Cruises to Antarctica with One Ocean Expeditions
Why choose one Ocean expeditions?
The Akademik Ioffe, and sister ship, Akademik Sergey Vavilov are regarded as two of the best expeditions ships in the world. Fast, stable and quiet – and with a passenger capacity of less than 100. We have two of Australia’s most experienced leaders in our expedition team including Australian Polar Medal recipient, Ray McMahon and well known historian, photographer and writer, David McGonigal, who co-authored the bestselling Complete Story of Antarctica.
One Ocean Expeditions has the highest staff-to-client ratio in the industry so you will be extremely well looked after throughout your trip. The maximum client number is 95 and they have 15 permanent expedition staff on board, in addition to the ship’s operating crew. IAATO regulations only allow 100 passengers ashore at any time, which means all passengers can participate in all shore landings. We include a high quality wet weather gear package free of charge; saving you money on the purchase of bulky and expensive clothes we don’t have a lot of use for in WA. We also include overnight camping on the Antarctic Peninsula for everyone free of charge. Some companies levy a surcharge of up to $300 for this option.
So, what’s it like on a Polar expedition?
The easiest way to describe it is to imagine our expedition ship as a ‘floating wilderness lodge’. It is a moveable base from which to explore the fantastic landscapes. Days are filled with exciting activities – zodiac cruises to look at icebergs, excursions ashore with short and longer hiking opportunities, visits to penguin rookeries and seal colonies – combined with plenty of ship-based activities, including an entertaining and informative presentation series. At the end of each day enjoy a fantastic dinner, great conversation and perhaps a glass of wine, as we reflect on another incredible day.
More than a cruise
One Ocean Expeditions depart from the Argentine town of Ushuaia, at the southern tip of South America. Most travellers elect to spend a few days in the lively capital of Buenos Aires en-route and we recommend you do – it’s a fantastic city with great restaurants, superb colonial architecture and friendly locals. You can do this either before or after your Antarctic expedition. The pretty town of Ushuaia is also worth exploring for a day or two. It is also possible to travel to other parts of Argentina, neighbouring Chile, or more widely in South America. The Arctic expeditions depart from small ports and will involve special charter flights to meet the ship in western Greenland or the remote town of Kugluktuk (Coppermine) in the far north of Canada for the Northwest Passage voyage.
Quality and experience
Over the past 18 years, the staff of One Ocean Expeditions has amassed a broad scope of expertise in the polar eco-system. The expedition team has an in-depth knowledge of the full range of Antarctic and Arctic wildlife and plants, enabling them to offer a truly nature-based approach to tourism in the polar region. One Ocean is arguably the most experienced polar expedition team afloat.
There are no compromises here. One Ocean Expedition staff and crew have the deepest respect for polar weather and the varying sea and ice conditions in these regions. That respect is apparent in every decision we make. We carry the most extensive inventory of safety equipment on all excursions and require our leaders to undergo rigorous and effective safety training programmes. We are well prepared so you can relax and enjoy your journey.
The Akademik loffe and Akademik Sergey Vavilov
Regarded as the two best polar expedition ships in the world, the Akademik loffe and her sister ship Sergey Vavilov are the pride of Russian scientific fleet. These ships were built to conduct sensitive hydro acoustic research which means they are exceptionally stable, manoeuvrable, fast and very quiet. Ship stabilisation is gained through a combination of external stabilisers and a built-in ballast trimming system – known as a ‘Flume Stabiliser System’. As a result, these ships are the most stable expedition vessels navigating polar waters today. You will really appreciate this if you encounter rough conditions crossing the Drake Passage. The ships were built to be highly manoeuvrable, have bow and stern thruster and twin reversible propellers. They are quiet and move with a top speed of 14 knots. This allows us more time at our destinations, the ability to get in and out of the most interesting places and provides more flexibility for itinerary planning.
You will dine on sumptuous meals prepared by the professional team of chefs. The dining room comfortably accommodates all our guests in a single seating. A separate bar and lounge, as well as a library provide ideal places to sit and relax, and there is a 24 hour tea, coffee, and hot chocolate station.
