Expedition cruising is more popular than ever. The times of old Russian ships* with bunk beds and shared bathrooms are long gone. The new generation of expedition cruise ships are more environmentally friendly, offer a luxury feeling and a very smooth sailing experience. Active excursions that focus on nature are still the main focus. Though the on board experiece has come miles from what it was a few decades ago. Imagine spacious bright cabins with large windows, jacuzzi’s on deck, high-end restaurants and even onboard helicopters and submarines!

New ships mean new itineraries and new experiences for you to explore. We’ve gathered the small expedition cruise ships that are expected to set sail in the near future.

* If you are into ‘old-school’ expedition cruising, have a look at the nuclear icebreaker 50 Years of Victory or the polar vessels Akademik Shokalskiy and Spirit of Enderby.

Luxury infinity vessels Ocean Victory & Ocean Albatros

Inaugural voyage: Ocean Victory – November 2021 | Ocean Albatros – November 2022

The revolutionary twin ships Ocean Victory and Ocean Albatros combine the advantages of a small expedition vessel with the stability and comfort of a larger cruise ship. Their high maneuverability and compact design make it possible to take you deeper and further into the most remote areas of the polar regions. The special X-bow offers increased stability and speed during ocean crossings. With a maximum capacity of only 189 passengers, they offer an intimate atmosphere with great personal service.

Highlights of Ocean Victory and Ocean Albatros

  • Special X-bow for smooth sailing
  • Two restaurants and a Nordic bar
  • Wellness area including a heated swimming pool
  • Two jacuzzies on deck
  • Modern and fresh Nordic design
  • Dedicated solo cabins for single travelers and family rooms with connecting door

Modern expedition-style ship MV Janssonius

Inaugural voyage: November 2021

MV Janssonius is one of the most environmentally friendly vessels to sail the polar seas. The ship uses LED lighting, steam heating and state-of-the-art power management to keep fuel consumption and CO2 levels low. This means you get to enjoy the polar landscapes and wildlife with minimum impact. Exploring the outdoors is key on board Janssonius. An extensive fleet of zodiacs swiftly gets all guests to shore for landings. On board, Janssonius offers hotel comfort but holds on to that true expedition-style feeling with a distinctive cozy and informal atmosphere. The ships high-quality accommodation has room for 170 passengers in 80 cabins.

Highlights of MV Janssonius

  • True expedition-style ship
  • Polar-class 6 rating
  • Swift ship-to-shore operations
  • Exceeding all the latest green requirements
  • Triple and quadruple cabins

Ultra luxury ice breaker Le Commandant Charcot

Inaugural voyage: November 2021

Le Commandant Charcot is the first-ever hybrid electric cruise vessel with ice-breaking technology. Powered by LNG, it fulfills the highest standards for environmentally friendly and safe expedition cruises. The 270-passenger Commandant Charcot will bring guests to hard to reach polar destinations including The Geographic North Pole, The Weddell Sea and Charcot & Peter I Island. When you’re not out exploring, you can enjoy unprecedented luxury on board. Besides an indoor heated pool, a sunroom and heated outdoor lagoon you will also find a 430 m² wellness area. Here you can have a relaxing massage or spend some time in the sauna before taking an invigorating snow bath in the indoor snow room!

Highlights of Le Commandant Charcot

  • Ice-breaking technology to reach new destinations
  • Hybrid electric ship, powered by LNG
  • Ultra luxurious onboard features
  • Hot airbaloon for sightseeing from the sky and equipment for snowmobile rides
  • Outstanding gastronomy in the two on board restaurants

State of the art ship Sylvia Earle

Inaugural voyage: November 2021

The 132-passenger expedition ship Sylvia Earle follows her twin, the Greg Mortimer, which was launched in 2019. Both ships have a revolutionary X-bow, allowing for much smoother and more efficient ocean crossings. This will soon come in handy when sailing the Drake Passage on her inaugural season in Antarctica. Similar to her twin, Sylvia Earle has a modern lecture lounge, multiple observation areas, zodiac launching platforms, a gym and wellness centre and a convenient mudroom. As a bonus, she also features a citizen science centre and heated saltwater pool on deck, two things you won’t find on board the Greg Mortimer. A special activity preparations platform at the stern of the ship offers easy access to the water for those going kayaking or paddle boarding.

Highlights of the Sylvia Earle

  • Quicker and more comfortable sea crossings
  • Glass Atrium Lounge inside the bow
  • Swimming pool and jacuzzis on deck
  • Many optional activities including kayaking, diving, snorkeling, climbing and more
  • On board citizen science centre

One-of-a-kind expediton ship Ultramarine

Inaugural voyage: November 2021

The new Ultramarine is designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration. Equipped with two twin-engine helicopters, this expedition ship is set to deliver the most extensive portfolio of adventure activities in the industry. In addition to flightseeing, which is included for all guests, you will also have a chance to join groundbreaking activities like heli-hiking and alpine kayaking! With four embarkation points and an internal zodiac hanger you will be albe to get off the ship in half the time of other vessels. This allows for more spontaneous off-ship adventures and more intimate wildlife engagement. Furthermore, Ultramarine features loads of on board amenities and the most spacious suites for all 199 passengers.

Highlights of the Ultramarine

  • 2 on board helicopters
  • Spa & sauna
  • Wraparound deck
  • Sustainability features exceeding industry standards
  • Very spacious cabins with spa-inspired bathrooms 

Refurbished world-renowned polar vessel Heritage Adventurer

Inaugural voyage: May 2022

The world-renowned polar exploration vessel formerly known as MS Hanseatic and Society Adventurer has been rechristened Heritage Adventurer. This iconic expedition ship, built in 1991, will be refurbished in preparation of her voyages to the most exclusive and remote destinations around the globe. She will start her new ventures in the Russian Far East, including Wrangel Island in May 2022, followed by cruises along the coast of New Zealand, the Subantarctic Islands and down into the Antarctic Ross Sea. The ship is a great example of authentic expedition travel. Heritage Adventurer takes just 140 expeditioners. With a fleet of 14 zodiacs ensuring all guests are able to maximise their expedition adventure.

Highlights of the Heritage Adventurer

  • Authentic expedition atmosphere
  • Indoor panoramic jaccuzi
  • Swimming pool on deck
  • Unique itineraries in both the Arctic and Antarctic
  • Spacious and stylish expedition ship

Voyages on board Heritage Adventurer will be published online soon!

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