Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ expedition vessel, 155-passenger Bremen has become one of the first passenger ships to receive the Polar Code certification which will be mandatory for ships operating in the polar regions from January 2018.
Certain technical modifications have to be carried out on board existing ships in order to meet the requirements of the Polar Code -The International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters adopted by the International Maritime Organization.
For instance, fire lines located on deck were fitted with additional insulation and an additional ice spotlight was installed when Bremen was in dock 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 the polar regions. The certification follows a two-year long phase of preparation. Bremen's certification is issued by DNV GL.
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises says all of the other ships in the fleet are also due to meet the requirements of the Polar Code by the Arctic season in 2018.
'The Polar Code will improve the safety of navigation in polar waters significantly,' said Captain Thilo Natke, who oversaw the certification process for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.
Natke prepared a Polar Water Operational Manual that will, in particular, familiarise younger officers with the ship-specific particularities of navigating in ice, he remarked.
During 2017, as part of their routine dry-dock periods in the shipyard, the other ships in the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ fleet will also be brought in line with the criteria of the certificate.
Bremen will be operating three international cruises during the 2018/2019 season, including sailing to the North East Passage in the summer of 2018.