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Antarctica21 Unveils Plans for Magellan Discoverer, a Cutting-Edge Vessel Designed for Exploration

Antarctica21 Unveils Plans for Magellan Discoverer, a Cutting-Edge Vessel Designed for Exploration

Antarctica21, leader in boutique Antarctic expeditions, has announced the construction of its latest vessel, Magellan Discoverer, set to join its fleet for the 2026-27 Antarctic season. The new vessel reflects the company’s commitment to excellence in small ship and specialist expeditions while strengthening its position in the premium segment of the Antarctic travel market. 
Antarctica21’s decision to build a sister ship to its Magellan Explorer is a result of the increasing demand for their unique fly and cruise Antarctic expeditions, a model of polar travel pioneered by the Chilean company in 2003.  With Antarctica21 travellers have the opportunity to skip over the notoriously rough seas of the Drake Passage to join their ship directly at the White Continent.

Magellan Discoverer has an innovative design built to high environmental standards. Sharing the yacht-style of its sister ship, Magellan Discoverer has been enhanced with features including larger guest cabins, all with private balconies, and a wraparound walking deck offering 360-degree views of the polar landscapes.

Built to meet the stringent PC6 ice class specifications and welcoming up to a maximum of 76 guests on each Antarctic air-cruise, Magellan Discoverer will provide the perfect platform for Antarctica21’s small ship, fly-and-sail operations.

Magellan Discoverer supports environmental responsibility, is equipped with a Heat Recovery System and complies with Tier III emission control standards. The vessel features a spacious dining area, versatile meeting rooms, an observation lounge and bar, a well-equipped gym, a wet science lab to support Antarctic research programs, a gift shop, and a sauna with wide panoramic windows.

Jaime Vásquez, President of Antarctica21, said, “This ship is borne out of our unwavering commitment to meeting the rising expectations of our guests. Equipped with the latest technology, Magellan Discoverer supports our dedication to sustainability while offering seamless comfort for our travellers. With its modern elegance and advanced technical features, it provides an unparalleled travel experience in the spectacular Antarctic region.”


The onboard accommodation has been designed to combine the essence of adventure and comfort on an Antarctic expedition. The ship features twelve Suites, including two Family Suites for four guests each and two Triple Deluxe Veranda Suites, twenty-two Deluxe Veranda Cabins, and six dedicated Single Veranda Cabins. Every cabin on board Magellan Discovereroffers king-size beds, comfortable sitting areas, and private balconies, ensuring personal vistas of the Antarctic expanse.

Magellan Discoverer will have a cutting-edge hybrid-electric propulsion system, boasting two powerful MAN main engines, ABB’s innovative Azipod® propulsion units and Energy Storage System with Battery Bank from Corvus. This advanced setup promises a smoother, quieter journey through the icy waters. Like its predecessor, it will be constructed at the ASENAV shipyard in Valdivia, Chile, strengthening the already successful relationship between Antarctica21 and the shipyard.

Claudio Bobadilla, Fleet Director at Antarctica21, added: “Leveraging our experience with Magellan Explorer and our successful collaboration with ASENAV, we are thrilled to embark on the Magellan Discoverer project. We are committed to innovating and setting new standards in expedition cruising. Several design enhancements have been developed, reflecting our learnings from building Magellan Explorer together. Our goal is to exceed the high standards expected by our guests. Magellan Discoverer will become a point of reference in the Antarctic tourism industry, and a point of pride for our team.”

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