not to visit Antarctica on this trip as this gave me more time in the Falklands and South Georgia. 

 

What I slightly disagree w 2552 is that South Georgia was better.  They are both great but they are also very different.  I thought that the scenery on the Antarctica trip was much more intense.  You get lots of icebergs in Antarctica and you basically get no icebergs on a South Georgia trip.  You get penguins on both trips but more more species and many many more of them on a South Georgia trip.  Imagine a single beach with 400,000 nesting pairs of king penguins.  You will get that at South Georgia.  You won't that intensity of birds on your Antarctica trip although you will definitely see birds.  If you visit South Georgia, there is also the bragging rights of visiting a place that I guarantee none of your travel buddies have been to - LOL!

 

You say that you would like to "slip" over to South Georgia.  Not that easy.  Although some companies offer trips that combine South Georgia and Antarctica, in my opinion they just don't work and are a waste of money.  Look at a map.  South Georgia is due east of Ushuaia.  The Antarctica peninsula due south of Ushuaia.  Doing both of them on one trip is sort of the equivalent of driving from Chicago to New Orleans via New York City.  It takes 3 days assuming the weather is good to cruise from Ushuaia to South Georgia.  It takes another 3 days to cruise from South Georgia to Antarctica.  It then takes another 1 1/2 days to cruise back to Ushuaia from Antarctica.  And you end up completely missing the Falklands.  I don't mean Port Stanley which is the only place that most people visit when they visit the Falklands but the outer islands where all the really good wildlife is.  Bottom line is that if you do one of those trips that combine South Georgia and Antarctica, you get to spend too much of your time on the ship and an inadequate amount of time at your destinations.  

 

So what are your options -

 

1) Forget about South Georgia and take the longest trip you can afford to just Antarctica.  I did a quick search and found one trip that gives you 8 days in Antarctica.   There are a lots of trips by lots of companies that do Antarctica.  

 

2) Do a separate trip to the Falklands and to South Georgia.  That trip will be harder to find.  The one that I took had only 90 passengers on a 130 passenger ship.  The company that did it lost money on the trip.  I doubt that they did it the next year.  If you find a trip that does just this, grab it.  

 

What you need to do is to work with a tour agency that books JUST Antarctica trips.  Lots of companies do Antarctica trips among other things.  A company that books just Antarctica trips and manages to stay in business must be doing something right.  The agent that I worked with at the company I found had been to Antarctica many times and was off to Antarctica shortly after I did my trip.  I can't name the agency but Google is your friend.  Have a lot of phone conversations w them.  

 

This got to be a lot longer than I planned but I hope that the information is useful.  

 

DON

Edited by donaldsc
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14 hours ago, donaldsc said:

 

 

This is going to be a bit long.  Bear w me.  As with 2552phxcrzr, I too have done 2 trips in the region and I agree w most of what he says.  My first trip was a trip to Antarctica which if I remember correctly gave us 6 or 7 days in Antarctica followed by a cruise through the Chilean Fjords (incredibly beautiful) ending up in Puntas Arenas Chile.  The 2nd trip was to the Falklands (3 days) and to South Georgia (6 days).  I chose not to visit Antarctica on this trip as this gave me more time in the Falklands and South Georgia. 

 

What I slightly disagree w 2552 is that South Georgia was better.  They are both great but they are also very different.  I thought that the scenery on the Antarctica trip was much more intense.  You get lots of icebergs in Antarctica and you basically get no icebergs on a South Georgia trip.  You get penguins on both trips but more more species and many many more of them on a South Georgia trip.  Imagine a single beach with 400,000 nesting pairs of king penguins.  You will get that at South Georgia.  You won't that intensity of birds on your Antarctica trip although you will definitely see birds.  If you visit South Georgia, there is also the bragging rights of visiting a place that I guarantee none of your travel buddies have been to - LOL!

 

You say that you would like to "slip" over to South Georgia.  Not that easy.  Although some companies offer trips that combine South Georgia and Antarctica, in my opinion they just don't work and are a waste of money.  Look at a map.  South Georgia is due east of Ushuaia.  The Antarctica peninsula due south of Ushuaia.  Doing both of them on one trip is sort of the equivalent of driving from Chicago to New Orleans via New York City.  It takes 3 days assuming the weather is good to cruise from Ushuaia to South Georgia.  It takes another 3 days to cruise from South Georgia to Antarctica.  It then takes another 1 1/2 days to cruise back to Ushuaia from Antarctica.  And you end up completely missing the Falklands.  I don't mean Port Stanley which is the only place that most people visit when they visit the Falklands but the outer islands where all the really good wildlife is.  Bottom line is that if you do one of those trips that combine South Georgia and Antarctica, you get to spend too much of your time on the ship and an inadequate amount of time at your destinations.  

