"Yesterday, in Lallemand Fjord, the fast ice edge was packed with ice. We had to go deep in for an ice landing. It felt like a 'Shackleton experience' surrounded by ice. It was probably one of the most stunning ice walk experiences in my life. After dinner, I married a couple under the bow of the ship."
This introductory reflection was noted on 1 February 2022 by Captain Martin Graser on the ‘National Geographic Resolution’. Delivered by Ulstein Verft in 2021, the vessel is in her first Antarctica season. She is also one of the first X-BOW® expedition cruise vessels. The ‘Resolution’, and her sister vessel, 'National Geographic Endurance', hold the Polar Class (5) notation for polar cruises.
Amazing ice capabilities
The Lallemand Fjord is situated on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. When the 'Resolution' arrived, the fast ice edge was packed with a tough mix of sea ice, growlers and icebergs, and the Captain needed to go deep into the ice to reach the fast ice edge for ice walks. He is proud to be mastering an “exceptional ship with exceptional performance”:
“The 'Resolution' and 'Endurance' are certainly the most advanced polar expedition ships in the industry today! They have proven outstanding performance during the two and a half months in service in Antarctica. We have been more remote, deeper into ice, further into the Weddell Sea and deeper to the South.”
Returning to the experiences in the Lallemand Fjord:
“Getting the ship out of this would be a challenge. The ice was thick, but soft, so I was fairly certain that the “flushing technique” with the Azipods would work to get the vessel out. While still “parked”, we flushed as much as possible to create a “pocket” before heading astern. Then we kept stopping and flushing and stopping and flushing and we turned the ship 180 degrees to face the open water. The entire operation did not take much more than 30 minutes”.
"The possibilities these ships provide are truly beyond"
“It was absolutely amazing how this worked. You could have never gotten a shaft-line vessel out of this ice, densely packed up against the fast ice – so ultimately you could have never provided this amazing experience for the guests. The capabilities we have in ice thanks to the Azipods are just amazing! This was definitively the right choice of propulsion”.
“Every single trip has led to the absolute highest guest satisfaction. The possibilities these ships provide are truly beyond what I thought possible. Ice capabilities are outstanding, but also the service speed which allows for so many additional experiences: We may offer a cruise south of the circle AND to the Weddell Sea – unheard of!”
"I have not had a single bow slam the entire season"
“The overall comfort and quietness of the vessel is another real big plus. The comfort that the X-BOW provides is just incredible: I have not had a single bow slam the entire season! Also, speed is considerably less impacted in head-on seas. The Drake Passage is a much less dreadful place now.”
"One generation ahead of time"
“If you come to Ushuaia and you see 'Endurance' and 'Resolution' in port next to any other newbuild, you will instantly understand that these ships are one generation ahead of time. This is not exaggerated; everyone sees it right away: they just look futuristic and really cool!”
"Super proud of working here!"
Captain Graser wrote this report during his last trip before vacation, and he ends it with this summary:
“I could go on for a very long time about how great these vessels are. I would also like to mention that Ulstein nailed it, and everyone involved should be super proud of these ships: I know that the crew here on board totally gets it and that the crew is super proud of working here!”
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