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Cate

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cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« on: April 07, 2016, 09:44:23 PM »
Maiden post for me, wasn't sure where to put this, so apologies if it's been posted elsewhere already---couldn't find it on a search...

but it seems a consequence of AGW that business will want to capitalise on climate change in the Arctic, and what better way than to offer ultimate expeditions that include Arctic golfing?

Crystal Serenity. Book your passage now for the August-September 2016 maiden voyage, Anchorage to New York via Nunavut.

There are several pages of blurb at this site.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Needless to say, the Canadian Coast Guard are not amused.

Itinerary:
http://www.crystalcruises.com/northwest-passage-cruise/northwest-passage--6319

FAQs:
http://www.crystalcruises.com/ContentPage.aspx?ID=191

"Unexpected Adventures":
http://www.crystalcruises.com/ContentPage.aspx?ID=220

« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 12:07:38 AM by Cate »

Neven

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2016, 11:06:51 PM »
Welcome, Cate. I thought about writing a blog post about this with Asshole Cruise as a title, but I'll contemplate the idea again once I'm in a better mood.  ;)
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Jim Hunt

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2016, 12:16:18 AM »
Note that some more assholes have prompted me to already start analysing the NWP passage prospects for this year over at:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,762.msg73287.html#new

Unfortunately in all the circumstances it looks like it might well be relatively plain sailing for the "Asshole Cruise Ship"
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2016, 12:25:26 AM »
Thanks, Neven. Excellent title. Go for it!  ;D

This whole project is very concerning to anyone familiar with what ice can do to ships, not to mention what fossil fuels do to the Arctic environment. Here in Newfoundland, we know full well the hazards. This cruise looks like lunacy. A cruise ship with 1600 souls aboard in ice-infested, vaguely-charted waters many hundreds of kilometres beyond the reach of adequate SAR: what could possibly go wrong?

But they'll have their own ice-breaker.....following along behind.... *face palm*

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/cruise-ships-safety-northwest-passage-1.3518712

DrTskoul

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2016, 01:23:22 AM »
Thanks, Neven. Excellent title. Go for it!  ;D

This whole project is very concerning to anyone familiar with what ice can do to ships, not to mention what fossil fuels do to the Arctic environment. Here in Newfoundland, we know full well the hazards. This cruise looks like lunacy. A cruise ship with 1600 souls aboard in ice-infested, vaguely-charted waters many hundreds of kilometres beyond the reach of adequate SAR: what could possibly go wrong?

But they'll have their own ice-breaker.....following along behind.... *face palm*

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/cruise-ships-safety-northwest-passage-1.3518712

Titanic stupidity.....

Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2016, 10:30:54 PM »
So the RSS Shackleton has been contracted for ice-breaking surfaces, much to the dismay of those who feel that a research vessel probably could better spend her time  doing what the UK public pays her to do, which is, well, research.

Of far greater concern to me as a northern Canadian living on the shore of the Labrador Sea, the gateway to this new playground for the filthy cruising industry, is the prospect of our indigenous northern communities becoming, effectively, human zoos for the simultaneous horror and entertainment of the obscenely rich and terminally stupid, ie, cruise ship passengers.

>>>>>>>>>

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36541583

"There is a significant tension between the science and environmental mission of the Shackleton and its participation in an exercise in tourism that has an enormous per capita carbon footprint," Prof Michael Byers from the University of British Columbia told BBC News.

Prof Byers, who holds a chair in global politics and international law, was invited on the trip to give a series of lectures to passengers. He refused, as he believes this summer's trip will only encourage others.

"This voyage is a significant contribution, at least on a per capita basis, to climate change by people who are going to see an ecosystem before it is destroyed by climate change. I find that irony quite terrible," he said.

One of the features of this year's voyage will be visits to small and remote communities in the Arctic during visits to port. Prof Michael Byers says this one of the most unappealing aspects of the journey.

"They (local populations) have endemic tuberculosis, sky high rates of diabetes, with people who are living in poverty and desperation," he said.
 
"The people who are coming off the cruise ships are not in the 1%, but in the 0.1% of the world's financial elite. It is another example of just how extreme this particular voyage is."

