For those dreaming of genuine adventure, Antarctica has long been considered the last frontier. This pristine landscape of mountains and glaciers remains largely untouched by civilization, yet an information explosion fed by television, movies like “March of the Penguins” and the internet has moved this once-remote destination to the top of many travellers’ “places to go next” lists.
To meet the demand, Abercrombie & Kent has chartered the spacious new MV ‘Le Boreal,’ an all-balcony expedition ship for the 2010/2011 Antarctic season. “As experts in small ship cruising in destinations worldwide, we carefully match the ship to the destination,” explains Scott Wiseman, president of Abercrombie & Kent USA, LLC. “In a place like Antarctica you need to strike just the right balance between on-board amenities and full-fledged wilderness adventure. The sleek, contemporary design of ‘Le Boreal’ allows us to offer a distinctly different adventure cruise experience with private balconies and access to crystal-clear bays and narrow fjords that the big cruise ships simply can’t reach.”
Shore excursions in Antarctica are designed to challenge and inspire. Abercrombie & Kent’s are hosted by a carefully-selected team of respected naturalists, geologists, historians and ornithologists—experts whose education, field research and personal accomplishments make them ideal companions. The first Antarctic cruise aboard MV ‘Le Boreal’ in December 2010 is scheduled to include Dr. James McClintock, Professor of Polar and Marine Biology at the University of Alabama – Birmingham, who has been conducting research in Antarctic waters for more than 25 years and recently discovered an anti-cancer compound in a marine invertebrate.
Award-winning scientists like Dr. McClintock are just one reason why A&K’s programs in Antarctica have been described as “the one to beat for high-quality, hands-on exploration” by Conde Nast Traveler and cited for “best program” and “best shore excursions” by Cruise Reports and recommended by Fodor’s “Best Cruises.”
Strength and Style
MV ‘Le Boreal’ features a convenient layout, aided by three passenger elevators. Highlights include a single seating dining room, al fresco dining, an outdoor heated pool, and a modern lecture facility and theater, as well as an ample and comfortable gathering area and library. A full-service salon, steam rooms, spa and fitness center. On other cruises to different destinations, she carries more than 264 passengers. But in Antarctica, A&K limits her complement to just 199 guests. That’s an important difference: fewer passengers mean more shore excursions each day, as well as outside staterooms with private balconies for every guest.
Adventuring in Comfort
The elegant guest quarters are among the most spacious and comfortable on any Antarctic cruise. The ship features 104 outside, fully-equipped balcony staterooms and suites with various bedding configurations, ranging from king- or queen-size beds to two single beds.
Amenities include a mini bar, safe, flat-screen TV, DVD/CD player, iPod player, individually-controlled heat/air conditioning, wireless Internet access throughout the ship and direct-dial telephone. Bathrooms are lined with marble and teak, and are equipped with shower, hair dryer and bathrobes. Laundry service and 24-hour room service are available.
MV ‘Le Boreal’ sets high standards of comfort in her public quarters as well. The Panoramic Lounge and Terrace offer spacious areas ideal for social gatherings, afternoon tea or just relaxing with magnificent ocean views. The Club provides the perfect evening place, offering an elegant atmosphere with live music and dancing. The Theatre is a show lounge with unobstructed views for all. It is the perfect venue for nightly entertainment and a variety of special functions, such as enrichment lectures and movies. An exceptional library offers a wide range of titles with extended reading areas.
A technologically advanced stabilizing system minimizes the effect of rough waters for added passenger comfort.
MV ‘Le Boreal’ features two restaurants: The Restaurant, offering gourmet, contemporary and international cuisine and a casual Grill Restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining for breakfast, lunch and themed dinners. A selection of lighter fare and vegetarian dishes is always available, and most special diets can be accommodated with advance notice. In-cabin room service is also available.
Abercrombie & Kent has planned three expeditions for the 2010-2011 Antarctic season aboard MV ‘Le Boreal’ during the best months for travel in these waters.
The best of the Antarctic Peninsula: vast penguin and seabird colonies, dramatic icebergs and calving glaciers … a paradise for those who want to observe and photograph wildlife at close range. Sail through breathtaking Paradise Bay and into the Lemaire Channel. Professor James McClintock will share the changes he has seen over the past 25 years and introduce scientists at Palmer Station. Fourteen-day Philanthropic Journey: December 7-20, 2010 from $9,995.
Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands
Follow in the footsteps of one of the greatest adventurers of all time: Sir Ernest Shackleton. This itinerary offers close-up views of the unique king penguin, along with fur and elephant seals. Visit an active research station on the Antarctic Peninsula. Departures December 17, 2010 - January 5, 2011 and January 2-20, 2011from $15,795.
Family Departure: December 17, 2010-January 5, 2011
Children under 18 save 50% of cruise price when travelling with an adult (except in suites)
Save up to 20% when you book by March 31, 2010
Prices are per person, double occupancy
Designed with the environment in mind, MV ‘Le Boreal’ will be the most environmentally-friendly ship to sail in Antarctica, with cutting-edge technology that includes the most up-to-date waste water system, recycling facilities, and other measures designed to ensure that the ship operates with minimal impact on the environment.
- State-of-the-art computerized dynamic positioning eliminates the need for dropping anchor in fragile marine reserves, protecting corals and the environment.
- Thermal and phonic insulation in engines and the propulsion system reduces overall energy consumption. This insulation also minimizes noise and vibration for passenger comfort.
- The most advanced waste water system and waste management. Waste will be sorted, treated and stored in a special refrigerated zone for proper discharge in port. NO water (other than fully potable water), waste or rubbish will be discharged at sea.
- Operates on the lightest and cleanest burning Marine Gas Oil fuel in full compliance with new International Maritime Organization standards taking effect in July 2011.
- Zodiac boats are equipped with fuel efficient 4-stroke engines that meet the strictest environmental standards.
Peace of Mind
Abercrombie & Kent has more then 20 years of experience operating in Antarctica and is an active member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), founded in 1991 to advocate, promote and practice safe and environmentally responsible travel to Antarctica. MV ‘Le Boreal’ has an ice rating which exceeds that required for these demanding conditions and is equipped with the latest navigation, communications and safety equipment, including a GMDSS emergency communication system and a satellite weather system that receives real-time images of weather and ice conditions. In the unlikely event of an emergency, lifeboats are fully enclosed and equipped with survival gear, blankets, food and water.
New rules adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) require ships in Antarctic waters to use the lightest and cleanest burning Marine Gas Oil beginning in 2011. The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) anticipates this will reduce the number of ships operating in this region by 40%.
With interest in Antarctica continuing to grow, high season dates for Abercrombie & Kent’s programs aboard MV ‘Le Boreal’ in Antarctica are expected to book well in advance.