 

So what are your options -

 

1) Forget about South Georgia and take the longest trip you can afford to just Antarctica.  I did a quick search and found one trip that gives you 8 days in Antarctica.   There are a lots of trips by lots of companies that do Antarctica.  

 

2) Do a separate trip to the Falklands and to South Georgia.  That trip will be harder to find.  The one that I took had only 90 passengers on a 130 passenger ship.  The company that did it lost money on the trip.  I doubt that they did it the next year.  If you find a trip that does just this, grab it.  

 

What you need to do is to work with a tour agency that books JUST Antarctica trips.  Lots of companies do Antarctica trips among other things.  A company that books just Antarctica trips and manages to stay in business must be doing something right.  The agent that I worked with at the company I found had been to Antarctica many times and was off to Antarctica shortly after I did my trip.  I can't name the agency but Google is your friend.  Have a lot of phone conversations w them.  

 

This got to be a lot longer than I planned but I hope that the information is useful.  

 

DON

 

 Those are some greart suggestions.  I'd encourage anyone doing research to get assusrances from companies/agencies contacted that they will  meet the Polar Code regulations do be able to sail  if they intend to travel after 2021.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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On 2/23/2021 at 10:43 PM, OnTheJourney said:

From what I heard Celebrity might not be going anymore cause their ships won't qualify under the new code...not certain though. 

 

In case you weren't already part of this thread...  https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2661915-the-new-polar-code/

 

 

I attended a zoom meeting held by a travel agent and hosted by NCL and Seabourne about travel to Antarctica.  I asked THREE times about the Polar Code and what it might mean for "drive-by" sailings and received no answers.  I have also asked "investor relations" at RCCL and received no answers.

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7 hours ago, LDEE said:

I attended a zoom meeting held by a travel agent and hosted by NCL and Seabourne about travel to Antarctica.  I asked THREE times about the Polar Code and what it might mean for "drive-by" sailings and received no answers.  I have also asked "investor relations" at RCCL and received no answers.

 

There are travel agencies which I am not permitted to name here that specialize in and book only Antarctica cruises.  Contact them.  Your lack of any information from the zoom meeting that you attended does not surprise me.  I will bet that the people who did the presenting have never been to Antarctica and haven't ever heard of the unique Antarctica rules.  

 

DON

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8 hours ago, donaldsc said:

I will bet that the people who did the presenting have never been to Antarctica and haven't ever heard of the unique Antarctica rules.  

 

Given the lack of response to questions that LDEE posed, I think you're probably right, or else the travel agent and whomever else didn't want to commit to anything. 

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Celebrity Infinity is now in Cadiz, Spain for an intensive “structural” dry dock, including improvements to her “hull”.   Could this be in preparation for her Antarctica Runs (2022 / 2023) ?

https://crew-center.com/celebrity-infinity-arrives-cadiz-drydock

 

Note, the article states this dry dock is structural only and has nothing to do with passenger areas (ie., Revolution Upgrades).

 

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13 minutes ago, hvbaskey said:

Could this be in preparation for her Antarctica Runs

Interesting...hope so. For those who don't want a full expedition and more extensive experience and are thus content with a 'drive-by', it's a really nice itinerary. 

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On 2/28/2021 at 6:52 PM, hvbaskey said:

Celebrity Infinity is now in Cadiz, Spain for an intensive “structural” dry dock, including improvements to her “hull”.   Could this be in preparation for her Antarctica Runs (2022 / 2023) ?

https://crew-center.com/celebrity-infinity-arrives-cadiz-drydock

 

Note, the article states this dry dock is structural only and has nothing to do with passenger areas (ie., Revolution Upgrades).

 

 

Wee update to above dry dock news.  Celebrity Engagement Centre (One Touch) sent me this reply to my inquiry (click on image to enlarge).   Seems like the Celebrity Infinity will be ready for the 2022 season (in addition to perhaps others who are doing the Northern Hemisphere arctic regions).

