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» Cruise Talk   » Cruise Ships   » Explorer: Sinking in Antarctic Ocean (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Explorer: Sinking in Antarctic Ocean
dougnewman
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posted 11-24-2007 12:50 PM      Profile for dougnewman   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Malcolm @ cruisepage:
Did the Marco Polo not offer similar cruises, but had an ice strengthened hull?
The MARCO POLO does have an ice strengthened hull. So did EXPLORER. But there are different levels of ice-class. Here are definitions of the various ice classes from DNV (see here):

quote:
Icebreakers and Ice Strengthened Vessels:

ICE-1A* (or -1A or -1B or -1C) - Vessel which may operate in channels prepared by icebreakers and/or in open waters with smaller ice floes. The Rules are considered to meet the Finnish-Swedish ice class regulations for corresponding classes, and the Canadian arctic regulations for type A,B,C and D ships, respectively.

-1A* - Extreme ice conditions. Ice floes of thickness 1.0 m are anticipated

-1A - Severe ice conditions. Ice floes of thickness 0.8 m are anticipated

-1B - Medium ice conditions. Ice floes of thickness 0.6 m are anticipated

-1C - Light ice conditions. Ice floes of thickness 0.4 m are anticipated

ICE-1A*F - Vessels complying with ice class ICE-1A* and additionally strengthened for regular service in ice-infested waters, to a certain degree independent of ice breaker assistance

ICE-C - Vessel which may operate in light ice conditions

ICE-05 (or -10 or -15) - Vessels intended for ice breaking, built for another main purpose. Ice conditions: Winter ice with pressure ridges. No ramming anticipated.

POLAR-10 (or -20 or -30) - Vessels intended for ice breaking, built for another main purpose. Ice conditions: Winter ice with multi-year ice-floes and glacial ice inclusions. Accidental ramming. Figures indicate nominal ice thickness in dm. Intermediate values may occur.

Icebreaker - Vessels intended for ice breaking as main purpose. Used in combination with ICE - 05 (or - 10 or - 15) or with POLAR - 10 (or - 20 or - 30). Repeated ramming.

ICE - A* ( or - A or - B) (previous class notations) - Vessels which may operate in ice infested waters

Ice Breaker (previous class notation) - Vessel for breaking ice


MARCO POLO is classed ICE-1C. EXPLORER had the older ICE-A class. As examples of other ships that cruise Antarctica, HANSEATIC and BREMEN are classed ICE-1A*, CLIPPER ADVENTURER and WORLD DISCOVERER ICE-1A, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ENDEAVOUR is ICE-1C.

[ 11-24-2007: Message edited by: dougnewman ]


Posts: 2072 | From: Long Island, NY, USA | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged
Marlowe
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posted 11-24-2007 12:51 PM      Profile for Marlowe   Email Marlowe   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I haven't seen anyone mention it yet but that the loss of the EXPLORER marks the sinking of what I believe were the first two "purpose built" expedition cruise vessels. Of course the other being the WORLD DISCOVERER lost in the Solomon Islands in 2000. At least EXPLORER went down in her environment (the ice) as opposed to the WD which was so sadly stripped to the point of being unsalvagable. Very sad to see the EXPLORER's loss but extremely relieved that at all were saved.

Antarctica is an unforgiving maritime environment and as spectacular the scenery there is risk to cruising her waters. I am not happy to see that so many large cruise vessels are there now with minimal if any ice rating and that is not prudent considering the remoteness and danger of those waters. I would want to see the IAATO crack down of cruiseships with a restriction on passengers on them that can be rescued by no more than two other vessels in less than 6 hours. This would require a great deal of coordination to ensure adequate vessels be within a certain range with a certain capacity but it would exclude any vessel with more than 300pax I believe. I also believe that no vessel with anything less that LR ice class 1C be allowed in Antarctic Peninsula waters but then only with restrictions about how fast, how think pack, etc it can operated in. 1B class would have fewer restrictions and 1A would be basically without restrictions. I do not know the class of every cruise vessel carrying passengers to Antarctica but I believe the only one with 1A or beter class would be the Russian YAMAL and the POLAR STAR. I will try to do a survey of every vessel cruising Antarctica this season with this respective ice rating. It will be interesting to see what the results are.

