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HANSA 04-2020

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Schifffahrt | Shipping

Schifffahrt | Shipping Work on board in arctic waters requires ©: Reederei Heino Winter »Not all shipowners are taking care« The increasing arctic shipping activities also mean »new« challenges for crews and ship managers. For HANSA, InterManager General Secretary Kuba Szymanski and Sovcomflot’s Sergey Popravko COO share some insights Arctic shipping is considered promising. But for nautical-technical operations on board, this has in part serious consequences. In addition to navigational and ship-related aspects, seafarers must also be prepared for special challenges. The preparation for a voyage into ice regions is more complex. Manufacturer›s instructions for deck machinery must be observed, and a reorientation of lubricants and fuels may be necessary. Every captain should discuss in advance with nautical officers and technicians what is to be expected. Szymanski and Popravko refer to developments in ship and propulsion design: »New type of cargo vessels with ability to break through the ice without ice-breakers assistances entered the Arctic waters over the last decade. A new propulsion has been developed and successfully tested in the Arctic Ocean, namely the azipods.« In the Sovcomflot fleet alone, there are ten tankers equipped with azipods. All these vessels require specific training and skills from the crew and shore based management. Apart from the new type of propulsion, the winterization rules were adopted by most classification societies, needless to mention the Polar Code by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The vessels sizes have been increased, the length in particular. »It is quite common to see now vessels with the length of 250 and 300 m breaking through the Arctic ice. I can recall that 15 years ago some Arctic veterans were very skeptical about our Varandey project as they believed that vessels longer than 200 m could not safely maneuver in ice«, Popravko adds. Although there is a need for various preparations as outlined, the InterManager association of Shipmanagement players thinks, that not all shipowners are taking care of these special challenges in an appropriate manner. »Some owners duly care of their crew training and developing new technologies, cooperate with classification societies, research institutes, design bureaus, governments, Intertanko, Inermanager and even with the IMO, whereas the others prefer to cut the corners and poach the crew and shore staff from the good guys«, it is stated. From the associations point of view, the Polar Code is »better than nothing«. Shipping is said to be at the beginning of the long way. Never in the past the Arctic waters has been navigated so intensely by »large« vessels running back and forth 12 months a year. »For the Arctic the Code could not have come at a better time. The cruise industry also aims at the Arctic and Antarctic so more passenger vessels are coming there«, the managers say. There is a concern about grey waters discharged from the passenger vessels in great volumes. This is still to be properly addressed in the Code, they say. »Not to forget numerous fishing ships, then private yachts that venturing into the Arctic waters. But they are not under the Polar Code«. Underwater noise created by the growing traffic through the waters that remained historically quite. Now that noise disturbs marine mammals. »Nevertheless, we can say that the Polar Code forms a solid foundation, although still more attention must be given to establish strict protocols and response capabilities«, Szymanski and Popravko add. For them, it is vital to establish a trust and proper cooperation between countries involved in to the Arctic navigation.MM 28 HANSA – International Maritime Journal 04 | 2020

Schifffahrt | Shipping INMARSAT & ALPHATRON A field report on »Hondius« For Polar cruise ship operators today, the ability to deliver the enjoyment of passengers to share experiences and impressions with others in real time via high-speed internet has moved beyond competitive offer to become part of guest expectations. In inaccessible places reliable connectivity is also key to running of the ship, including the remote monitoring and support of systems on board, while the crews who routinely work such voyages have their own needs to stay connected with family, friends, and the online and real worlds. A couple of moths ago, the newly-built Oceanwide Expeditions vessel »Hondius« undertook her maiden Arctic voyage, culminating in a call at Longyearbyen on the island of Spitsbergen before returning to her home port in Vlissingen. »Hondius« is the new five-deck flagship for a company which is one of the pioneers of expedition cruising. Using a fleet of existing ice-strengthened passenger ships, Oceanwide developed the »Basecamp Antarctica« brand and became the first cruise company to connect travellers with Spitsbergen in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. Fully meeting expectations, according to the shipowner, was a new dual Fleet Xpress solution from connectivity partners Inmarsat Maritime and Alphatron Marine, installed to meet performance requirements in Polar waters that only the Ka-band/L-band hybrid solution can achieve. Meanwhile, some alternatives – such as connectivity offered via Ku-band VSAT – simply cannot reach the remote destinations served by Oceanwide’s ships, says COO Mark Van der Hulst. As the cruise ship owner’s fleet and cruise experience capabilities have evolved, so have its connectivity needs, the COO explains: »Communication needs are changing continuously in today’s world.« Today, Oceanwide’s three-mast passenger sailing schooner and Arctic expedition ship »Rembrandt van Rijn« operates the FB500 FleetBroadband service, allowing its 33 passengers and crew of twelve to take advantage of a 5 GB data allowance. The owner has also already installed the Fleet Xpress high-speed maritime broadband service onboard the Ice Class 1A vessel »Ortelius« and the Ice Class 1D »Plancius«, achieving what Van der Hulst describes as »a good and direct contact«. »Additionally, we require stable remote access to the IT environment of the vessel in order to keep this up-to-date and in good shape.« Online monitoring possibilities have been an especially attractive capability, he says. »Because of the number of passengers on board Hondius and the quality we want to provide, we chose the dual Fleet Xpress solution offered by Alphatron Marine, where the aggregate bandwidth available over the GX network is 16 Mbps on the downlink and 4 Mbps on the uplink over the GX network.«ED »Hondius« is engaged in arctic shipping © Inmarsat HANSA – International Maritime Journal 04 | 2020 29

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