Anatrctic Cruise ships; Luxury, Expedition& Fly-Cruise
 

ANTARCTIC CRUISE SHIPS

LUXURY - EXPEDITION - FLY-CRUISE - ICEBREAKER

Antarctica, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia provide exceptional experiences for all who visit.  We’ve selected ten of the best Antarctic Cruise ships to deliver you to these wondrous wilderness areas, organised into four categories: Luxury, Expedition, Fly Cruise and Icebreaker.

 

While different styles, all ships have key characteristics in common:

  • All ships and their operators are well known by us and we know they will safely deliver a high quality operation
  • For the safety of the guests and crew and the safety of the environment, all vessels have two engines (or in the case of Ocean Nova an auxiliary engine that can bring the ship back to port)
  • All are IAATO members (as is the Antarctica Travel Centre)
  • All operate with a high ratio of crew to guest
ocean-nova-guests-pulling-ship

Luxury

These luxurious ships combine more traditional-style cruising with an Antarctic adventure. They offer large, very comfortable cabins with en-suite facilities; many suites have private balconies. Excellent cuisine options are available on board. Zodiac dinghies and the highly experienced expedition team enable you to explore the Antarctic Peninsula and come home to an exquisite ship.

IAATO regulations control the frequency and number of guests visiting all sites.  No more than 100 guests can land at the same site at the same time. If your chosen ship has up to 200 guests wishing to go ashore at the same site, some guests will have to wait. On the Antarctic Peninsula it is sometimes possible (but not always) to position the ship close to two sites, allowing half the passengers to visit one site and half at the other. It is fair to say that sometimes this will not be possible and there is a strong likelihood that these vessels with visit fewer sites (than those with fewer than 100 guests) – as a result of taking longer to allow all clients to go ashore.

Sea Spirit Luxury Antarctica and Arctic ship

An ice-strengthened all-suite expedition ship Sea Spirit was built in 1991 in Italy. The vessel was refurbished in late 2010 and is again due for drydock in April 2017. 54 suites and a maximum of 114 passengers. All suites have private facilities and exterior views. Some suites feature private balconies.

hebridean-sky-anatrctica-luxury

The Hebridean Sky (71 guests) recently underwent a ten million dollar refit and boasts a high degree of comfort and safety. Always known for its effortless elegance, impeccable service and atmosphere of charm and camaraderie. Its all suite cabins and increased adventure options make the Hebridean Sky the perfect blend of luxury and adventurous exploration.

Le Soleal Luxury Antarctica

Le Soleal was designed in 2013 and like her sister-ships embodies the subtle alliance between luxury, intimacy and well-being which is Ponant’s signature. The elegance of her exterior and interior lines and her intimate size (200 guests) make this a rare and innovative yacht on the cruise market.

le-boreal-ponant-luxury-ship-antarctica

The Le Boreal was launched in May, 2010. She features elegant design and innovative state-of-the-art marine technology. The vessel boasts a convenient layout, aided by three passenger elevators. She offers a single seating dining room, al fresco dining, an outdoor heated pool, and a modern lecture facility and theatre, as well as an ample and comfortable gathering area and library for her 200 guests.

National Geogrpahic Expolorer Luxury Expedition Antarctica

National Geographic Explorer (148 guests) was completely redesigned and rebuilt prior to being relaunched in 2008. The ship is equipped with an ice-strengthened hull and advanced navigation equipment for polar expeditions, and offers a well-appointed interior with vast expanses of glass for an unprecedented connection to the regions explored.

Silver Explorer Luxury Antarctica

Embark on a luxurious cruise aboard the Silver Explorer (formerly the Prince Albert II) — a purpose-built expedition ship with just 112 guests and the intimate on-board ambience of a private yacht. Designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations.

Silver Cloud Luxury Antarctica ship

Spacious yet intimate, the yacht-like Silver Cloud carries 200 guests in incomparable comfort and style. Combining spacious ocean-view suites and private verandas with excellent dining and entertainment options. Silver Cloud epitomizes a vision of worldclass cruise accommodations, cuisine, service and amenities.

Expedition

Generally expedition ships have a greater emphasis on maximising time off the vessel or out on deck than on a larger more ‘luxury’ ship. This is helped by having fewer than 100 guests, hence all guests can go ashore at the same time.  The expedition team works closely with the ship’s captain and crew to deliver a high level of service and a flexible approach which means they can react to local circumstances; like a group of feeding whales, if possible they will stop and launch the zodiacs.  The cabins are comfortable, the food of a very high standard.