The open-bridge policy means you are welcome virtually any time of day and there’s always something to learn from the officers on watch. The bridge is one of the best places on the ship for spotting wildlife with binoculars and reference books available. The ‘loffe’ and ‘Vavilov’ also features a sauna, a plunge pool, small gymnasium and day spa. There is a theatre-style presentation room and a computer lab with several workstations for guests to download, manage and burn DVD’s of their precious photographs. With safety in mind, there is a small, but well equipped medical clinic, and an experienced wilderness medical physician accompanies every voyage.
One Ocean Suite
Located on Deck 5 – this is the premier cabin on the ship and features a queen size double berth. The sleeping quarters are separate from the lounge area. With upgraded bed and bathroom linens, and writing desk. There is also a TV/DVD player, IPod dock /alarm clock and speaker system in the main lounge room. Bathroom facilities are private and there is a bathtub. Additional features and amenities include a fridge/mini bar, a hairdryer, a coffee and tea maker, a toiletry and vanity kit, luxury bathrobes for all occupants, an arrival gift basket with fruit and snacks and bottle of wine. We also include a set of quality Bushnell binoculars for you to use while onboard and a souvenir Antarctica wildlife reference book for you to keep.
These cabins are located on Deck 4 and 5. All have one double berth, as well as a sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters, a writing desk and chair, TV/DVD Player, and an IPod Dock and alarm clock. Facilities are private. Additional features and amenities: Upgraded bed linens and doonas, CD player/mini stereo system with connection for an Ipod player, mini bar/ice bucket, hairdryer, coffee/tea maker, toiletry kit, vanity kit, luxury cotton bathrobes, an arrival gift basket with snacks and a bottle of wine, a pair of binoculars to use while onboard and a souvenir reference book for you to keep. There are five Shackleton Suites aboard Akademik Ioffe.
There are 10 Superior cabins, all located on Deck 6 – the same level as the ship’s bridge. These cabins feature two lower berths, a sofa, a writing desk and chair and lots of storage space. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window. Additional features and amenities: toiletry kit, hairdryer, coffee/tea maker, vanity kit, upgraded bed linens and doonas, bathrobes.
For the Akademik Sergey Vavilov, there are 3 Superior cabins, all located on Deck 3.
Twin Cabins – Private Facilities
These cabins are located on Deck 4 and 5. All cabins have two lower berths, a writing desk /chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window. Additional features and amenities include: a toiletry kit, hairdryer, coffee/tea maker and bathrobes.
For the Akademik Sergey Vavilov, these cabins are located on Deck 3, 4 and 5.
Twin Cabin – Semi -Private Facilities
Located on Deck 4, the Twin Semi-Private cabins are our lead-in twin cabin category. These cabins have two lower berths, a writing desk and ample storage. Facilities are semi-private (with a bathroom shared with the cabin next door). All cabins have a window which opens. Additional features and amenities include: a toiletry kit, hairdryer, coffee/tea maker, bathrobes.
Triple Cabin – Shared Facilities
Located on Deck 3 these cabins have upper and lower beds in a bunk scenario and a sofa that converts to a comfortable bed with a full inner sprung mattress. Facilities are shared and the toilet and bathroom is down the corridor. There is a washbasin in the cabin, as well as a writing desk and chair and ample storage space. These cabins have a porthole. Bathrobes are provided for all occupants. NOTE: One triple cabin is reserved for male guests and the other for female guests. (or for groups of three who book at the same time).
The exciting schedule of onshore excursions, zodiac cruises and on board activities is guaranteed to work up a serious appetite. Although we are operating at the bottom of the world, we provide an exceptional variety of healthy, tasty meals, prepared by our team of professional Canadian and European chefs. Breakfasts, typically, are buffet style. Lunches offer a great choice of light meals, as well as more substantial options for those who are hungry and each evening there is a hearty three-course meal offering both variety and choice. There’s also an excellent wine list featuring a range of Argentine and international wines. You can get a cup of tea or coffee at any time of the day or night and we always offer afternoon tea with cakes and biscuits. Guests with dietary restrictions or special meal requirements are also well catered for on our voyages.
