Latest News about the Cape Race
After a very calm crossing of the western Barents Sea, from Longyearbyen to Tromsø (our captain was very quick, because he had foresight, to take advantage of a small window with little wind. The Barents Sea can already be very stormy in October and indeed the wind came just as „Cape Race“ was entering the sheltered fjord north of Tromsø), we are now lying on the pier preparing for the winter voyages, which start on 28 October and do not end until after a Christmas cruise. We buy fresh food, bunker fuel, put things in order for the coming guests and prepare everything for the trips into the wintry fjords.
|It’s pretty lonely in Svalbard this summer. Our „Cape Race“ completed four complete circumnavigations of Svalbard under Captain Ali in the last few weeks. We met far fewer ships than in the usual seasons. The Cape Race is one of the very few ships that will visit the Arctic Ocean in 2021. Until the end of September we will explore the west of Spitsbergen and from October, when the light in the far north has diminished considerably and winter announces itself with rough weather, we will steam south to Tromsø, where we will start our winter voyages. (Photo: Christian Engelke)|
July, 27th, 2021
„Cape Race – A Biography“ just published by mareverlag! A ship is not a living being in the true sense of the word. But it is launched and christened after construction. It fulfils many different tasks throughout its existence, serves as a source of income for companies, experiences half the world, braves storms, cold and heat and is both a place of work and a place of residence for seafarers, summer and winter, at Easter and Christmas Eve, day and night. It is not without reason that ships are not neutral objects, but individualised by their proper name and the feminine article.
July, 20th, 2021
After a smooth ten-day voyage from Kiel direct to Longyearbyen, our beautiful „Cape Race“ is safely in port. Captain Ali avoided an area with stronger winds by choosing a slightly more westerly course. How good that we have an experienced crew on board, who, by the way, did not miss the opportunity to quickly fish for fresh fish in the Arctic Ocean shortly before reaching the harbour. The ship wrote: „old habits die hard.“
July, 10th, 2021
Off to the north! With 11 knots of wind from the west and an air temperature of 13° Celsius, the crew of the „Cape Race“ set off from the Tiessenkai in Kiel Holtenau at exactly 08:00 UTC, 10:00 in the morning. Next planned stop: 78° North…..Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen. Our 2021 season of expeditions in the Arctic has begun…… We are fully booked until Christmas. Hopefully our perseverance will pay off: We are one of the last shipping companies that have not yet given up on the entire 2021 Arctic season and are now ready to show guests the incomparable nature of the polar region.
The ice in the museum harbour has melted and the birds announce the approaching spring in the early morning. Work on board the „Cape Race“ is also progressing. For example, the sea ring is now higher all round and therefore safer, a new watermaker and a UV system ensure clear drinking water, in cabins three and four the bunks are currently being rebuilt, or a generator has been completely renewed. The to-do list for the layover in Hamburg is 27 on deck, 50 in the interior, 32 in the engine room, 14 for the safety systems and 18 minor to major items for navigation that need to be completed before the departure with guests.
The planning for the coming season, on the other hand, is not so easy to keep to. Unfortunately, we will not be going to Spitsbergen this year as planned at the beginning of May. The Norwegian government is closing their country to inbound travellers and guest ships until at least July.
Consequently, we developed an offer adapted to the situation instead: we will sail via Helgoland and the Kiel Canal into the Baltic Sea at the beginning of May and explore the German Baltic coast on five trips of six days each. Without border problems, without flights, with a crew and guests that have been tested several times, we discover the magnificent natural landscape of the Baltic Sea coast, from the Geltinger Birk to Usedom, we land with our Zodiac boats on lonely beaches and wild cliffs and experience a nature that is difficult or almost impossible to visit from land. Click here for the detailed offer.
Since October we are back in Hamburg with the MS „Cape Race“ from our short season (only four voyages in total). Fortunately, we were allowed to dock again in the Museumshafen Hamburg Harburg. We will probably be moored there until spring. During the months, we will carry out smaller works: e.g. the sea railings will be set higher everywhere so that we can find a safe footing even in heavy seas; in the cabins, mess and saloon, the beautiful wood will be further varnished, all tanks will be cleaned, the life-saving equipment will be serviced, a generator will be replaced, the windlass will get a different colour, and more equipment for scientific experiments will be put on board. The list of work is unfortunately not finite….
For the spring we are planning more open-ship days, situation permitting, and in May we finally set off north – along the Norwegian coast to Spitsbergen.
After we were able to conduct exactly one expedition with guests in Spitsbergen at the end of August, no further cruises have been possible there since then due to the high case numbers in Germany (over 20 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a 14-day period). We spontaneously switched to Scotland, where we explored the beautiful Hebrides with guests.
Unfortunately, due to the still increasing number of cases, we now also have to cancel all winter trips in Northern Norway and will conclude the 2020 season in mid-October. By then, work on the ship is already on the agenda again. This year’s experience with the „Cape Race“ has been excellent, and we can happily say that all the work of the last few years has been successful. Nevertheless, the usual winter work and a few cosmetic improvements are necessary.
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