Michael


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Marlowe
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posted 11-24-2007 01:04 PM      Profile for Marlowe   Email Marlowe   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Doug, we must have posted at almost the same instant. Thanks for the class ratings for the vessels you listed. I didn't know that BREMEN and HANSEATIC had 1A* class but did you miss type when you show CLIPPER ADVENTURER also as 1A? Do you want to do that survey of all the ships cruising Antarctica or should I?

regards
Michael


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PamM
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posted 11-24-2007 01:20 PM      Profile for PamM   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
YAMAL is only L1, broken open ice & light ice conditions. But then there is KAPITAN KHLEBNIKOV LL3, "forcing the way in compact ice field up to 1.5 m thick". Then Akademik Shokalskiy, UL1.. the Russians have a while different set of various classes, maybe hard to make a direct comparison. Ocean Nova is Ice Class 1D.. it may take you a while Marlowe, but if you have the time it would be a great exercise with interesting results

Pam


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PamM
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posted 11-24-2007 01:33 PM      Profile for PamM   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A passenger aboard relates the experience here. Also see a nice set of photos of Explorer during previous cruises here. Yes, Mike sorry, that should have said Poole, not Portsmouth.

Pam


Posts: 12176 | From: Cambridge, UK | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
dougnewman
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posted 11-24-2007 01:50 PM      Profile for dougnewman   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marlowe:
did you miss type when you show CLIPPER ADVENTURER also as 1A?
No. See here.

quote:
Originally posted by Marlowe:
Do you want to do that survey of all the ships cruising Antarctica or should I?l
You are certainly still welcome to .

quote:
Originally posted by PamM:
YAMAL is only L1, broken open ice & light ice conditions. But then there is KAPITAN KHLEBNIKOV LL3, "forcing the way in compact ice field up to 1.5 m thick". Then Akademik Shokalskiy, UL1..
Those are icebreakers so they come under completely different classifications.

Lots of classification societies do have different classifications... Marlowe and I are referring to the Finnish-Swedish ones, which are also the ones used by Det Norske Veritas. e.g. The ice class of BREMEN and HANSEATIC is actually Germanischer Lloyd's E4 which the GL web site says is the same as ICE-1A* (or 1A Super).

BV and LR don't actually say on their web sites how theirs translate to Finnish-Swedish ice-class - I assumed LR's 1A means the same as the Finnish-Swedish 1A but perhaps not as BV has a 1D, and the Finnish-Swedish classifications go down only to 1C... So perhaps BV's 1D is the same as the Canadian D, which is the Finnish-Swedish 1C? All very confusing !


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Ernst
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posted 11-24-2007 01:55 PM      Profile for Ernst   Author's Homepage   Email Ernst   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by PamM:
YAMAL is only L1, broken open ice & light ice conditions. But then there is KAPITAN KHLEBNIKOV LL3, "forcing the way in compact ice field up to 1.5 m thick". Then Akademik Shokalskiy, UL1.. the Russians have a while different set of various classes, maybe hard to make a direct comparison. Ocean Nova is Ice Class 1D.. it may take you a while Marlowe, but if you have the time it would be a great exercise with interesting results

Pam


There are indeed several ice class 'regulation systems' - they also do not apply to ice breakers. (if I am not wrong, Doug posted the 'Baltic' categories)

Other cruise ships with ice strengthened hull would be Minerva, Europa and Holiday Dream.

There is not much on the net on this topic - here is a

nice article

P.S.: Mind you that it seems as if the 'ice class' was NOT the problem with Explorer. I am also very much against ships without ice strengthened hull sailing in these waters but an ice strengthened hull is NOT protecting against damage due to collisions with icebergs.

Does anyone know whether Explorer was a one or two compartment ship?

[ 11-24-2007: Message edited by: Ernst ]


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Eric
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posted 11-24-2007 05:04 PM      Profile for Eric   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Out of interest I checked how the Royal Navy describes HMS Endurance - described as a Class 1 icebreaker. you may know, before the RN bought her she was a Norwegian civilian ship MV Polar circle.

the Toronto globe article has some comments that make my mind speculate! A passenger found water in her cabin & notified crew - surely all cabins are above water line & therefor a considerable amount of water was already in ship.
Crew thought it might be a leaky pipe & when found it was salt water switched on bilge pumps & closed water tight doors - therefor she was sailing in dangerous waters without w/t doors shut.
Owner said Captain told him "no appreciable collision effects" - This satement made me speculate, was it something other than ice. Surely a minimum glacing blow from a small growler could not have caused a relatively small hole in a double hull. Perhaps weld or plate failure contributed, the ship is quite old & has had a hard life in Arctic/Antarctic waters. The pointed corner of a sunken container floating just below the surface might have done it without the crew knowing there had been much of a collision. My final way out thought is - Any submarines in the area! A periscope could have knocked a hole that size in the hull without crew knowing much about it. Pure speculation of my wandering mind!. Eric


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Neil - Ex P & O & PRINCESS CRUISES
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posted 11-24-2007 06:31 PM      Profile for Neil - Ex P & O & PRINCESS CRUISES   Author's Homepage   Email Neil - Ex P & O & PRINCESS CRUISES   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi Eric

I am inclined to agree with your comments as I read that the ship had a double hull.

