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M/v Plancius - Oceanwide Expeditions’ New Polar Expedition vessel is now afloat

M/v Plancius - Oceanwide Expeditions’ New Polar Expedition vessel is now afloat

This is the start of a new Era in polar expedition cruising: the Dutch flagged expedition vessel “Plancius”, operated by Oceanwide Expeditions from Vlissingen, the Netherlands, is almost ready to set sail to Antarctica, offering the maiden voyage on 08 January 2010. “Plancius” shall be christened on 14 November and will depart on 5 December for her ocean voyage to Ushuaia in Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina, the starting point of Antarctic voyages.

Oceanwide Expeditions: the pioneer in the Polar regions

Oceanwide Expeditions is the pioneer and one of the market leaders in the Polar Regions and has - since 1996 - been offering expedition-style cruises to the Arctic and Antarctic regions with chartered ice-strengthened Russian vessels, very suitable to offer exploratory voyages with passengers. However, in order to increase comfort-standards, Oceanwide Expeditions decided to build its own vessel, complying with the latest safety regulations and technology.

Oceanwide Expeditions: World’s Leading Polar Expedition Operator 2009

We proudly announce that Oceanwide Expeditions has won the World Travel Award 2009 in the category World’s Leading Polar Expedition Operator. The presentation of this international prize took place during a gala performance in London on Sunday 8 November. It was the second time that this prestigious award was categorized by the World Travel Awards Committee. The first time was in 2005 and Oceanwide Expeditions was also the winner of the contest.


M/v “Plancius”: Setting new standards in expedition cruising

“Plancius” will set new standards to the world of expedition cruising: spacious yet small ship character, comfort & style, modern technology and safety appliances. A base camp for active, adventure and wildlife minded modern explorers, including hiking trips, kayaking, overnight field camping and even scuba-diving.

“Plancius” was built in 1975 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy and was named “Hr. Ms. Tydeman”. The ship sailed for the Dutch Navy until June 2004 and was finally purchased by Oceanwide Expeditions in December 2006. The vessel was completely rebuilt and converted to a 110-passenger vessel which complies with the latest SOLAS-regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea) and is classed by Lloyd’s Register in London. The ship sails under the Dutch flag.

It’s a small ship operation: “Plancius” can accommodate 110 passengers in 53 passenger cabins with private toilet and shower in 4 triple private cabins, 39 twin private cabins (ca. 15 square meters) and 10 twin superior cabins (ca. 21 square meters).

The vessel offers a restaurant/lecture room and a spacious observation lounge (with bar) with large windows, offering full panorama view. “Plancius” has large open deck spaces with full walk-around possibilities, giving excellent opportunities to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. The vessel is comfortable and nicely decorated, but the ship is not a luxurious vessel. Voyages in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are primarily defined by an exploratory educational travel programme, spending as much time ashore as possible.

The vessel measures 89 meters in length (267 feet), has a breadth of 14,5 meters (43 feet) and a draft of 4,8 meters (15 feet) and is equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion system which reduces the noise and vibration of the engines considerably. The 3 diesel engines generate 1.230 horse-power each, giving the vessel a speed of 10 - 12 knots. The vessel is ice-strengthened and was specially built for oceanographic voyages.

“Plancius” is manned by 17 nautical crew, 18 hotel staff (6 chefs, 1 hotel manager, 1 steward-barman and 10 stewards / cabin cleaners), 8 expedition staff (1 expedition leader and 7 guides-lecturers) and 1 doctor.