Russia Seizes Two Canada Arctic Expedition Cruise Ships

MV Akademik Ioffe Seized By Russia
MV Akademik Ioffe Seized By Russia
MV Akademik Sergey Vavilov
MV Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Russia Seizes Two Canada Arctic Expedition Cruise Ships – On Thursday, June 20, 2019, Canadian Cruise ship company One Ocean Expeditions (OOE) had two of their cruise ships seized by Russia.

The Canada-based, polar expedition cruise company had leased two Russian ships for eight years; MV Akademik Ioffe and MV Akademik Sergey Vavilov (see video below) had both leased by Russia to One Ocean Expeditions since 2011 and 2012.

The two vessels were seized ahead of the Arctic season which starts in August. Both cruise ships had used by OOE for cruises to the Arctic and Antarctic. The Russian government seized both ships, “The vessel owners unexpectedly decided to return the vessels to Kaliningrad, Russia, for purported repairs. This was not communicated to OOE in advance.

Russia has claimed the MV Akademik Ioffe and the MV Akademik Sergey Vavilov were taken to Kaliningrad for repairs as part of a “modernization project”.

Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia
Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia

“The owners’ refusal to provide the vessels is a breach of their contract with OOE. OOE has done everything in its power to compel the owners to abide by their contractual obligations”. One Ocean Expeditions has denied that the two cruise ships needed work and has now launched legal action.

Kaliningrad is the capital of the Russian province of the same name, sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania along the Baltic Coast, across the Baltic Sea from Sweden.

About One Ocean Expeditions

One Ocean Expeditions is based in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada and has offices in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Europe. One Ocean Expeditions website states, “Committed to environmental and social responsibility, we offer personalized marine experiences to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, the Falkland Islands, Svalbard, Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, Canada’s East Coast, Chile, South & Central America, Scotland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands.

Effusive in its passion about polar travel, and unwavering in its commitment to safety and environmental protection, we have recruited a team that is committed to excel at everything we do. Whether its innovation, service, organization or safety and environmental protection – we will always aim to set the bar higher. That’s our commitment to each other as a team.”

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