MV Akademik Ioffe (One Ocean Navigator) was built in 1989 as a polar research ship operating under the Russian flag. She has 6 decks (there’s a lift), is very stable and has a top speed of 14.5 knots - quite speedy for an expedition ship. The 96 guests are cared for by 63 staff and crew: quite a commitment to top quality service. There are highly qualified scientific and naturalist guides facilitating excursions and offering entertaining presentations.Adventurous activities are on offer and some departures host a resident photographer, yoga sessions and an optional night camping on the ice.
Without detracting from her serious role as a polar explorer, she also offers the comfort and facilities of a good quality hotel. The guest cabins and suites provide robes, hair dryers and coffee-making facilities. All have ample storage, comfy beds and windows which in some cabin categories can be opened. Public areas include a refurbished bar, a dining room and lounge, theatre style presentation room, gift-shop, infirmary, fitness room, massage room (masseur and fitness instructor are on board), sauna, hot-water spa and plunge pool. There’s no internet but computers are available so that you can sort out your photos on board. The open bridge policy means you are usually welcome to stand alongside the well-informed crew and monitor the ship’s progress.