Swoop Tips on Choosing the Right Arctic Ship

Choosing the right ship is one of the most important decisions you face when planning your adventure to the North, not least because of the amount of time you will spend on-board. With over a decade of experience to draw on, Swoop can guide to the perfect ship for you. To help you get started, here are a few key tips on what to consider:

  1. Decide on your key decision-making criteria and arrange them by the order of importance - size of ship, passenger capacity, stability, comfort level or activities on offer. 
  2. The widest choice of ships are in the medium-sized category, ranging from 80 to 116 passengers. This category offers a good balance between the ships being not too big, while having generous public areas and a decent choice of cabins. 
  3. If stability is high on your list, consider either the larger ships or those renowned for their stability as they typically perform better in rough seas than smaller ships.
  4. The benefits of choosing a smaller ship of less than 100 people are many. Ranging from fewer fellow passengers, ease of logistics when getting on and off the ship all the way to a more intimate overall experience and everybody being able to land at once. However, these benefits need to be counterbalanced by better onboard facilities and greater stability offered by larger vessels.
  5. Comfort and service levels have markedly improved over the last decade on all Arctic ships, allowing you to have an adventure, but without the hardship! Nespresso machines, balcony suites, gourmet cuisine and even butler service are now available on selected ships.
  6. Selected voyages provide optional adventure activities. These may include: diving, snorkelling, kayaking  and photography workshops. If any of these are on your 'must have' list, then this will influence the range of the right ships for you to consider.

Arctic Ships

Arctic Ships

Ocean Adventurer

  • ​Passenger capacity: 132 passengers
  • Ice​ class rating:  Ice Class 1A
  • Size​: 101.1m long x 16.2m wide
  • Refurbished: 2016
  • Other key feature: Library and Lounge

For further details, please click here.

Ocean Endeavour

  • ​Passenger capacity: 199 passengers
  • Ice​ class rating: Ice class 1B
  • Size​: 137m long x 21m wide
  • Built in: Poland, 1981
  • Other key feature: Unique experiences like mountain biking and yoga classes

For further details, please click here.

Akademik Vavilov

  • ​Passenger capacity: 92 passengers
  • Ice​ class rating: Lloyds Register 1A, Canadian Type B
  • Size​: 117m long x 18.2m wide
  • Built in: Finland, 1988
  • Other key feature: Top Deck for 360 degree views, Spa and Fitness Room

For further details, please click here.

Akademik Ioffe

  • Passenger capacity: 96 passengers
  • Ice​ class rating: Lloyds Register 1A, Canadian Type B
  • Size​: 117m long x 18.2m wide​
  • Built in: Finland, 1989
  • Other key feature: Top Deck for 360 degree views, Spa and Fitness Room

For further details, please click here.

Ocean Nova

  • ​Passenger capacity: ​68 Passengers
  • Ice​ class rating: 1B (Casco 1A)
  • Size​: 73m long x 11m wide
  • Built in​: Denmark, 1992
  • Other key feature: Panoramic lounge with almost 360 degree views

For further details, please click here.

Polar Pioneer

  • ​Passenger capacity: ​54 passengers
  • Ice​ class rating: KM*ULA2
  • Size​:71.6m long x 12.82m wide
  • Built in​/Refurbished in​: Refurbished in 2000
  • Other key feature: Arctic Scuba Diving is offered.

For further details, please click here.

Plancius

  • ​Passenger capacity: 114 passengers
  • Ice​ class rating: Lloyds class 100A1, Ice Class 1D
  • Size​: 89m long x 14.5m wide
  • Refurbished: 2009
  • Other key feature: Observation Lounge and Lecture Room

For further details, please click here.

Ortelius

  • ​Passenger capacity: 120 passengers
  • Ice​ class rating: UL1 (1A equivalent)
  • Size​: 91.25m long x 17.61m wide
  • Refurbished: Poland, 1989
  • Other key feature: Helipad for helicopter excursions

For further details, please click here.

M/S Expedition

  • ​Passenger capacity: 134 passengers
  • Ice​ class rating: 1B
  • Size​: 103m long x 18.9m wide
  • Refurbished: 2009
  • Other key feature: gym, sauna and mud-bath, all cabins outward facing.

For further details, please click here.

50 Years of Victory

  • ​Passenger capacity: 128 passengers
  • Ice​ class rating: LL1
  • Size​: 150.7m long x 30m wide
  • Refurbished: Russian Federation, 1989
  • Other key feature: World's most powerful nuclear icebreaker, Helipad for flightseeing and wellness centre.

For further details, please click here.

Le Boreal and Le Soleal

  • Passenger capacity: 264
  • Ice​ class rating: 1C ice class
  • Built in: 2010
  • Other key features: a 5* experience without the high price tag, 95% of the suites have a private balcony, advanced stabilizing system

For further details, please click here.

Noorderlicht

  • ​Passenger capacity: ​20 Passengers
  • Ice​ class rating: Reinforced bow
  • Size​: 46.0 m long x 6.5m wide
  • Built in​/Refurbished in​: Netherlands, 1991
  • Other key feature: 3 Masted Schooner

For further details, please click here.

Rembrandt Van Rijn

  • ​Passenger capacity: ​33 passengers
  • Ice​ class rating: Reinforced bow
  • Size​: 56.0m long x 6.65m wide
  • Refurbished in​: Netherlands, 1994
  • Other key feature:  3 Masted Schooner

For further details, please click here.

National Geographic Explorer

  • ​Passenger capacity: 148 passengers
  • Ice​ class rating: DNV Ice-1A
  • Size​: 112m long x 16.5m wide
  • Refurbished: 2008
  • Other key feature: Observation Lounge/Lecture Room/Lounge/Library

For further details, please click here.

Spirit of Enderby

  • ​Passenger capacity: 50 passengers
  • Ice​ class rating: Russian register KM Ice Class
  • Size​: 71.6m long x 12.8m wide
  • Built in: Finland, 1984

For further details, please click here.

Akademik Shokalskiy

  • ​Passenger capacity: 48 passengers
  • Ice​ class rating: RMRS UL
  • Size​: 71.06m long x 12.82m wide
  • Built: 1982

For further details, please click here.

Sea Spirit

  • ​Passenger capacity: 114 passengers
  • Ice​ class rating: 1D
  • Size​: 90.6m long x 15.3m wide
  • Built in: The Bahamas, 1991
  • Other key feature: Club lounge, Library and Gym

For further details, please click here.

Ready to Book Your Arctic Adventure?

  • Swoop Arctic Expert John
  • Swoop Arctic Expert Alex
  • Swoop Arctic Expert Loli
  • Swoop Arctic Expert Sarah

Our team of experts are ready to help you with any questions about a trip to Arctic. Call us now to start your journey.

1-855-369-2480