Antarctic Expedition Ships & Cruises

Visits to Antarctica are governed by the provisions of the Antarctic Treaty under which ‘…Antarctica shall continue for ever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord.’ Twelve countries signed the original treaty but today 53 nations are signatories to the accord. Of particular note are the Environmental Protocols of 1991 concerning the protection of wildlife. Details can be found on the following website:

Outlined below is the full range of boats that travel into Antarctica offering cruises to paying passengers. Follow the links below to see the outline itinerary, departure dates and prices for each cruise or please contact us to check the costs of triple cabins or single traveller availability for each of the cruises.

Early booking offers: Many of the Antarctic expedition boats & cruises offer early booking discounts with considerable savings. Please check with us.



Akademic Ioffe

The Akademik Ioffe was designed specifically for polar acoustic research and was built in 1989. She is one of the few scientific vessels still actively participating in marine science.  Akademik Ioffe has a shallow draft and is highly manoeuverable, ideal for wildlife spotting and for getting into smaller bays.

Passengers: 96

Crew:            65

Length:        117 metres

Tonnage:     6230

Cruising Speed: 13.5 knots

Download:  Dates and Prices 2017-2018

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Akademik Sergey Vavilov is modern, comfortable, ice-strengthened and safe. Built in Finland in 1988, she is powered by twin engine 5000kw diesel. This ship has excellent facilities including a top deck observatory, the bridge is open to passengers virtually 24 hours a day. Most itineraries start and end in Punta Arenas.

Passengers: 92

Crew:           63

Length:       117 metres

Tonnage:    6230

Cruising speed: 14.5 knots

Download: Dates and Prices 2017-2018

Ocean Nova

Ocean Nova is a modern and comfortable expedition ship with an ice-strengthened hull built in Denmark in 1992. Facilities include a glass-enclosed observation lounge, dining room, bar, library, gym, and an infirmary. The ship has a fleet of 7 Zodiac boats for excursions.

Capacity: 72 passengers

Crew:       46

Length:   73 metres

Tonnage: 2183

Cruising speed: 12 knots

 Download: Dates and Prices 2017-2018

Hebridean Sky

The Hebridean Sky has undergone an extensive multi-million dollar renovation in 2016 as a small, all-suite expedition ship for journeys into the Antarctic. There are six cabin types. Facilities include a Sun Deck with Jacuzzi, upgraded Wifi and 10 Zodiacs.

Capacity: 118 passengers

Crew:       80

Length:   91 metres

Tonnage: 4200

Cruising speed: 12.5 knots

Download: Dates and Prices 2017-2018

Silver Explorer

The purpose-built Silver Explorer run by Silversea Expeditions offers the highest standards of comfort for travellers to Antarctica. She has a strengthened hull to safely push through ice floes with ease. Some itineraries include the rarely visited Elephant Island.

Capacity: 132 passengers

Crew:       117

Length:    108 metres

Tonnage: 6072

Crusing Speed: 14 knots

Download: Dates and Prices 2017-2018


The Ushuaia has been recently refurbished to accommodate a maximum of 88 passengers in 46 comfortable cabins and suites. She is one of the smaller vessels operating in Antarctica, from a base in Ushuaia and has established a good reputation over the last 12 years. Recommended.

Capacity: 88 passengers

Crew:       38

Length:   84.73 metres

Tonnage: 2923

Cruising speed: 12 knots

Download: Dates and Prices 2017-18


The MS Midnatsol was designed for cruises to the Norwegian Coast and entered service in 2003. She was rebuilt for polar exploration in 2016. With a maximum of 500 guests, the Midnatsol is comfortable and modern, designed to enable discovery across the globe. She offers  family-friendly travel, ideal for the curious traveller.

Capacity:  500 passengers

Crew:        up to 75

Length:    135.75m

Tonnage: 16,151

Service Speed: 15 knots

Download: Dates and Prices 2017-18

Roald Amundsen

Launching in the autumn of 2018, MS Roald Amundsen offers the chance to experience the first of a next generation of explorer ships. As the world’s first hybrid explorer ship, her advanced hybrid technology will power the vessel almost silently on the approach to fragile natural areas, while reducing emissions to a minimum.

Capacity: 265 cabins

Crew:       To be confirmed

Length:    140m

Tonnage: 20,889

Service Speed: 15 knots

Download: Dates and Prices 2017-18

Ocean Diamond

The Ocean Diamond has been certified carbon neutral, making it one of the most eco-friendly of Antarctica cruise ships. It is also one of the fastest, with two stabilizers and an ice-strengthened hull making it is ideal for polar expeditions.

Passengers:  189

Crew:             108

Length:         124 metres

Tonnage:       8282

Cruising speed: 15.5 knots

Download: Dates and Prices 2017-2018

Ocean Adventurer

The Ocean Adventurer has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation for the 2016-2017 season. This ship is operated by one of the leaders in Antarctic exploration, with a good track record of  providing comfort and adventure in remote places.

Passengers:  117

Crew:             83

Length:         101 metres

Tonnage:       4376

Cruising speed: 12 knots

Download: Dates and Prices 2017-18

Le Boréal

Combining exceptional itineraries and 5-star levels of service Le Boréal is one of the award-winning Ponant ships operating high-end expedition cruises to Antarctica. All four suites and 120 staterooms have private balconies, 8 additional staterooms are without. Superb finishings and ample public areas give Le Boréal the feel of a private yacht. Early booking is essential.

