Five new luxury expedition ships you shouldn’t miss
Earlier this month, Viking Cruises was first voted Best Oceanic Cruise Line and Best River Cruise Line by Condé Nast Traveler at the publication’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2021. In other words, it’s hard to look past them.
Having launched its ocean operations in 2015 (with a long history of excellence in river cruises), expeditions are a new genre for Viking. Expect the same attention to detail.
Both Octantis and Polaris will fly the Norwegian flag.
Hurtigruten provides more battery power
The hybrid battery-powered MS Fridtjof Nansen was originally scheduled to sail in Antarctica for 2021/22, but will now have her first departure from Hamburg, Germany, in January. The ship’s godmothers, conservationists Hilde Fålun Strøm and Sunniva Sørby of the Hearts in the Ice project, will be aboard one of the first expedition cruises from Hamburg to Norway.
Named after polar explorer and scientist Fridtjof Nansen, the ship will carry a maximum of 530 passengers and is almost identical to the MS Roald Amundsen launched in 2018. Both are PC6 (polar class) and both were built by Kleven Yards Ulsteinvik.
Hurtigruten will resume its Antarctic voyages from the end of November, with two ships (Roald Amundsen and MS Fram) departing from Punta Arenas, Chile.
Roald Amundsen’s first departure will be a solar eclipse sail, delivering guests to the Scotia Sea near the South Orkney Islands, about 650 kilometers northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula. The next solar eclipse phenomenon in this region will not occur for another 400 years.
“Watching a solar eclipse from the deck of an expedition ship sailing between icebergs off the coast of the South Pole continent may very well be the closest to feeling like you are on another planet,” said Asta Lassesen, Managing Director of Hurtigruten Expeditions.
To book 13 days Panama Canal & Colonial Highlights with Trip to the Galapagos Islands, departing October 9, 2022, priced at $ 11,007 per person, see Hurtigruten.com.au or tel. 1300 322 062.
Venture into nature
Following its launch in March next year, the PC6 Seabourn Venture icebreaker is due to leave Greenwich, London on April 10 for its 12-day Wild. & Travel to the former British Isles, navigation to Leith (Edinburgh).
As you would expect from this brand, no expense has been spared on board, with Venture sporting two bespoke submarines, a complement of double sea kayaks, mountain bikes and e-bikes as well as 24 Zodiacs that can welcome all guests on board.
Each ship will feature 132 fully veranda suites, all oceanfront for 264 passengers, with interiors by Adam D. Tihany.
The most popular elements of Seabourn – including the elegant Seabourn Square where passengers gather to chat and read newspapers in an informal lounge – will be replicated, as will the fitness center and day spa facilities of plus size that Seabourn is known for. You will need state-of-the-art exercise equipment to work out at the many fine dining options, including The Grill by Thomas Keller.
There are free daily yoga and guided meditation classes for those who want to slow down, while passengers looking for an intellectually active cruise can relax in the spacious Discovery Center and enjoy Seabourn Conversations with expert speakers.
Seabourn Pursuit, another expedition vessel in the same vein as Venture, is scheduled to launch in February 2023.
To book Venture will also be spending much of their time in Norway next year, with a typical navigation of 10 nights at the price of $ 15,999 per person. See seabourn.com or tel 13 24 02.
In the name of a legend
“Ninety-seven percent of the earth’s water is oceans, it’s our vital system and we need to learn all we can about it,” says Dr. Sylvia Earle, marine biologist, American oceanographer, explorer, author and speaker.
Earle was the first woman to become Chief Scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States (1990-1992).
Aurora’s 132 guests, Sylvia Earle, will soon begin sailing. The other news from Aurora is that it has been certified carbon neutral through a three-step plan in partnership with South Pole, specializing in greenhouse gas emissions compensation projects.
To book See auroraexpeditions.com.au or tel. 1800 637 688.
Launched in early 2018, Scenic Eclipse remains like new. Over the past 12 months, Scenic has refined a number of its dining experiences and locations, including refreshing the Yacht Club to create a relaxed and refreshing dining environment.
Homemade ice cream will be served in a new cooler, and if you’re missing out on your favorite market cuisine, Eclipse @ Kokos’ new Night Market is inspired by street food from Asia, India and the Middle East.
To book 13-day trip to deep Antarctica, from Buenos Aires, starting February 17, priced at $ 16,372 per person; see scenic.com.au / eclipse or tel 138 128.