>>>>>>>>>>>





Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2016, 09:09:04 PM »
UPDATE: CRYSTAL SERENITY is on schedule to depart Anchorage on 16 August for ports to NYC via the Northwest Passage.

According to a report by Global News, the ship is currently en route to Anchorage from Vancouver and back. She will finally depart Vancouver on 6 August for her grand expeditionary cruise, the first of its kind through the fabled NW Passage.

Btw, if you're one of the passengers----today is your last chance to order gear packages to be delivered directly to the ship. Packages contain all the outfits you will need for your grand Arctic expedition. Several colour choices are available. Please note that you'll probably have to supply your own tennis gear, swimsuits, and formal dining wear. 

http://globalnews.ca/news/2851884/super-luxury-cruise-ship-crystal-serenity-northwest-passage-vancouver/

"The 32-day voyage goes from Anchorage, around the top horn of Alaska, across the top of Northwest Territories and Nunavut, around the north end of Baffin Island, to Greenland, and down the Atlantic coast."

.......Now, where did I put that *vomit* emoticon?
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 09:17:53 PM by Cate »

charles_oil

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2016, 09:35:25 PM »
Swimsuits seem optimistic even in the "warming" waters !

Neven

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2016, 09:36:24 PM »
Why, don't they heat the upper deck pool?
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TerryM

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2016, 09:52:33 PM »
I hope all the passengers and crew have obtained valid passports. The US may consider the NWP to be international waters, but Canada claims it as her own.
Wouldn't want an incident with Canadian Rangers to mar an otherwise pleasant sojourn.
Terry

Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2016, 12:19:54 AM »
There is a blog. Of course there is a blog. There had to be a blog. 

http://blog.crystalcruises.com/northwest-passage-cruise-experts/

Most of it is gee-whizzy, the-planet-is-our-playground! aren't we special!? gushing stuff.

But this did catch my eye: you will, says Blog, "learn how to maneuver your kayak through floating ice."

 ???

So who else wants to scream, What other kind of ice is there, bright spot?


Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2016, 06:24:49 PM »
Industry article on ice navigation dangers for the Crystal Serenity in the NWP, and the capabilities of the system the owners have installed.

She is btw a "non-ice-class cruise ship."

http://maritime-executive.com/features/crystal-serenitys-new-ice-navigation-capabilities

Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2016, 02:16:16 AM »
Good overview of the pro/con issues around Crystal Serenity cruising the NWP:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/10/travel/arctic-cruise-northwest-passage-greenpeace.html?_r=0

I hope it's okay for me to file this stuff here----in the interests of documenting this rather noteworthy voyage.

Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2016, 06:23:28 PM »
Interesting speculation here on the current state of the coastal drift ice at Point Barrow and how Crystal Serenity might be tasked with handling that, although she won't have to deal with that until some time after her departure from Seward on August 16.

http://arcticnorthwestpassage.blogspot.ca/2016/08/cruise-ship-crystal-serenity-stopped-on.html?view=magazine#!/2016/08/cruise-ship-crystal-serenity-stopped-on.html

Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2016, 06:44:27 PM »
http://arcticjournal.com/opinion/2476/thinking-about-search-and-rescue-bottom

If the unthinkable happens, and the passengers, however doughty, end up in lifeboats in the middle of the NWP in September...

Jessica M Shadian, Nansen Professor at the Uni of Akureyri, Iceland, writes:

"In an incident....involving a stricken tourist ship, a coast guard and a local indigenous community, responsibility for compensation cannot be adequately accounted for by existing domestic or international law. What would result if a ship (likely flagged in another country) has an emergency which results in its passengers utilising all of a local community’s provisions? Who is responsible and who oversees the responsibility?"



charles_oil

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Tor Bejnar

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2016, 09:44:52 PM »
Crystal Serenity - Crystal Cruises
Ship Tracker / Tracking Map Live
http://www.cruisin.me/cruise-ship-tracker/crystal-cruises/crystal-serenity.php

headed for Bar Harbor (I presume Maine, USA)
Note says location was 16 hours 37 minutes ago.
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Jim Hunt

