Molchanov negotiates icebergs in Antarctica
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About Expedition Voyages

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Click on a ship name to get more details about the vessel Antarctic Dream Plancius Molchanov and Multanovskiy Polar Star 50 Years of Victory Kapitan Khlebnikov Click here to see various itineraries for Antarctica, the Arctic and Atlantic Islands cruises Antarctica The Arctic Atlantic Islands Dates and rates Antarctic dates and rates Arctic dates and rates Atlantic dates and rates

 

There are a variety of ship that sail to the Arctic & Antarctica and the choice of ship can make a big difference to your journey and experiences.

Polar cruises aren't like other cruises to warmer climates. There are no discos, no dickie bows and ball gowns on the ships we offer. They are all about showing your the Polar regions landscapes and wildlife! That's not to say that you can't do this in luxury if you wish but just don't expect Bingo or Liberace!!

     
  A TYPICAL DAY
The overall feeling on board is informal and relaxed. Begin the day with a wake-up call and breakfast. You will have been briefed the night before about the activities for the day ahead. Your first activity may be a presentation by one of the expedition crew, or a chance to watch as the ship navigates through the polar landscape. On arrival at the selected location you will prepare for the first shore landing of the day.

Each vessels has a fleet of Zodiacs (sturdy inflatable boats with outboard engines) to transfer you and the expedition guides to otherwise inaccessible shores where you may encounter wildlife, and visit historical sites.

When you land you will travel with your guides as they take you through some amazing landscapes and share their knowledge with you. Landings can usually last two to four hours depending on the itinerary.

Once back on board the ship you can change from your outdoor gear and refresh before lunch. Depending on the itinerary the ship may reposition to the next spectacular site. The afternoon activities might be another shore landing, or a Zodiac cruise through a beautiful icescape, past seals sleeping on ice floes, among whales or trying to get closer to a polar bear that's been spotted. There is always something going on. The bridge is usually open to passengers. This allows you to observe the operation of the ship as well as provide a birds eye view of the landscape around you. On the bridge you can really soak up the sense of expedition voyaging.

Evenings are for relaxing and talking about the activities of the day and the sites you visited. After dinner you can relax with a good book or have a well deserved drink in the bar. During the extended hours of the polar summer days you may choose to go out on deck and take in the mysterious landscape of the midnight sun. Its a very special experience.
 
     

EXPEDITION GUIDES
All ships are crewed by very well informed and experienced expedition guides who are there to ensure you get what you want from your Polar voyage. They give lectures on a regular basis about various aspects of the regions history and natural history. The guides are available throughout the voyage whether during the day or in the evening over a drink in the bar.

ABOUT THE SHIPS
One of the main rules that will impact on your visit is that only 100 passengers at any one time may be landed in any one place in Polar regions. If you are on a small ship of up to 100 passengers, then you get a chance to go ashore every time. If the ship is larger, then there will be less opportunity for landings. This is one of the reasons why we only use small ships. These are very special locations you are visiting and we want to make sure you get the most from it.

There are several different types of ships to choose from. These Expedition, Adventure, Luxury and Icebreakers

     
 

EXPEDITION AND ADVENTURE SHIPS
An expedition ship is designed to cruise remote waterways. These ships usually have a shallow draft and often have an ice-strengthened hull, designed to push through broken ice. They feature Zodiacs (inflatable rubber boats with outboard engines) that are used for exploration and shore landings. Expedition ships focus on natural history and culture, and have on-board educational programs. Accommodation is not luxurious but simple and comfortable. These ships carry a maximum of 46 passengers. Adventure ships offer additional activities such as kayaking, scuba diving, camping, snow shoeing and cross-country skiing.

Vessels:
Professor Molchanov, Multanovskiy, Grigoriy Mikheev & Aleksey Maryshev

We also offer three other ships with a higher standard of accommodation including twin/double beds rather than bunk style beds. The ships carry up to 100 passengers.

Vessels:
Polar Star, Antarctic Dream, Plancius

ICEBREAKERS
The icebreaker is specifically designed for breaking through sea ice travelling to remote polar regions such as the North Pole or the Far South to visit emperor penguin rookeries. Life on board is the same as with other ship but the itineraries explore the most remote areas where an icebreaker is needed to safely explore in more extensive sea ice.  Some itineraries also use helicopters.

Vessels: 50 Years of Victory, Kapitan Khlebnikov

 
     

WEATHER CONDITIONS
Antarctic:
The Drake Passage between Ushuaia and the Antarctic Peninsula can be a very rough crossing, but ships are equipped with stabilisers to make the crossing as comfortable as possible. Once you reach the Antarctic the ship will be sailing in the lee of the peninsula. Adverse weather, ice, or political conditions may require that changes be made to your itinerary or certain shore excursions altered.

Arctic: The waters around Spitsbergen are not prone to rough seas as much as the Drake Passage but it is always possible when voyaging from location to location. During your voyage you will be sailing into Fjords and inlets which are sheltered from rough seas. The crew always consider weather conditions to ensure your comfort where possible while still providing a full and exciting itinerary.

Once you pack your sense of adventure, sailing in rough seas can be a highlight of your polar adventure.

IAATO & AECO
We only work with companies that are members of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) and Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) who lay down rules covering such things as the size of cruise ship allowed to enter Polar waters and covering conduct at landing sites in these regions. This a very important part of selecting a vessel. More information about these guidelines can be found at the links below.

International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO)

Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO)