Cruise Ship Briefly Arrested in Nunavut

Iqaluit, Nunavut (courtesy Saffron Blaze)

Published Aug 19, 2019 6:44 PM by The Maritime Executive

A cruise ship with a full complement of passengers on board was briefly arrested on Baffin Island early this month, a rare occurence in the passenger vessel sector (and rarer still in near-Arctic latitudes). 

Judicial arrests over payment disputes are a commonplace occurence in merchant shipping, especially in busy hubs like Singapore, but they are relatively rare for cruise ships. In this case, the cruise ship RCGS Resolute faced a claim of about $100,000 CAD from Nova Scotia ship's agency Atship Services, according to CBC.

The arrest was executed August 9 in Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, and it was quickly resolved. As of August 19, the Resolute was operating in a remote fjord on Greenland. 

The 1991-built Resolute is operated by One Ocean Expeditions, a British Columbia-based cruise company, and is the first vessel ever designated as a "Royal Canadian Geographical Ship." Her upcoming itinerary includes a cruise of Greenland and the eastern Northwest Passage beginning August 31, followed by a repositioning to Antarctica. 

Until recently, One Ocean also offered sailings aboard the Russian state-owned research vessels Akademik Sergey Vavilov and Akademik Ioffe; however, their owner - the Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences - withdrew both vessels from service in May, according to One Ocean. 

"In recent days OOE was informed that the owners of the Ioffe and Vavilov have suddenly and unexpectedly withdrawn the vessels from passenger service. Their decision comes as a complete surprise to OOE and is out of our control," a One Ocean spokesperson said in May. "The withdrawal of the vessels for the 2019-2020 season is a break of the owners' contract with OOE and is now the subject of legal action,"