A pilot partnership was previously launched in 2019, but delayed due to the pandemic. Several COA scientists will work aboard select sailing of the MS Roald Amundsen, the world’s first hybrid electric powered cruise ship.
Their primary research will be in collecting data on ambient noise conditions and the effects that humans have on the marine soundscape. This will allow Hurtigruten and other cruise lines to minimize their impact on marine life. They will also collect skin and blubber biopsy samples from whales to evaluate individual animal health, population growth rates and stress levels.
“Ambient sound research has not been properly conducted in Antarctica before, so we are incredibly enthusiastic about this partnership and that we have the right tools for the scientists to carry out their research by already offering the quietest ships in Antarctica,” said Dr. Verena Meraldi, chief scientist at Hurtigruten in a statement.
“We hope this will be a long-term partnership that will benefit all parties, but most importantly, the Antarctic whale and wildlife populations.”
Each Hurtigruten Expedition cruise ship also comes equipped with a science centre for guests, and the COA scientists will also work to provide educational opportunities for pax through lectures, demonstrations and real-time analysis of data.
The COA scientists will be sailing on the MS Roald Amundsen Antarctic cruises departing 11JAN, 27JAN and 12FEB 2022.