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Smaller than the Crystal Serenity, yet too big for a Scottish port


As we approached Oban on the ferry from Barra, I mistook this ship for the Crystal Serenity, which is slated to sail through the Northwest Passage later this year. But no. It's the MV Artania, which was anchored offshore because it is too big to enter the port. This particular Motorized Vessel is 231 metres long and weights 44,348 tons. The Crystal Serenity is larger still, at 250 metres and 68,000 tons. Oban is a port city of 8,575 people, and is designed to handle great numbers of visitors. The Serenity, which carries more than 1,000 passengers, is slated to put in at Cambridge Bay in Nunavut, population 1,766. You do the math. I whole-heartedly support adventure tourism in the Arctic. It brings money to Nunavut, and also increases awareness of northern issues. But these numbers? The smart move might be to control ship size by limiting the number of passengers per voyage to maybe 250. Just a thought.


Ken McGoogan
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1 comment:

Margaret said...

I agree entirely with your comment. I live in Orkney and over the years there has been a huge increase in the number of cruise ships visiting and their size. Some have as many as 4000 passengers! Already this is changing the atmosphere of the islands and putting off other tourists. It is also doubtful how much the local community benefits from these cruise ships.

Before turning mainly to books about arctic exploration and Canadian history, Ken McGoogan worked for two decades as a journalist at major dailies in Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal. He teaches creative nonfiction writing through the University of Toronto and in the MFA program at King’s College in Halifax. Ken served as chair of the Public Lending Right Commission, has written recently for Canada’s History, Canadian Geographic, and Maclean’s, and sails with Adventure Canada as a resource historian. Based in Toronto, he has given talks and presentations across Canada, from Dawson City to Dartmouth, and in places as different as Edinburgh, Melbourne, and Hobart.

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