volcanic calderas, she forges ahead into the coldest, driest, windiest place in the world.”No, this is not an exerpt from Sir Edmund Hillary's journals, but rather a typical day on the Akademik Ioffe, a 110 passenger research vessel turned cruiseship.
On this particular cruise, there are no conga lines or lido decks, and the Blue-Eyed Shag isn’t an overpriced sugary cocktail; it's a rare Antarctic bird. The Akademik Ioffe is by no definition luxurious, but that's the point. Its purpose is to offer passengers the chance to study geological wonders and wildlife rarely seen outside the scientific world. This working research vessel has six decks, a range of standard cabins, a rooftop deck, a bar, library and pool. Zodiac excursions, kayaking and on-shore camping are available for closer inspection of the White Continent and for viewing first-hand the affects of global warming in the Antarctic.
The on-board Expedition Team consists of scientists, historians and crew who guide as passengers spot seals and whales among the ice floes, explore vast penguin rookeries and visit remote research stations.Like a true lady of the sea, Akademik Ioffe sails to various ports of call.The Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands, Weddell Sea,Falkland Islands and the Drake Passage are some of its South Pole destinations. All voyages depart from Ushuaia, Argentina. The rough seas of the Southern Ocean have been known throughout history to ruffle even the boldest explorers, but no matter the weather, this sturdy Scandanavian ship is built to withstand the occasional rogue wave. JW
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