Why we like the Polar Pioneer cruise ship

  • A true expedition vessel capable of accessing places larger ships simply can’t get to
  • Only 54 passengers makes it feel almost like chartering your own ship
  • A plucky little ship with a great atmosphere with a loyal fan base
  • Her functional lines and simple cabins evoke her origins as a research vessel
  • Renowned for her outstanding expeditionary staff and a very intimate overall experience
  • One of very few ships to offer scuba diving in Arctic waters, as well as kayaking

Trips aboard Polar Pioneer

Arctic bound: Scotland to Svalbard

Beginning in Scotland and finishing in Svalbard, deep inside the High Arctic, experience the changing habitats as you push into the Land of the White Bear. At every step of the way the richness of the local history and wildlife…

  • 15 Days
  • $9,836
Spitsbergen Circumnavigation

Maximise wildlife sightings with the chance to circumnavigate Spitsbergen island. Search for walrus, arctic fox, whales and of course the ‘King of The Arctic'. Sail through the Hinlopen Strait and visit abandoned trapping stations and experience glaciers up close all…

  • 11 or 13 Days
  • $10,304
Arctic Odyssey: Svalbard & Greenland In-Depth

For the ultimate Arctic experience this unparalleled 24 day voyage is hard to beat. Created by splicing together two popular voyages, it maximises on wildlife sightings, with exploration of East Greenland’s deep fjords and towering icebergs and delivers extended time…

  • 24 Days
  • $22,969
High Arctic Explorer: Svalbard, Greenland & Iceland

Beginning in Svalbard before sailing west across the Greenland Sea and exploring Greenland’s long eastern coastline to finish in Iceland, this is an audacious Arctic journey of startling diversity and contrast. Spectacular landscapes, towering glaciers and once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounters will…

  • 13 or 15 Days
  • $6,063

Technical Specifications

  • 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.

Cabin Categories

*Note that the above measurements are approximate averages and exact cabin size can vary

The Polar Pioneer's 29 cabins are all outward facing, meaning passengers can all enjoy ocean views of The Arctic's ice-choked waters. Cabins are comfortable and reasonably spacious with wood boarding. All cabins contain a writing desk and hairdryer.

Captain's Suite

  • Located on the top deck, opposite the actual Captain's cabin
  • Double bed with en-suite bathroom
  • Both forward- and port-facing windows
  • Separate spacious lounge area with sofa-bed, fridge, TV, video player

Mini Suite

  • Both of these are a slightly smaller version of the Captain's Suite
  • Located on the top deck withside-facing windows
  • Separate bedroom with double bed and en-suite bathroom
  • Spacious lounge area withsofa-bed, fridge, TV, video player

Twin Private

  • 8 Private Twin cabins on Deck 4, and 4 on Deck 5
  • Two lower bunks, en-suite, desk and windows

Cabins 400 and 401 have windows facing both forwards and to the side. Cabins 402 and 403 have upper and lower bunks and a sofa. Cabins on Deck 4 are a little smaller than those on Deck 5.

Twin Public

  • All 9 cabins are on Deck 3
  • Two lower bunks, shared bathroom facilities close by
  • Sofa, in-cabin washbasin, porthole

You may read elsewhere that Cabins 311, 312, 313 are also twin public, but these are reserved for staff.


  • Both cabins are on Deck 3
  • A bunk-bed plus one lower berth, shared bathroom facilities close by
  • Portholes, in-cabin washbasin

Communal Areas

Breathe in the fresh sea air and soak up the knowledge of the local guides as you wildlife spot on the observation decks. Nautical charts across the ship also mean you can follow the progress of your journey as you skim over the oncoming waves.

A schedule of presentations and talks led by on-board polar specialists provides for constant opportunity to grow your enthusiasm of the uniqueness of the polar regions which you'll travel through.

Come evening, test your general knowledge during trivia nights or take part in charity auctions. For a more informal time, the cosy lounge offers a relaxed atmosphere to unwind and meet other guests, or seek some total calmness in the sauna.

Deck Plan

Onboard Communications

If whilst in the Arctic you wish to stay in touch, there are a number of options to choose from:

  • Telephone: $30/5mins or $150/45mins (satellite phone card)
  • Email service: $5 initial set-up fee and an approximate $3/min of sending/receiving emails. 5, 10, 40 minutes packages are available for purchase 

Due to the remoteness of the location, the options available are only suitable for light data traffic, meaning that internet access or the uploading of images is not possible. Email access, however, is still available. 

Find Your Arctic Ship

Making the correct choice of ship is key. With firsthand experience of all of the ships we offer, let Swoop help guide you to exactly the right one.

Find your Arctic Ship

Ready to Book Your Arctic Adventure?



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Next we'll discuss the options, shortlist the best trips for you and present you our impartial recommendations.



We'll place a 24 hour hold on your preferred option - without obligation - whilst we talk through the details.

Our team of experts are ready to help you with any questions about a trip to the Arctic.