It could be that after over 30 years of cruising in ice, with the resulting bumping against icebergs, undetected damage to the hull could have been caused.

It was a good thing that everybody was rescued with no injuries or loss of life however with a ship like the Grand Princess cruising in those waters what would be the results if she damaged her hull and started to sink.

I think there would be a large loss of life as that area is not equiped to deal with this sort of problem as has been shown with the problems in just returning the passengers from the MV Explorer to the mainland.

Neil ( Bob )

[ 11-25-2007: Message edited by: Neil Whitmore ( Bob ) ]

[ 11-25-2007: Message edited by: Neil Whitmore ( Bob ) ]


Posts: 2355 | From: Dunstable, Bedfordshire. 30 miles north of London | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ernst
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posted 11-24-2007 06:40 PM      Profile for Ernst   Author's Homepage   Email Ernst   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Explorer actually did not have a double hull.

What do you mean with undetected damage?

[ 11-24-2007: Message edited by: Ernst ]


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Neil - Ex P & O & PRINCESS CRUISES
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posted 11-24-2007 07:03 PM      Profile for Neil - Ex P & O & PRINCESS CRUISES   Author's Homepage   Email Neil - Ex P & O & PRINCESS CRUISES   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ernst

Read again my posting and the one by Eric before mine !

I just followed on with a comment based on what he had said.

I have not said that there was a problem but she did seem to flood very quickly !

Neil ( Bob )

[ 11-25-2007: Message edited by: Neil Whitmore ( Bob ) ]


Posts: 2355 | From: Dunstable, Bedfordshire. 30 miles north of London | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ernst
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posted 11-24-2007 07:21 PM      Profile for Ernst   Author's Homepage   Email Ernst   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Neil, it seems as if you suffer from paranoia - or maybe it is your English?

I just stated that she does not have a double hull and I asked what you mean by 'undetected damage'. Nothing more and nothing less.

The fact that she had not double hull is certainly not an unimportant detail and it also is not 'nit picking' to ask what you actually meant by your rather speculative statement on the condition of the hull.

Maybe you can explain that - or is this a problem with your lack of knowledge on that matter?

We reap what we sow.

[ 11-24-2007: Message edited by: Ernst ]


Posts: 9746 | From: Eindhoven | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ernst
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posted 11-24-2007 08:04 PM      Profile for Ernst   Author's Homepage   Email Ernst   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Neil Whitmore ( Bob ):
Ernst

As I said it was the posting before mine that said there could be a problem with the hull which could have been damaged with a split in a weld or plate failure with which I agreed !


You do not appear to have read this posting by Eric and instead had a go at me as usual !


Well, I actually read the posting of Eric. And no, 'weld and plate failure' is NOT the same as suggesting that damage due to ice has been overlooked while she was in dry dock. This is quite an accusation and I just asked you (politely) to specify what you meant - nothing more and nothing less.


quote:
Originally posted by Neil Whitmore ( Bob ):

One website report I read about the ship did say that she was built with a double hull, but not being a marine surveyor I would not know.

Nobody is perfect - I just stated that she has no double hull - nothing more and nothing less. One would think that this is no reason to be upset or to be impolite.

[ 11-24-2007: Message edited by: joe at travelpage ]


Posts: 9746 | From: Eindhoven | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
PamM
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posted 11-24-2007 09:17 PM      Profile for PamM   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You never know Eric, submarines have been known to cause damage before to vessels. That Toronto article is a bit misleading when it mentions things like "someone spotted the lights of the M/S Nordnorge", it wasn't dark! Endeavour was actually there too, and some pax "were in pyjamas or light clothing because they hadn't realized the seriousness of the situation...", not been stated anywhere and seems a bit odd. I think there has been a bit of padding out in the article so not sure what can or can't be believed.

