Akademik Ioffe is a purpose built oceanographic vessel accommodating just 96 guests. Built in Finland, this ice-strengthened vessel is considered a leader in its class. Modern engineering together with bow and stern thrusters and powerful engines offer exceptional manoeuvrability in the icy waters. Guest numbers are perfect, in Antarctica no more than 100 people can be on shore at any one time, so this gives maximum time ashore at all locations rather than splitting into groups.
The ship has expansive observation decks with 360 degree views over the surroundings, perfect for absorbing the breath taking Antarctica views. Communal areas include a separate lounge and bar, and there is also a library. A selection of movies and documentaries are available to entertain you in the lounge. There is a theatre style presentation room for informative briefings, a gift shop, fitness room, massage room, spa, plunge pool and sauna. The boat even has a dedicated ‘mud room’ where you get ready for your off-ship excursions.
The spacious dining room can cater for all passengers in a single sitting. Delicious meals are served by the culinary team, aimed to keep you fighting fit and strong for the duration of the voyage. Breakfast is usually a buffet and lunch is a light meal, although there is always a more substantial offering for those with an appetite, you won’t go hungry. Dinner is a three course affair with a choice of dishes, accompanied by an excellent wine list. Coffee and tea is always available, and each afternoon it’s served together with biscuits and cake.
There are 6 different cabin categories and all have outside windows making the cabins nice and light. There is ample storage space, and in many cases bunks are converted into sofas during the day, providing another location for relaxing. Most cabins are en-suite though the semi-private cabins will share a bathroom with another cabin.
Operates: Akademic Ioffe operates in Antarctica from late October through to the beginning of April.
Specifications: The ship is 117 metres in length and has a cruising speed of 13.5 knots. There are 10 zodiacs onboard and the electrical supply is 220 volts, European pin. The hull is ice strengthened and is ice class Lloyds 1A.
Cabins: 48 cabins across 6 types, located on 4 decks. All have windows, the triples on the 3rd deck have two portholes. Most cabins have en-suite bathrooms, some will share the bathroom with another cabin.
Facilities & Crew: The communal areas of the ship consist of a dining room, a lounge with TV and DVD player, a bar, presentation room, the bridge, where guests are always welcome, the top deck and observatory, forward and aft observation decks, a multimedia room, wellness centre, gift shop and a fitness room. There are 65 staff and crew on board to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Itineraries: Akademik Ioffe runs a variety of different itineraries ranging from 10 to 21 days in length.
Children: Children aged 12 and over are welcome, but do ask as they can be flexible for younger children and there are also family specific departures.