- Accommodation on board the The Akademik loffe or Akademik Sergey Vavilov
- Antarctic Wet Weather Gear package
- Ice Camping^
- Comprehensive on board lecture program
- World-class expedition guides and lecturers
- Morning and afternoon shore excursions
- All meals on board the ship
- Transfers in Ushuaia, Argentina (all Antarctica cruises depart from Ushuaia)
Additional: Sea Kayaking – Price US795 per person. Please reserve at time of booking.
^Ice Camping on The Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula voyage is less likely to happen due to the shorter time spent in Antarctica itself. If weather and ice conditions permit and a suitable location is available, we will always try to camp.
Don't leave home without
- An extra set of thermals – handy when your other set of thermals get wet on land or on the zodiac
- Beanie, gloves and scarf – the weather can change very quickly and these will always come in handy
- Wind and water proof jacket – good for the days you are on deck taking in the scenery
- Sunglasses – a must where you are outside, particularly at the start of the season for the snow
- Sunscreen and chap stick – the Antarctic sun is very harsh and you will need lots of it
- Sea Sickness Tablets – a necessity should you encounter the ‘Drake Shake’
- Spare camera batteries – the cold is tough on your battery, a spare is essential
- Memory cards and USB stick – you will be amazed at how much you will be snapping away!
- Skin Moisturising Lotion – the air is very dry in Antarctica
- Swim Wear – after a day onshore or kayaking, the sauna and outdoor Jacuzzi is on call
Activities and options
Sea Kayaking – the ultimate adventure!
Price: US795 per person
Sea kayaking allows you to experience another side of this magnificent destination and our highly professional guides introduce you to a slower paced, quieter Antarctica. Kayak excursions are offered whenever weather conditions permit and you can expect to get out around six or seven times, for periods up to three or four hours. The programme is directed at any passenger with an adventurous spirit and sea kayaking experience. Please reserve at time of booking.
Sleep under the stars in Antarctica!
Imagine finishing dinner on board our expedition vessel then jumping into the Zodiacs for a run ashore with your sleeping bag and bivy sac (swag). This is your opportunity to camp ashore in Antarctica!
Picture it...lying in your sleeping bag listening to crackling and grumbling of glaciers, the splintering of icebergs and the soothing sounds of water and brash ice washing onto the pebbly beach. Perhaps you might even hear the blow of a whale, feeding in the bay near your campsite. Who said that sleep would come easy? But when it does, you drift away knowing that you are breathing pristine air and experiencing something very few ever have before. After your night ashore, we take you back to the ship for a hot shower, perhaps a sauna, and a hearty breakfast in our dining room.
We provide all of the camping gear required for your night ashore. Although we do not expect night-time temperatures to drop below -3°C, our sleeping bags are rated to -12°C. And we also have some tents for use ashore if you prefer to sleep under canvas. The cost of camping is included in the price of your expedition. Overnight camping is less likely to happen on the Falklands, South Georgia voyage, as we spend less time in Antarctica compared to the other voyages. If weather and ice conditions permit, we will always try to camp.
On board Spa and fitness facilities
How would it be, returning to the ship after a beautiful and strenuous hike ashore, or perhaps a long kayak paddle and after a quick change and a hot drink, you make your way to our on board spa for your pre-booked hot stone massage. You wouldn’t be the first Antarctic adventurer to imagine such a thing but you may be one of the lucky few to experience it. Our massage therapist will offer a range of spa treatments on board the vessel including Swedish, deep tissue and sports therapy massage, hot stone massage, and various types of hydrotherapy.
In addition to a significant choice of shore activities, we have a personal fitness trainer as part of our team on every voyage and the use of our small ship board gym for those wishing to workout. We also have an on board sauna – another popular venue at the end of a long day and there’s a icy plunge pool for the brave!