She was only in dry dock last month so I would have thought any hull defect should have been picked up then. How often do ships have an 'x-ray' or similar to check the hull thickness for corrosion and invisible to the naked eye defects? I believe she only has a double bottom rather than a double hull, but I cannot find anything specific to confirm that or otherwise. Anyone know for sure?

Personal insults are not acceptable, even when misspelt.

Pam

[ 11-24-2007: Message edited by: PamM ]


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mike sa
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posted 11-25-2007 12:23 AM      Profile for mike sa   Author's Homepage   Email mike sa   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Pam (as always) is correct, she had a double bottom to protect her against grounding but her sides were single hull only.
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Neil - Ex P & O & PRINCESS CRUISES
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posted 11-25-2007 05:53 AM      Profile for Neil - Ex P & O & PRINCESS CRUISES   Author's Homepage   Email Neil - Ex P & O & PRINCESS CRUISES   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi All

Re undetected damage on cruise ships caused by corrosion.

The 1984 built Pacific Sky sprung a leak in March 2003 when enroute from Auckland to Nuku'alofa and had to return to Auckland for repairs.

She now sails as Sky Wonder for the Spanish company Pullmantur Cruises.

Neil ( Bob )


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Eric
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posted 11-25-2007 06:02 AM      Profile for Eric   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am one of those people who know a little about some things & a lot about nothing! I did once work in the steel industry & was once able to tell the carbon content of steel by the colour & shape of the sparks it threw off. I did come across "strain ageing" & "work hardening". I suspect if we ever get a diffinitive view of what happened they will play a part in the equation of this ship loss. I think they were also implicated eventually as well as poor design in the loss of the Derbyshire in the Far East many years ago. Eric
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Ernst
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posted 11-25-2007 10:16 AM      Profile for Ernst   Author's Homepage   Email Ernst   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Neil Whitmore ( Bob ):
Hi All

Re undetected damage on cruise ships caused by corrosion.

The 1984 built Pacific Sky sprung a leak in March 2003 when enroute from Auckland to Nuku'alofa and had to return to Auckland for repairs.

She now sails as Sky Wonder for the Spanish company Pullmantur Cruises.

Neil ( Bob )



Yes, there is damage that can be overlooked or that can hardly be detected during maintenance. It also happens that damage is overlooked that should be detected - nobody denies that. Nevertheless, a bump or leak in the hull due to a collision with ice - or whatever you actually meant with your statement above - is something different. This is actually why I asked you what you meant - it's as simple as that.


Posts: 9746 | From: Eindhoven | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ernst
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posted 11-25-2007 10:31 AM      Profile for Ernst   Author's Homepage   Email Ernst   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Eric:
[...] I did come across "strain ageing" & "work hardening". I suspect if we ever get a diffinitive view of what happened they will play a part in the equation of this ship loss. [...]

This is entirely possible. Such material defects (on an atomic scale) are not easy and sometimes impossible to detect. (in advance)
Presently it is of course not at all clear what actually caused the vessel to sink. An iceberg (or whatever it was) CAN easily puncture a hull made of flawless steel - so maybe it is not necessary to relate to weakening of the material to explain how she sank. We will see.


Posts: 9746 | From: Eindhoven | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Neil - Ex P & O & PRINCESS CRUISES
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posted 11-25-2007 12:28 PM      Profile for Neil - Ex P & O & PRINCESS CRUISES   Author's Homepage   Email Neil - Ex P & O & PRINCESS CRUISES   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi all

Depending on the depth of water that the mv Explorer is now lying in will be a factor in deciding if it is possible to find out what happened to the hull and caused the leak.

With the water temperatures in that area I would not think that it is possible to examine the hull unless it is done, weather permitting, with a remote controlled camera.

Recovery of her would also seem a non starter unless it is possible to do it to prevent polution in
the area.

Neil ( Bob )


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Ernst
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posted 11-25-2007 12:43 PM      Profile for Ernst   Author's Homepage   Email Ernst   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There are indeed remote controlled or autonomous underwater vehicles that could inspect the wreck. The problem is that she very likely lies on the side where the leak is.

I 'heard' - this has NOT been confirmed - that the hull has been inspected by divers while she was still afloat. Mind you that right now still a lot of stories make the round - and some are contradicting - so this might very well be wrong.


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PamM
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posted 11-25-2007 12:51 PM      Profile for PamM   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Has any comment been made about the depth of water she sank in? Looking at some charts it appears it could be anything between 200m and 2000m depending on her position; quite a difference. The Brazilian Navy may or may not have been able to gleen some idea of the actual size of the hole/gash as some reports mention divers having been in the water. But I guess all this will be kept under wraps and away from media speculation and Chinese Whisper risks until the real facts have been determined - if ever.

