RAC Cruise Club

Antarctica

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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.

Safety first

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.

Ship information

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.

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