Safe Navigation of Cruise Ships in Greenlandic Waters – Legal Frame and Practical Challenges

Hanna Barbara Rasmussen, Birgit Feldtmann

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Climate change provides for improved conditions for maritime navigation and results in increased activity in the Arctic. Those increased activities influence the safety at sea and risk of accidents. A disaster as the Costa Concordia incident would have far more serious consequences in Greenlandic waters than it had in Italy, therefore the question of prevention and disaster-preparedness is crucial. One approach to avoid risks is to create specific legislation. The legal system guiding safe navigation of cruise ships in/around Greenlandic waters is complex: the legal regime for navigation is set in different general and specific international, regional and national legal acts, partly non-binding, therefore issues of effectiveness arise. Safety is also influenced by practical issues, e.g. the lack of sufficient nautical charts for Greenlandic waters and “preparedness” at land to handle potential disasters, such as the SAR-system and preparedness of different actors, for example hospitals.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe International Journal on Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)207-212
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2020


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