Akademik Sergey Vavilov Anatrctic Arctic Expedition Ship

The Akademik Sergey Vavilov was built in Finland in 1989. She has an ice-strengthened (1A2 rating) is very stable, manoeuvrable and as a result quite fast. The Expedition staff are amongst the best with a very strong emphasis on guest service. Excellent Russian captains and crew have decades of experience in operating in Polar regions.

Ocean Nova Fly Cruise Expedition ship Antarctica.

The Ocean Nova is a small expedition ship that was built in Denmark in 1992 to sail the ice-choked waters of Greenland, and the ice-strengthened hull is ideally suited for expedition travel in Antarctica. Refurbished in 2006, it has a capacity of just 68 passengers accommodated in comfortable has a glass-enclosed observation lounge.

Akademik Ioffe Antrctica Expedition ship

The Akademik Ioffe (96 guests) is a sister ship to the Vavilov, built in the same shipyard in Finland in 1989. She has an ice-strengthened (1A2 rating) is very stable, manoeuvrable and as a result quite fast. The Expedition staff are amongst the best with a very strong emphasis on guest service. Excellent Russian captains and crew have decades of experience in operating in Polar regions.

Fly Cruise

Fly-Cruise voyages afford two major objectives; they avoid lengthy sea crossings and dependent upon operator can also realise more time in Antarctica, the Falkland Island or South Georgia than a ship that cruises all the way.  A flight takes you from Punta Arenas in Chile to King George Island (the largest of the South Shetland Islands, close to the Antarctic Peninsula) or to Mount Pleasant on the Falkland Islands where you board your ship.  For Antarctic Peninsula only voyages the flight also affords a visit to Antarctica in a shorter period of time.

hebridean-sky-anatrctica-luxury

The Hebridean Sky (71 guests) recently underwent a ten million dollar refit and boasts a high degree of comfort and safety. Always known for its effortless elegance, impeccable service and atmosphere of charm and camaraderie. Its all suite cabins and increased adventure options make the Hebridean Sky the perfect blend of luxury and adventurous exploration.  She is built to carry 114 guests and on her fly-cruise voyages she carries just 71 to enable all guests to arrive one flight (larger fly cruise vessels have to rely on good weather for two flights from Punta Arenas).

Akademik Sergey Vavilov Anatrctic Arctic Expedition Ship

The Akademik Sergey Vavilov was built in Finland in 1989. She has an ice-strengthened (1A2 rating) is very stable, manoeuvrable and as a result quite fast. The Expedition staff are amongst the best with a very strong emphasis on guest service. Excellent Russian captains and crew have decades of experience in operating in Polar regions.

Akademik Ioffe Anatrctic ship

The Akademik Ioffe (96 guests) is a sister ship to the Vavilov, built in the same shipyard in Finland in 1989. She has an ice-strengthened (1A2 rating) is very stable, manoeuvrable and as a result quite fast.  The Expedition staff are amongst the best with a very strong emphasis on guest service. Excellent Russian captains and crew have decades of experience in operating in Polar regions.

Boarding BAE-146 aircraft King George Island

The Ocean Nova is a small expedition ship that was built in Denmark in 1992 to sail the ice-choked waters of Greenland, and the ice-strengthened hull is ideally suited for expedition travel in Antarctica. Refurbished in 2006, it has a capacity of just 68 passengers accommodated in comfortable has a glass-enclosed observation lounge.

Icebreaker

Kapitan Khlebnikov

The Kapitan Khlebnikov combines power and technology with comfort and has 52 en-suite cabins and a maximum of 110 guests. This polar class icebreaker was originally designed for the ice-choked waters of norther Siberia. Its 24,000 horsepower engine and advanced ice-breaking technology allows access to places in Antarctica that no other ship can, like Snow Hill Island in the Weddell Sea on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. In addition to the fleet of Zodiacs the Kapitan Khlebnikov has two helicopters to take passengers on excursions.  It’s these helicopters that transport guests from the ship, ‘parked’ in sea-ice, closer to the Emperor penguin rookery on fast sea-ice close to Snow Hill Island.

For the 2018/19 season the Kapitan Khlebnikov is returning to offer Snow Hill Island Emperor Penguin voyages.