29 Jun Magellan Explorer – Antarctic Fly Cruise at it’s Best
Magellan Explorer – Antarctic Fly Cruise at it’s Best
Fly Cruise voyage specialist Antarctica 21 will soon have a new purpose built Expedition/Luxury Fly-Cruise ship. As it’s still in the shipyard all the images are renders. True to their fly-cruise heritage despite having berths for over 100 guests the Magellan Explorer will take just 69 on her maiden fly-cruise voyages (71 is the limit a single BAE plane flying to King George Island can take on one flight – so there’s no waiting for a second, possibly weather delayed, flight to arrive before departing).
Being both new and purpose built the Magellan Explorer will offer a range of comfortable cabins and suites ranging in size from 20 to 40 square metres. She’ll have a presentation lounge/observation area, gym and sauna. Magellan Explorer has been designed to afford long periods away from port; she has an extended fuel range and a workshop for equipment maintenance. Just two of the many features that make Magellan Explorer the perfect platform for a unique fly and cruise operation.
The ship is being built to the latest Polar Code specifications established by the International Maritime Organization and carries a Polar Class 6 ice-class (Lloyd’s Register PC6). For comfortable navigation, the ship features stabilizers; for maneuverability it features bow and stern thrusters. She’s also very fuel efficient.
With a maximum of just 69 guests getting into zodiacs and ashore will be fast and will not only maximise time ashore it will also afford great flexibility, a hallmark of an Antarctica 21 voyage. Flying from Punta Arenas in Chile to King George Island is not cheap, having just 69 guests to spread the fixed operational costs also adds to the per night cost of a fly-cruise voyage. The significant benefits of a fly-cruise voyage are that they afford an Antarctic adventure without the 3-4 days spent crossing the Drake Passage from Ushuaia in Argentina or Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands as well as offering great flexibility and maximising time ashore.
When working out the cost and the value of one cruise versus another we suggest there are several factors to consider:
• Are sea days something you will enjoy/value (or perhaps even stop you from enjoying or considering a voyage)
• Could the sea days be better utilised doing something else, e.g. exploring Patagonia
• The number of clients does impact the time you’ll spend ashore or in zodiacs (the maximum guest ashore is 100)
• With adequate expedition guides and zodiacs flexibility is maximised with lower guest numbers
So whilst a fly-cruise voyage may at first site look ‘expensive’ – the time saved, the additional flexibility, maximised exploration time and the experience of flying into and out of Antarctica – and now combined with a state-of-the-art expedition ship mean that a fly cruise voyage on-board the Magellan Explorer offers great value and is perhaps worth another look.
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