 

2143568687_ScreenShot2021-03-02at12_07_03PM.png.9fd61b4e27528c1d394ba38e931b3249.png

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33 minutes ago, hvbaskey said:

 

Wee update to above dry dock news.  Celebrity Engagement Centre (One Touch) sent me this reply to my inquiry (click on image to enlarge).   Seems like the Celebrity Infinity will be ready for the 2022 season (in addition to perhaps others who are doing the Northern Hemisphere arctic regions).

 

2143568687_ScreenShot2021-03-02at12_07_03PM.png.9fd61b4e27528c1d394ba38e931b3249.png

Excellent news and great work

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  • 3 months later...

Hello all!  Sharon here.  Let's hope that  three really is a charm.  This is the third time that I'm trying and I can't think of a single reason that this shouldn't sail.  My daughter selfishly scheduled her wedding after I had already booked for 2020 and then covid decided that it was going to screw with 2021 but 2022 must be a go!  I am so looking forward to seeing this frozen tundra!

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10 hours ago, CruiseJunkie56 said:

Hello all!  Sharon here.  Let's hope that  three really is a charm.  This is the third time that I'm trying and I can't think of a single reason that this shouldn't sail.  My daughter selfishly scheduled her wedding after I had already booked for 2020 and then covid decided that it was going to screw with 2021 but 2022 must be a go!  I am so looking forward to seeing this frozen tundra!

I hope you're right, but I bet folks were saying the same thing "can't think of a single reason" 18 months ago.  Make sure you have good insurance!

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On 2/26/2021 at 8:15 AM, OnTheJourney said:

Given the lack of response to questions that LDEE posed, I think you're probably right, or else the travel agent and whomever else didn't want to commit to anything. 

I recently read that the Polar Code is created and enforced by the IMO (International Maritime Organization) which is a self-policing organization without any real enforcement powers.  My guess is the cruises will proceed as planned and that compliance will be more less "voluntary."

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On 6/21/2021 at 8:45 AM, LDEE said:

I recently read that the Polar Code is created and enforced by the IMO (International Maritime Organization) which is a self-policing organization without any real enforcement powers.  My guess is the cruises will proceed as planned and that compliance will be more less "voluntary."

Not exactly true.  The IMO is agency of the UN. As such it makes recommendations that are enforced by the countries involved.  So run afoul of the IMO regulations by Celebrity will cause issues with USA (where RCL has headquarters) and Malta/European Union where the ships are registered.

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23 hours ago, PaulMCO said:

Not exactly true.  The IMO is agency of the UN. As such it makes recommendations that are enforced by the countries involved.  So run afoul of the IMO regulations by Celebrity will cause issues with USA (where RCL has headquarters) and Malta/European Union where the ships are registered.

Thanks for that!  It is has been frustratingly difficult to get any information from the cruise lines on exactly what the story is.  Perhaps the pandemic will push it all back anyway?

 

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4 hours ago, LDEE said:

Thanks for that!  It is has been frustratingly difficult to get any information from the cruise lines on exactly what the story is.  Perhaps the pandemic will push it all back anyway?

 

I am in the aviation industry and deal with ICAO (UN civil aviation agency) rules.  A number of changes that were to be implimented in 2020 were delayed until 2021 because of COVID, so yes it is possible.

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On 3/2/2021 at 3:09 PM, hvbaskey said:

 

Wee update to above dry dock news.  Celebrity Engagement Centre (One Touch) sent me this reply to my inquiry (click on image to enlarge).   Seems like the Celebrity Infinity will be ready for the 2022 season (in addition to perhaps others who are doing the Northern Hemisphere arctic regions).

 

2143568687_ScreenShot2021-03-02at12_07_03PM.png.9fd61b4e27528c1d394ba38e931b3249.png

 

The Celebrity reply has about as much validity as Celebrity had when they claimed they were compliant with all laws in the Galapagos a few years back. They tried to totally skirt the laws, resulting in suspension and cancelled sailings by the government at the very last second. All the while they claimed  - no sailings will be impacted,

 

 Evidently they are still completely ignorant of the rest of the regulations: different fuel, enclosed lifeboats on every single ship sailing into the region, cold water survival suits for every passenger ....

When I called almost two years ago, they denied any knowledge whatsoever about the Polar Code. Call me a skeptic if you must!

Now that the Falklands have banned all large vessels from visiting, it'll be interesting to see what happens to these itineraries.

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