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The ‘Polar Pioneer’ is modern and comfortable oceanographic research vessels. Built in 1985 in Finland, designed as ice-strengthened vessels, and now converted for passenger use is ideally suited for expedition cruising.
The vessel measures 71.6 metres (236 feet) in length, 12.8 metres (42 feet) in breadth, and has a draft of approximately 4.5 metres (15 feet), and a displacement of 2140 tonnes.
Powered by two 1560 horsepower diesel engines, the vessel is capable of speeds of 12,5 knots. It has a good anti-roll system, a range of 70 days independent operation and is ISM certified.
The vessel is strongly built of steel with an ice strengthened hull, perfect for polar seas. The ‘Polar Pioneer’ is manned by enthusiastic Russian crews of around 20, all highly experienced in ice navigation. Russian captains are recognised experts in polar navigation. All our international expedition leaders, dive guides and lecturers are highly knowledgeable, helpful and dedicated to the protection of the environment.
The vessel provides accommodation for 56 travellers in comfortable triple, twin and superior cabins, and suites.
The ‘Polar Pioneer’ has a large bridge (where you are almost always welcome) and good open deck-viewing areas. It carries a full complement of Zodiac craft, excellent for landings and wildlife viewing opportunities in otherwise inaccessible areas. Excellent cuisine, prepared by international chefs, is served in the dining room, which also acts as the lecture room. Other public areas include a lounge and bar, small library, infirmary, and sauna.
The electrical supply on board is 220 volts, 50 hertz. The electrical outlet sockets are the standard European two round pin system. Passengers coming from countries with a different system will need to bring a suitable adapter.
The vessel is equipped with a medical infirmary with an adequate supply of western medicines and equipment. There will be a Western physician on board. We cannot guarantee to have every drug or piece of equipment for every medical problem. If passengers are under regular treatment for any ailment, they must bring a more than adequate supply of medicines for the duration of their voyage. We cannot accept responsibility for not having a specific brand or type of drug on board. If passengers suffer from any potentially serious illness, they should inform us prior to the voyage so that we can alert the doctor to their condition.
The vessel (radio room) is equipped with both direct satellite M phone and facsimile systems. There are also email facilities on board but no access to the internet.
Full details on contacting the ship will be included in passengers' final documents. Although very reliable, the system can be slow and charges for telephone calls are quite expensive. The radio officer answers all incoming calls and receives and distributes any email messages.
In keeping with our expedition atmosphere, the dress code on board stresses informality. Passengers should plan to bring comfortable, casual clothing for all inside activities.