Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ 4-star expedition cruise ship, the 155-pax ‘Bremen’ has become one of the first passenger ships in the world to receive the Polar Ship Certificate, which will be mandatory for ships operating in Polar regions.
Following a two-year preparation period, a Polar Code certification was awarded to the vessel. All of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises other ships are also due to meet the requirements of the Polar Code by the 2018 Arctic season.
The IMO’s International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) contains regulations concerning the ships’ construction, equipment and training and their crews for vessels that intend to operate in Polar regions.
Issued by the classification society – DNV GL – the Polar Ship Certificate confirming compliance with the Polar Code will be mandatory for all ships from January, 2018.
“The Polar Code will improve the safety of navigation in Polar waters significantly. We have taken a pioneering step in certifying the ‘Bremen’ and paved the way for the other ships in the fleet of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises to comply with the Polar Code. I am happy to have contributed,” said Captain Thilo Natke, who oversaw the certification process for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.
Capt Natke prepared a Polar Water Operational Manual that will, in particular, familiarise younger officers with the ship-specific peculiarities of navigating in ice.
Certain technical modifications have to be carried out on board the ships in order for them to meet the requirements of the Polar Code. For example, fire lines located on deck were fitted with additional insulation and an ice spotlight was installed when the ‘Bremen’ in October, 2016.
A wide range of extra equipment has also been sourced in order to ensure the survival of passengers and crew members in potential emergencies in Polar regions.
This year, as part of their routine drydockings, the other ships in the fleet will also be brought in line with the criteria for a certificate in order that they meet the requirements of the Polar Code at the latest by the Arctic season in 2018.
‘Bremen’ will operate three international cruises during the 2018/2019 season, including sailing to the North East Passage in the Summer of next year.