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Antarctica

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Ships

In terms of itinerary and quality of expedition staff there is little difference between our ships, as all offer an excellent polar experience and all have ice-strengthened hulls.  We are very selective about the ships we use and choose them for their suitability for birding and wildlife watching and therefore may not offer all our operator’s vessels. All have plenty of open deck space for watching and photographing from. All our featured ships are members of IAATO and operate under strict environmental guidelines and are equipped with a fleet of Zodiac inflatables for landings and cruises. The larger vessels that now visit the region are not suitable for a proper wildlife experience. 

Cabins are comfortable, most with private facilities. Food is usually good to excellent, with most ships offering reasonably priced selections of wine and other drinks including cocktail of the day. Expect the odd chunk of polar ice in your glass! All our ships have a lounge and bar area, restaurant, small library, lecture theatre, some fitness centres/gym equipment/saunas and some gift shops. A programme of optional talks, lectures and films will take place during your voyage, mainly during the ‘at sea’ days. 

All passengers will be fully briefed on what to do (and what not to do) ashore, and instruction will be given for travelling in Zodiacs comfortably and safely. Most of these vessels will normally make two or even three landings per day (or Zodiac cruises). Our brief ship guide follows, for more personal advice and the full colour brochures, simply contact us.

Akademik Ioffe / Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Russian, former research vessels carrying up to 96/92 passengers respectively. Officers and crew professional and friendly. Western expedition staff with their unique ‘expedition concierges’ too (usually 15+ staff in total).  Comfortable with good food. A real expedition feel. All cabins with portholes or windows. Stable, fast and quiet. WildWing’s Dick Filby will be the onboard ornithologist on a number of sailings to Antarctica, the Falklands and South Georgia. We are also working with artist Bruce Pearson on several sailings too.

Plancius

A former Dutch naval vessel which has been rebuilt for expedition cruising, she carries a maximum of 114 passengers and has a spacious observation lounge and lots of outside open deck space, at all levels and with viewing in all directions. All cabins with private facilities and portholes or windows. Officers and crew professional and friendly. Western expedition staff.  Very comfortable with good food. A real expedition feel.

Spirit of Enderby (Prof Khromov) 

Russian, former research vessel carrying up to 54 passengers. Officers and crew  professional and friendly. Western expedition staff.  Comfortable with good food. A real expedition feel. All cabins with portholes or windows. The most pioneering expedition vessel currently out on the oceans, she often conducts voyages of true exploration and is also one of the last of the well-loved “Molchanov’ class of ships.

Ortelius

Russian, former research vessel carrying up to 106 passengers, built in 1989, refurbished in 2004 with further improvements carried out early in 2012. Officers and crew professional and friendly. Western expedition staff. Comfortable with good food. A real expedition feel. All cabins with portholes or windows and private facilities. Stable, fast and has one of the highest ice-class ratings plus lots of open deck space. 

Polar Pioneer / Akademik Shokalskiy

Russian, former research vessels carrying up to 54 passengers. Officers and crew  professional and friendly. Western expedition staff.  Comfortable with good food. A real expedition feel. All cabins with portholes or windows, many with private facilities. Also the last of the well-loved “Prof Molchanov’ class of ships. 

Sea Adventurer

A former Baltic passenger vessel refurbished for expedition voyages, carrying up to 122 passengers. Officers and crew professional and friendly. Western expedition staff.  Comfortable with good food. A real expedition feel. All cabins with portholes or windows and private facilities.

Sea Spirit

An almost luxury vessel, recently converted for polar cruising. Carries a maximum of 112 passengers, selected drinks included throughout her voyages. Some cabins with balconies, all with windows and private facilities. Western expedition staff. Very comfortable with good food. 

Sea Explorer

Another 4 star ship, carrying up to 114 passengers in some comfort and style. 

Other vessels:

We are also agents for Lindblad Expeditions, Noble Caledonia, Orion, Antarpply and Zegrahm Expeditions, further details on request from us. 

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