Expedition cruises are currently one of the shipping industry’s most dynamic segments. According to an annual report by Cruise Industry News, the expedition segment has seen a remarkable expansion of 450 percent in the last ten years. Owners and operators are seeking to satisfy the growing demand for private vessels and adventurous locations; there are over 30 specialised vessels currently on order. Itineraries include everywhere from the polar regions to West Africa, Pacific islands, and far east Russian locations, such as Kamchatka. In parallel, there is ongoing research and development of sophisticated technologies to ensure vessel safety in the frontier areas.
In the Safety Zone
Exclusive sightseeing opportunities are secured by using innovative navigational technology, compliance with the latest maritime safety regulations, and the employment of certified, skilled crew members aboard a cruise ship. Most expedition cruises advertise destinations that are remote locations with strong tourism appeal. Such far-flung destinations may also translate into challenging terrain for a ship voyage, so understandably, optimal safety standards are a prerequisite. To get to these places vessels may travel long distances, as quickly as possible and often through the night (as the destination is the main selling point, not the journey) in increasingly unpredictable waters. In the polar regions, there is the obvious danger posed by ice, whereas in routes that cross busier sea lanes there are other risks – such as floating containers that have fallen from cargo ships.
The Complete Detection Solution
In today’s digital age, there is room for more options to safeguard adventurous passengers interested in exploring frontier territories. A comprehensive object detection and computer-vision based navigational aid, such as the LadarTM Sensor Suite, can support routine surveillance and safety procedures being carried out by conventional sonar and radar devices. For those sailing in rough weather conditions, LadarTM Sensor Suite technology augments the officer-on-watch’s efforts to accurately gauge the risk potential during the voyage. The team at Ladar Limited has a solution that could prove useful in reinforcing safety standards when deployed on expedition cruises.
The UK-based company has developed a patented, LadarTM Sensor Suite, which utilises lasers, visual and IR camera to scan the ocean surface for surface-level or slightly submerged objects detection and localisation.
With a compact size, low weight, and modular construction, the LadarTM Sensor Suite can be tailored for any vessel, undertaking any operation, while complementing existing technology being used onboard – such as sonars and radars. Crews and those monitoring operations will have additional tools with which to scan around the vessel, whatever the environment, weather, time, and location.
In the past, maritime incidents have often led to the implementation of new safety rules and regulations. The expedition cruise sector, with its off-the-beaten-track routes and a rush to meet market demand, can stand to benefit from state-of-the-art developments in maritime safety technology. The latest solutions, such as the LadarTM Sensor Suite, can assist the crew aboard an expedition cruise by optimising situational awareness and enhancing safety measures while on tour. The unique LadarTM patented technology can be used by a wide range of customers, including shipowners, ports, the oil and gas industries, law enforcement authorities, offshore wind farms, aquaculture, and many more sectors.