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2016, 10:03:42 PM »
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Sigmetnow

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2016, 10:02:35 PM »
Marine Traffic has the ship's position as of a couple minutes ago.  (Still in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.)

http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:375062/mmsi:311536000/vessel:CRYSTAL%20SERENITY
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Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2016, 03:12:19 AM »
Itinerary onward from Dutch Harbour:

21 Aug Nome
27 Aug Uluhaktok, Victoria Island (Amundsen Gulf)
29 Aug Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island (Coronation Gulf)
4 Sept Pond Inlet, Baffin Island
7 Sept Ilulissat, Greenland
9 Sept Nuuk, Greenland

thence US ports to NYC, due 21 Sept

Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2016, 03:14:20 AM »
Crystal Serenity - Crystal Cruises
Ship Tracker / Tracking Map Live
http://www.cruisin.me/cruise-ship-tracker/crystal-cruises/crystal-serenity.php

headed for Bar Harbor (I presume Maine, USA)
Note says location was 16 hours 37 minutes ago.

Yes, Bar Harbour is her first US port of call after Nuuk on 9 Sept.

Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2016, 03:24:48 AM »
RSS Ernest Shackleton will escort Crystal Serenity through the NWP.

I've been trolling the various shipping-trackers online, trying to find Shackleton's current position with not much luck. 

I wish there was a vessel-tracker as good as FlightRadar 24!

Latest I can find shows her on Aug 10 in St John's, Newfoundland, with next destination Holman, which Google Maps shows as being in the Uluhaktok area. So presumably the Shackleton is/will soon be traversing the NWP to meet up with CS on Aug 27 at Uluhaktok?

https://www.vesselfinder.com/vessels/ERNEST-SHACKLETON-IMO-9114256-MMSI-740357000

Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2016, 06:09:30 PM »
Live cams from the Crystal Serenity bridge.
Views forward, to port and starboard. Also a blog of sorts.

I reckon the cams will prove interesting when she gets into the meat of the NWP.

http://www.crystalcruises.com/cruises/cruise-guidebook/our-ships/crystal-serenity/live-views

Jim Hunt

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2016, 07:50:43 PM »
I've been trolling the various shipping-trackers online, trying to find Shackleton's current position with not much luck. 

SailWX to the rescue again: http://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/shipposition.phtml?call=ZDLS1

Crystal Serenity as an added bonus:
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

ghoti

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2016, 10:57:57 PM »
Wow that was a very quick run through that part of the passage! Makes it very clear that ice isn't an issue this year.

Jim Hunt

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2016, 12:14:33 AM »
You may find my own musings on the topic interesting:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/crystal-serenity-sets-sail-for-the-northwest-passage/

In particular there's over two hours of video of testimony before the Congressional Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation concerning the Arctic in general and the cruise of Crystal Serenity in particular. According to Admiral Charles Michel:

Quote
Things change up there dramatically even during the summer. The weather is an incredible challenge, so this is not an easy category for a voyage.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2016, 02:18:37 AM »
Wow that was a very quick run through that part of the passage! Makes it very clear that ice isn't an issue this year.

Not for Shackleton---she's an icebreaker, so even in drift ice she'd be able to maintain good speed, as long as there is no compaction that would be significant enough to impede passage.

Sigmetnow

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2016, 07:16:34 PM »
Inuit fear they will be overwhelmed as ‘extinction tourism’ descends on Arctic
Visit of giant cruise ship will bring money and tourists to the Northwest Passage, but fears grow for the area’s people and its ecosystem
Quote
This is extinction tourism,” said international law expert Professor Michael Byers, of the University of British Columbia. “Making this trip has only become possible because carbon emissions have so warmed the atmosphere that Arctic sea ice in summer is disappearing. The terrible irony is that this ship – which even has a helicopter for sightseeing and a huge staff-to-passenger ratio – has an enormous carbon footprint that is only going to make things even worse in the Arctic.”
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/20/inuit-arctic-ecosystem-extinction-tourism-crystal-serenity
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Cate

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« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 04:19:44 AM by Cate »

budmantis

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2016, 06:52:12 AM »


The CS blog, for anyone who can bear to read it.