Capacity:   up to 264 passengers

Crew:        140

Length:    142 metres

Tonnage: 10,944

Crusing Speed: 14 knots

Download: Dates and Prices – coming soon

Le Lyrial

Le Lyrial was built in 477 days at the Fincantieri shipyards in Trieste and joined the Ponant group in April 2015. She combines luxury, intimacy and elegance with a French touch: refined gastronomy  and a five star service for sophisticated travel on a human scale. With a good choice of staterooms and suites over 6 passenger decks, Le Lyrial is a welcome addition to Antarctic cruise ships.

Capacity: up to 260 passengers

Crew:       140

Length:    142 metres

Tonnage: 10,992

Cruising Speed: 14 knots

Download: Dates and Prices – coming soon

Island Sky

Island Sky  is an all-suites, all-inclusive small expedition vessel with touches of elegance throughout. Every suite has an exterior view, while some suites include a private balcony. All suites have flat screen televisions and DVD players. She provides plenty of space for wildlife viewing, relaxation and taking in lectures and briefings.

Capacity: 114 passengers.

Crew:       70

Length:   90.6  metres

Tonnage: 4200

Cruising speed: 12.5 knots

Download:  Dates and Prices 2017-2018

Ocean Endeavour

The largest of the ships travelling into Antarctica, Ocean Endeavour is expertly engineered with an ice-strengthened hull, Zodiacs for exploration and remote landings, generous deck space and advanced navigation equipment. The ship has good amenities including two restaurants and plenty of deck space to view polar landscapes and wildlife.

Passengers:  199

Crew:             124

Length:         137 metres

Tonnage:       12,907

Cruising speed: 15 knots

Download: Dates and Prices 2017-2018

Sea Spirit

The Sea Spirit offers manoeuverability and the friendly atmosphere of small ships with a good range of comfortable cabins. The vessel has an ice-strengthened hull, a fleet of Zodiacs, and a set of retractable fin stabilizers for smoother sailing.

Passengers: 114

Crew:            72

Length:        91 metres

Tonnage:    4200

Cruising Speed: 15 knots

Download: Dates and Prices 2017-2018


Polar Pioneer

Built in Finland in 1982 as an ice-strengthened research vessel, Akademik Schuleykin, she was converted into a passenger ship in 2000 for polar expeditions. The Polar Pioneer is one of the smallest ships in Antarctica, with just 26 cabins for a maximum of 54 passengers.

Capacity: 54 passengers

Crew:       12

Length:   71.61 metres

Tonnage: 1753

Cruising speed: 10 knots

Download: Dates and Prices 2017-2018



This Polish-built ship is named after Abraham Ortelius, the Flemish cartographer who created the first modern atlas. The Ortelius offers a range of cabin types from simple cabins with portholes and bunk beds for 4, 3 or 2 passengers to more comfortable superior cabins with windows.

Passengers: 116 passengers

Staff & Crew: 52

Length:       90.95 metres

Tonnage:    4090

Maximum speed: 14.5 knots

Download: Dates and Prices 2017-18


Originally owned by the Royal Dutch Navy, the Plancius was fully converted in 2009 as an oceanographic ship for polar journeys.  She offers comfort but not luxury and itineraries are designed to spend as much time ashore as possible within the constraints of Antarctic travel.

Passengers: 116 passengers

Staff & Crew: 47

Length:       89 metres

Tonnage:    3211

Cruising speed: 10-12 knots

Download: Dates and Prices 2017-18


Purpose-built for extreme polar conditions in 2007, the unmatched explorer ship MS Fram offers the very best in explorer capabilities and technology. With only 256 guests on board, the vessel is ideal for the most adventurous travellers, exploring wilderness few others can reach.

Capacity:  127 cabins

Crew:        up to 50

Length:    114m

Tonnage: 11,647

Speed:      13 knots

Download: Dates and Prices 2017-2018

Silver Cloud

Designed to cross oceans and yet still able to travel up rivers and slip into hidden harbours with ease, the Silver Cloud was totally refurbished in 2015 to become the most spacious and comfortable ice class vessel in expedition cruising with a maximum of 200 guests in polar waters.

Passengers: 200 passengers

Crew:           up to 200

Length:       156.7 metres

Tonnage:    16,800

Cruising speed: 18 knots

Download: Dates and Prices 2017-2018

Spirit of Enderby

The Spirit of Enderby (formerly the Professor Khromov) is a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel, built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research. She carries just 50 passengers on expeditions to the islands south of New Zealand and to the Ross Sea.

Capacity:  50 passengers

Crew:        22

Length:    72 metres

Tonnage:  1750

Cruising speed: 10 knots

Download:  Dates and Prices 2017-18

Akademik Shokalskiy

The Akademik Shokalskiy is the sister ship to the Spirit of Enderby operating trips to remote parts of Antarctica and the southern islands from New Zealand. The focus of every expedition is to get passengers ashore as often as possible for as long as possible.

Capacity:  48 passengers

Crew:         22

Length:    71.06 metres

Tonnage: 1764

Cruising speed: 10 knots

Download: Dates and Prices 2017-2018

MS Expedition


The Expedition was completely refurbished in 2009 with comfortable cabins, each featuring ocean-facing windows or portholes and private en-suite facilities.  The Expedition aims to combine polar expertise, safety and adventure with exceptional value for money.

Passengers: 134

Crew:            69

Length:        105.2 metres

Tonnage:     6334

Cruising Speed: 14.5 knots

Download: Dates and Prices 2017-2018