Expedition Cruise Operators Agree to Ban on Use and Carriage of HFO in Arctic

arctic expedition cruise
Photo courtesy AEOC

Expedition cruise ship operators have agreed to a self-imposed ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) in the Arctic.

The self-imposed ban was organized by the Norway-based Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators’, which represents the leading expedition cruise operators.

While it is the current practice among the association’s members to refrain from using HFO when sailing in the Arctic, that practice has now been formalized as a mandatory guideline.

“AECO represents the great majority of operators that offer expedition cruising in the Arctic. By formalizing this ban, the expedition cruise industry is sending a message to decision-makers that it is time to act to protect the Arctic from the risk of HFO pollution,” said AECO Executive Director, Frigg Jørgensen.

The ban is just one of several new Arctic guidelines made madatory by the AECO aimed at strengthening responsible practices in the growing expedition cruise industry. These include Clean Seas Guidelines for Visitors, Vegetation Guidelines, Cultural Remains Guidelines, Yacht Guidelines, and Community Specific Guidelines for Seyðisfjörður, Sisimiut and Ny-Ålesund. Seven new specific guidelines for communities in Greenland and Canada are in the pipeline, according to the AECO.

AECO members include the leading expedition cruise operators in the Arctic including Aurora Expeditions, Linblad Expeditions, Hurtigruten, Quark Expeditions, Viking Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, and Ponant, among others.