Had to take a look. I wish them well, but the idea of commercial shipping in the NW Passage just makes me want to retch.

silkman

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2016, 12:28:45 AM »
Crystal Serenity has just passed through the Bering Strait and into the Chukchi.



« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 03:01:49 PM by silkman »

Jim Hunt

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2016, 02:00:03 PM »
There seems to be a queue of icebreakers forming to assist Crystal Serenity past her first minor problem:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/crystal-serenity-sets-sail-for-the-northwest-passage/#Aug-23
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2016, 06:23:16 PM »
There seems to be a queue of icebreakers forming to assist Crystal Serenity past her first minor problem:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/crystal-serenity-sets-sail-for-the-northwest-passage/#Aug-23

Getting interesting already. I wonder what was the density of the icefield Titanic encountered on the Grand Banks in April---probably similar.....? While this field will not likely have any bergs as such, they will have to look out for any MYI bergy bits and growlers in the mix. That's hard stuff on an unreinforced hull. I guess he'll be inching along. Excellent blog post, Jim, thanks for the link. 

TerryM

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2016, 06:55:50 PM »
Hope they forgo walrus watching opportunities at Hanna Shoals. It might not take much to dislodge any of the ice there that the tuskers seem to be so drawn to.


Terry

Andreas T

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2016, 09:47:14 PM »
...... I wonder what was the density of the icefield Titanic encountered on the Grand Banks in April---probably similar.....? While this field will not likely have any bergs as such, they will have to look out for any MYI bergy bits and growlers in the mix. That's hard stuff on an unreinforced hull. I guess he'll be inching along. .....
What Titanic encountered was a piece of Greenland glacier not sea ice, a very different thing and a single iceberg which would count as a very low ice concentration has a very different impact on a ship because of its mass and probably more solid (less porous) ice.
Running at speed into a remnant of a consolidated ridge of sea ice could do damage to Crystal Serenity too I would think but why make the nonsensical comparison in terms of ice concentration?
The interesting question is how good the radar and other sensors are which are on board at spotting individual chunks of ice away from an ice field which would have a stronger signature.

Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2016, 03:40:23 AM »
Andreas T, agreed, your comment on Titanic.

Not sure why my comment about concentration is nonsensical. CS would have to take care even in 3/10, because if the sea-ice this year is as fractured and jumbled as the data indicates, would it be surprising to find the harder MYI ice mixed in with the younger ice? I suppose the captain would err on the side of caution and reduce speed in that case, and yes, the ship will have to rely on her pilots and her ice-finding technology. 
« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 12:38:14 PM by Cate »

Jim Hunt

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #36 on: August 29, 2016, 06:40:10 PM »
Crystal Serenity and her escort have now reached Cambridge Bay without mishap:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/crystal-serenity-sets-sail-for-the-northwest-passage/#Aug-29

There's no ice or waves to be seen!
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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #37 on: August 30, 2016, 09:38:17 PM »
Crystal Serenity has finally tracked down some sea ice, and a polar bear:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/crystal-serenity-sets-sail-for-the-northwest-passage/#Aug-30
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2016, 02:33:28 AM »
http://blog.crystalcruises.com/cambridge-bay-northwest-passage/

The zodiacs full of one-percenters crowd around a solitary polar bear.





Darvince

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2016, 08:43:43 AM »
That's the first image that I've been actively disgusted by in this cruise...

Neven

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #40 on: August 31, 2016, 01:40:39 PM »
Extinction tourism, indeed. It's revolting.  :(

Thanks for posting, Cate!  ;) ;D
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crandles

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #41 on: August 31, 2016, 03:18:05 PM »
Are you also revolted by all safaris?

No expert on polar bears but what I have seen suggests to me that they are curious and not at all freaked out by encountering new things. This seems likely to be a rare encounter for this bear even if the frequency of such cruises increases quite dramatically.

So should Safari holidays draw more criticism than this? Or perhaps Safaris are OK because they provide income to local people whereas this only provides income to wealthy western company?