Pam


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Cambodge
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posted 11-25-2007 11:44 PM      Profile for Cambodge   Email Cambodge   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The newcasts are now posting videos taken by the pax and the rescue entities. A question/observation:

Why, in the name of all that's holy, did the ship operate with open lifeboats, given the geography in which they chose to sail? The stories told by the pax have a significant and common element in focus, namely the misery is sitting in four hours or more in those open lifeboats, exposed to the weather, which although kindly, was still bloody cold.

Just imagine a moderate sea, with spray...and I take it there was some. Imagine worse weather, it is certainly common down there. And yet, the pax and crew had to sit for hours in open boats basically similar to those on Titanic. OK, they had engines. Why could they not the ship have carried the standard, enclosed "tender/lifeboat" now almost universal on all passenger-carying ships?

I believe most tendering was done with inflatables, and there were many about. But they also were not suited for "hanging around" in the elements, waiting for rescue vessels. Suppose said rescue vessels were two days away.....quite likely?

No. I just don't get it.

[ 11-25-2007: Message edited by: Cambodge ]


Posts: 2149 | From: St. Michaels MD USA , the town that fooled the British! | Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged
Ernst
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posted 11-26-2007 12:09 AM      Profile for Ernst   Author's Homepage   Email Ernst   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cambodge:
[...]
No. I just don't get it.

[ 11-25-2007: Message edited by: Cambodge ]


Me neither.

Beside that many at best spooky stories make the round. It seems as if this will be a very interesting investigation.


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lasuvidaboy
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posted 11-26-2007 12:19 AM      Profile for lasuvidaboy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cambodge:

Why, in the name of all that's holy, did the ship operate with open lifeboats, given the geography in which they chose to sail?

[ 11-25-2007: Message edited by: Cambodge ]


Maybe it has to do w/the style of her davits and the ability to handle the bulkier enclosed boats? It seems that many older passenger ships have a combination of open and closed boats w/the closed ones primarily used as tenders. Many older ships have had new davits installed during refits and this ship may have not had new or larger ones installed.


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Royal Caribbean - Bahamas Getaway from $129 per person
Description: Experience the beautiful ports of Nassau and Royal Caribbean's private island - CocoCay on a 3-night Weekend Getaway to the Bahamas. Absorb everything island life has to offer as you snorkel with the stingrays, parasail above the serene blue waters and walk the endless white sand beaches. From Miami.
Carnival - 4-Day Bahamas from $229 per person
Description: Enjoy a wonderful 3 Day cruise to the fun-loving playground of Nassau, Bahamas. Discover Nassau, the capital city as well as the cultural, commercial and financial heart of the Bahamas. Meet the Atlantic Southern Stingrays, the guardians of Blackbeard's treasure.
NCL - Bermuda - 7 Day from $499 per person
Description: What a charming little chain of islands. Walk on pink sand beaches. Swim and snorkel in turquoise seas. Take in the historical sights. They're stoically British and very quaint. Or explore the coral reefs. You can get to them by boat or propelled by fins. You pick. Freestyle Cruising doesn't tell you where to go or what to do. Sure, you can plan ahead, or decide once onboard. After all, it's your vacation. There are no deadlines or must do's.
Holland America - Eastern Caribbean from From $599 per person
Description: White sand, black sand, talcum soft or shell strewn, the beaches of the Eastern Caribbean invite you to swim, snorkel or simply relax. For shoppers, there's duty-free St. Thomas, the Straw Market in Nassau, French perfume and Dutch chocolates on St. Maarten. For history buffs, the fascinating fusion of Caribbean, Latin and European cultures. For everyone, a day spent on HAL's award winning private island Half Moon Cay.
Celebrity - 7-Night Western Mediterranean from $549 per person
Description: For centuries people have traveled to Europe to see magnificent ruins, art treasures and natural wonders. And the best way to do so is by cruise ship. Think of it - you pack and unpack only once. No wasted time searching for hotels and negotiating train stations. Instead, you arrive at romantic ports of call relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on the world.
Holland America - Alaska from From $499 per person
Description: Sail between Vancouver and Seward, departing Sundays on the ms Statendam or ms Volendam and enjoy towering mountains, actively calving glaciers and pristine wildlife habitat. Glacier Bay and College Fjord offer two completely different glacier-viewing experiences.

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