Svalbard, Greenland, Iceland and the Canadian Arctic provide exceptional experiences for all who visit. We’ve selected 6 of the best ships to deliver you to these wondrous wilderness areas. You have the choice of Luxury or Expedition vessels.
While different styles, all ships have key characteristics in common:
We work closely with all our operators to ensure they will safely deliver a high quality operation. All vessels have two engines (or in the case of Ocean Nova an auxiliary engine that can bring the ship back to port) and operate with a high crew to guest ratio.
These luxurious cruise ships combine more traditional-style ‘cruising’ with an Arctic 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 High Arctic and come home to an exquisite ship.
An ice-strengthened all-suite luxury – expedition cruise ship Sea Spirit was built in 1991 in Italy. The vessel was refurbished in late 2010 and is again due for dry-dock in April 2017. 54 suites and a maximum of 114 passengers. All suites have private facilities and exterior views. Some suites feature private balconies.
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.
Generally Arctic expedition cruise ships have a greater emphasis on maximising time off the vessel or out on deck. The expedition vessels all have less than 100 guests making Zodiac excursions and landings a quick and easy process. 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.
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.
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.
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 the High Arctic. Refurbished in 2006, it has a capacity of just 68 passengers accommodated in comfortable has a glass-enclosed observation lounge.
A nuclear powered icebreaker with the power, strength of hull and weight to literally crush a path all the way to the North Pole. With a maximum of 128 guest the 50 Years of Victory is only used for voyages to the North Pole. On the way back from reaching the top of the world the ship visits the remote archipelago of Franz Josef Land which is home to polar bears, walrus, beluga whales as well as excellent birdlife.