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Our selected Antarctic cruise ships
Antarctic cruises image

A spectacularly wild and pristine frontier land of dramatic topography, weather and wildlife, Antarctica is almost entirely covered in perpetual ice. During the long days of the austral summer, expedition cruises depart from the southern tip of South America, the shortest and probably most scenically impressive approach. Visitors to Antarctica generally must brave rough sea crossings aboard ice-strengthened vessels, but those who do so are rewarded with amazing scenery and tremendous and unique wildlife.

Our preferred accommodation

  • Akademik Ioffe image

    Akademik Ioffe

    Cruise ship - ex Ushuaia
    Operator: One Ocean Expeditions. A 348 foot ship built in Scandinavia by the Russian Academy of Science in 1988-89 for hydro-acoustic ocean research. She has since been refurbished to provide high levels of comfort for her passengers. The ship is particularly stable due to a sophisticated stabilisation and trimming system built into the ice-strengthened hull. She is manoeuvrable, quiet and fast with a maximum cruising speed of 14.5 knots. Although she can sleep up to 110 passengers she will only carry 96. On board there is a theatre-style presentation room, small gym, sauna and swimming pool, lounge, bar, dining room, library and infirmary. There is an open-bridge policy.
  • Akademik Sergey Vavilov image

    Akademik Sergey Vavilov

    Cruise ship - ex Ushuaia
    Operator: One Ocean Expeditions. A 348 foot ship built in Scandinavia by the Russian Academy of Science in 1988-89 for hydro-acoustic ocean research and extensively refurbished in 2003. The ship is particularly stable due to a sophisticated stabilisation and trimming system built into the ice-strengthened hull. She is also manoeuvrable, quiet and fast with a maximum cruising speed of 14.5 knots. Although she can up to 110 passengers she will only carry 96. On board there is a theatre-style presentation room, small gym, sauna and swimming pool, a dining room, library, infirmary and also a panoramic observation lounge and bar on the top deck. There is an open-bridge policy.
  • Hebridean Sky image

    Hebridean Sky

    Cruise ship - ex Ushuaia
    Operators: Polar Latitudes and Antarctica21. Hebridean Sky (previously known as Sea Explorer) is a very comfortable 296 foot ship carrying up to 114 guests (71 on air cruise), with a maximum cruising speed of 14.5 knots. There is a library (with internet access), exercise room, bar, lounge, dining room and observation deck. An elevator serves all passenger decks.

    With Polar Latitudes she operates classic Antarctica itineraries to/from Ushuaia, and a longer Falklands/South Georgia one, while with Antarctica21 she is generally based in the Antarctic Peninsula and passengers fly there from the South American mainland (Punta Arenas).
  • M/V Ortelius image

    M/V Ortelius

    Cruise ship - ex Ushuaia
    Operator: Oceanwide Expeditions. Ortelius is a 302 foot ship built in Poland in 1989, designed specifically for polar exploration. Carrying a maximum of 116 passengers, she is a comfortable, stable ship with an ice-strengthened hull. She is manoeuvrable, quiet and fast with a maximum cruising speed of 14.5 knots. There are two dining rooms, a bar/presentation room, sauna, library, infirmary, plenty of deck space and a large accessible bridge. Previously named the M/V Marina Svetaeva.
  • M/V Plancius image

    M/V Plancius

    Cruise ship - ex Ushuaia
    Operator: Oceanwide Expeditions. Plancius, 293 feet, was built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy. In 2006 she was bought by Oceanwide Expeditions and has been re-built to carry 114 passengers in 54 comfortable cabins with a restaurant/lecture room, a spacious observation lounge offering panoramic views, large open deck spaces, a library, small gym and sauna and an infirmary. She is ice-strengthened and has 10 zodiacs for excursions. She cruises at an average speed of 10.5 knots.
  • Ocean Nova image

    Ocean Nova

    Cruise ship - ex Ushuaia (ex Punta Arenas for air cruises)
    Operator: Antarctica21. Ocean Nova is a 240 foot cruise ship built in 1992 in Denmark, and later refurbished to include a glass-enclosed observation lounge and presentation room on the top deck. She carries up to 72 passengers in outside cabins, and cruises at 12 knots. There is a window-lined dining room, library, exercise room, lounge, bar and clinic. There is an experienced Russian captain and crew, and European chefs. Ocean Nova is generally based in the Antarctic Peninsula and passengers fly there from the South American mainland (Punta Arenas) - a so-called 'air cruise'.
  • RCGS Resolute image

    RCGS Resolute

    Cruise ship - ex Ushuaia or Santiago
    Operator: One Ocean Expeditions. A 403 foot ship built in Finland in 1993, designed specifically for polar exploration. Equipped with modern stabilisation, excellent manoeuvrability and the highest ice rating possible for passenger ships, she carries 146 passengers and cruises at 14 knots. She has spacious internal and external viewing platforms, including a 360 degree observation deck. There is also a theatre-style presentation room, library, gym, wellness centre (including massage services, steam room and sauna), hot tub and swimming pool, bar, dining room and bistro. In addition to the four observation areas, the ship's bridge is open to passengers day and night.
  • Ushuaia image

    Ushuaia

    Cruise ship - ex Ushuaia
    Operator: Antarpply Expeditions. A 278 foot, ice-strengthened polar vessel, originally built for the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), now refurbished to accommodate a maximum of 90 passengers. Facilities include an observation lounge, lecture theatre, dining room, bar and library. The captain and crew are all highly experienced and knowledgeable. She cruises at 12 knots.

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