As from August nest year most of the large cruise ships will no longer be able to sail in Antarctica as a ban was proposed by the International Maritime Organisation this week to stop ships carrying heavy fuel oil in Antarctica waters.
The regulation which is expected to be adopted basically means that cruise ships carrying more than 500 passengers will no longer be able to sail in Antarctica, despite agreeing to use lighter fuels the ban on carriage would not be economically viable for them.
The large cruise ships carrying over 2,000 passengers, such as Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, have cruise-only trips to Antarctica where passengers remain on board, but get close enough for their guests to experience the wildlife and see the spectacular scenery.
Whilst the smaller cruise ships which carry lighter fuel will not be affected by the ban as their fuel is less of an environmental threat and oil spill even if they do encounter an iceberg!
The ban is expected to see the number of cruise-only passengers fall from just over 15, 500 in the past season to just under 6,500 once the ban is in force.
So, those who wish to cruise-only to Antarctica needs to ensure they’re booked prior to August next year or be prepared to sail on much smaller cruise ships.