MV Akademik Ioffe (One Ocean Navigator) was built in 1989 as a polar research ship operating under the Russian flag. She’s an impressive 117m long with 6 decks (there’s a lift), very stable and has a top speed of 14.5 knots - quite speedy for an expedition ship. She welcomes 96 guests, 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. But without detracting from her serious role as a polar explorer, she also offers the comfort and facilities of a goof quality hotel.
The guest cabins and suites offer monogrammed 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. There’s an open bridge policy so you are welcome to stand alongside the well-informed crew and monitor the ship’s progress almost 24/7.