Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Grandeur of the Seas - but things not so grand for others.

It was a blustery mid-morning arrival for Grandeur of the Seas today. Its last port was Saint John, NB, so perhaps the skipper decided to take it easy and not press the ship into high winds and seas to get here earlier.

The ship is a familiar visitor to Halifax. Now based in Baltimore, it has been calling here since at least 2001. Built in 1997 by Kvaerner Masa in Helsinki, the 73,817 gt  ship has a passenger capacity of 2446 with 760 crew. The Port of Halifax schedule indicates it may be carrying 2000 passengers on this trip. Weather is always an issue this early in cruise season, especially for the smaller ships.

Yesterday's caller, Pearl Mist bravely set out last evening for its next port of call which is to be Pictou.

Two cruise ship visits to Halifax have already been cancelled this year. The small cruise ships Victory I (scheduled for May 5) and Victory II (scheduled for today) are now operated by American Queen Steamboat Co. Last year they took over Victory Cruise Lines that market summer Great Lakes region cruises.  Victory I may simply have bypassed Halifax due to weather. The ship is already on the Great Lakes.
Victory II has just left West Palm Beach, FL, and is due in Montreal May 30. It may have experienced some sort of technical issue.

Not included in the regular Halifax cruise schedule are the ships of One Ocean Cruises. A Canadian company that organizes Arctic and Antarctic cruises they have been using the Russian research ships Akademik Sergey Vavilov and Akademik Ioffe since 2011. Last year the latter ship ran aground in the arctic and evacuated all passengers and non-essential crew (more than 100 people) to the former ship. The damaged ship then spent several months at the Verreault Shipyard in Méchins, QC undergoing repairs.

This year One Ocean planned extensive cruising in the north and had been granted a coasting license for the Akademik Ioffe starting in July. However it is now reported that the Russian Shirshov Institute, owners of the ships have withdrawn them. Fortunately One Ocean has a third ship, Resolute, with available space and it appears that the summer season will not have to be cancelled.

The two Russian ships have called in Halifax from time to time for stores while repositioning from the Arctic to the Antarctic, but have not been regular cruise ship callers since they are not usually carrying passengers when they call here.

They have been covered in previous posts:


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