Are polar cruises safe? Not all ships are equal

The recent sinking of the MS Explorer cruise ship in Antarctica has spotlighted the dangers of operating passenger vessels in remote polar areas.

The ice-reinforced Explorer was a veteran of the polar cruise-ship trade. It had made dozens of voyages to the Arctic and Antarctic since 1969, safely transporting thousands of tourists to see penguins and polar bears, glaciers and icebergs, though the ship was evacuated at least twice after Antarctic groundings.