I wouldn't like to see the polar bear surrounded in all directions so I do have some concerns about what is shown. Safari seeking timid animals seems worse than this.

Also is
http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2016/08/13/a-vessel-normally-dedicated-to-science-should-not-be-enabling-tourism-in-an-area-like-the-arctic-acknowledged-by-many-to-be-one-of-the-most-vulnerable-areas-to-climate-change/#comments

disgusting for not finding the trip disgusting?

Trip does have high carbon footprint, but would you rather wealthy people spent money on this trip or some other activities they could spend their money on like perhaps racing high performance cars around tracks or ......

Neven

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #42 on: August 31, 2016, 03:48:52 PM »
Are you also revolted by all safaris?

Yes, I am. Especially if they post selfies with killed animals. It was fun when Robert Redford and Meryl Streep did it. Now, it's no longer original. Stay home, tend your garden. Plenty of safari going on there.

All environmental tourism is wrong, because it springs forth from the consumer-ego culture, which is at the root of all problems. People think that it's okay because everybody is doing it. It's not. It's wrong. It's evil.

BTW, I don't think it's a real polar bear. I think someone from the animation team put on a polar bear suit.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #43 on: August 31, 2016, 09:14:34 PM »
Worth at least 10,000 words---or maybe just a handful of really big ones. 

Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #44 on: August 31, 2016, 09:17:04 PM »
The top one percent meets the bottom one percent.


Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #45 on: August 31, 2016, 09:34:46 PM »
With regard to revenue trickling down to local artisans as the wealthy stock up on Inuit art and craft---a very important income stream in many northern communities---the promise didn't really pan out in Cambridge Bay, sadly. 

"Some Inuit artists hoping to cash in on the huge influx of tourists on the Crystal Serenity this year were disappointed by the large number of American passengers — who have been banned from taking home seal and other marine mammal products since the 1970s."

85% of the passengers are American, who because of import bans had to pass over products made with Arctic ivory and sealskin. This included much of the jewellery.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/crystal-serenity-american-tourists-banned-sealskin-art-1.3741804

Andreas T

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #46 on: August 31, 2016, 11:05:05 PM »
From the track shown at the Crystal Serenity site http://www.crystalcruises.com/cruises/cruise-guidebook/our-ships/crystal-serenity/live-views it has crossed through Bellot strait and I am surprised to see icebergs on their bridge camera
Is there another source for these tabular icebergs than Greenland? I thought that the predominant direction of drift is west to east in Lancaster sound (that is how  broken sea ice has been travelling) so I am not clear how bergs from Greenland would make their way there.

My earlier comment about "concentration of the ice field" is illustrated there: what is seen in the photo is very low concentration as area percentage and as an ice field it does not show up on AMSR2. But hitting this low concentration would have worse consequences than running into some of the higher concentration rubble seen elsewhere I would think. But maybe I just overreacted to a casual remark by Cate.



budmantis

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #47 on: August 31, 2016, 11:11:24 PM »
Great pictures, Cate and Andreas T.

charles_oil

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #48 on: August 31, 2016, 11:49:50 PM »
A video by the Coastguard - aware of the changes they are clearly keen to help the new traffic in the new era of reducing ice in the arctic !

https://gcaptain.com/video-uscg-pivots-arctic-operations/

Cate

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Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« Reply #49 on: September 01, 2016, 12:13:35 AM »
Great pictures, Cate and Andreas T.

I am  very much a newbie observer, unlike the many others on this forum who have been watching and discussing the ice for years, but I have read a bit on polar exploration, and what strikes me most about these bridge cam views is the almost total absence of ice in this area.

Thinking of Franklin, of Davis, of Henry Hudson, of Amundsen, Peary, Bob Bartlett, and so many others, and of all their brave crews---this was their reason for living, and sometimes dying, this is the notorious NW Passage, for goodness sake! and this giant cruise ship has had clear sailing all the way so far----and probably will, right to Nuuk, from what I can see on Explorer, anyway.

Andreas, excellent question about the source of the ice in the photo you posted---the tabular piece on the right, and the taller and more stereotypically shaped iceberg on the left.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 01:35:39 AM by Cate »