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An active polar research vessel, Akademik Ioffe has been refurbished and is now one of the finest expedition boats in the Canadian and Norwegian Arctic and the Antarctic, combining stability and comfort.
With room for 96 guests and 60-something crew and staff on board, visitors will be well looked after along every step of the journey. Guests can choose from a number of cabin options, from shared bunk rooms (for those wanting to experience the Arctic on a smaller budget) to the Skackleton Suites with their double berths, separate sleeping quarters, and opening windows, providing a refreshing ocean breeze.
The dining room is spacious enough for the culinary team of four chefs to serve all guests on board in a single sitting, with buffet options for all meals, or plated food for lunch and dinner. The recently renovated bar is located at the rear of the lobby, with direct access to the main deck, and is one of the best gathering places on board. Peer through the portholes at the spectacular surroundings, while reclining in a comfortable bar chair, with a fresh breakfast smoothie in hand or a cocktail before dinner. On clear, calm days, the top deck also has 360 degree views and guests are invited to use the small observatory, fitted with a telescope. Cosy blankets are provided, along with optional hot drink refills.
There are several other well-appointed public spaces on board, including the library, with its polar reference books and idyllic forward-facing views. The lounge area is ideal for social gatherings, complete with a piano, TV and a selection of board games. Relax by the cosy fireplace and share stories of the day's adventures. Additional facilities include a multimedia room, a gym and a spa complete with a massage therapist, yoga instructor, plunge pool and sauna.
Experience the Artic with the variety of activity programmes on offer, from kayaking and overnight camping expeditions, to photograph trips for the creative guests on board. There are even specific expedition itineraries, so that visitors can discover the highlights of the Artic, and learn more about the communities, wildlife, and landscapes of the region. The tours on offer include an exploration of Canada's Atlantic Maritime Provinces, a trip to one of the last great wilderness regions on the planet - Baffin Island - and wildlife focused tours around Spitsbergen and the Svalbard archipelago, with chances to spot seals, whales, and even polar bears. Please ask the team for more details on the set departure voyages in 2018 and 2019.
The Akademik Ioffe vessel is also available for expeditions to Antarctica.
Why we love it
The ship's bridge is open for 24 hours a day, so guests can meet the officer and helmsman on duty, or even the master of the vessel. Sneak a peek at the charts room, or join an expedition guide and watch for wildlife, whilst perusing a wildlife book to identify the creatures of the Arctic.
Will, Original Traveller