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Ocean Victory Polartours

Our Fleet of Polar Expedition Cruise Ships

How to choose the best ship

Currently, more than 40 different vessels operate expedition cruises in and around our planet's polar regions. As each ship caters to different clientele, we strive to understand the philosophy of each vessel and crew, in order to best match you with the expedition that meets your needs, considering your interests, fitness level, and budget.

Note: As independent agents, we at Polartours don't have any ties to specific operators. We won't shy away from giving you specific recommendations based on your interests, fitness level, budget, or age. Find below our recommendations and contact us for more info!.

Size matters: Choosing the right ship

According to IAATO regulations, no more than 100 guests can land at one site at the same time. Therefore, our most important tip is to chose your ship wisely. Generally, our recommendation is: The smaller, the ship, the better! Big vessels, on the other hand, can provide for a lot more comfort, bigger cabins and will let you indulge in amenities such as restaurants, jacuzzis, a Sauna, or even a pool.

Rembrandt van Rijn
Small Ships (<121 Guests)

Small expedition vessels are specifically designed to allow for many, small groups of passengers to quickly disembark and embark into dinghies. This is a HUGE advantage over bigger expedition vessels, because it will allow for more time to explore, and less time to be spent on embarking and disembarking.

Polar Pioneer
Mid-Sized Ship (121-150 Guests)

Typically, mid-sized ships accommodate between 121 and 150 guests. These vessels cannot land all of their guests at one time. Guests will typically be split into groups and go ashore in groups of 30-48 at a time. This means you don’t necessarily have to wait on the ship; you may have a choice to go ashore, to enjoy a zodiac cruise or even both.

Large Ship (151-240 Guests)

In contrast to smaller expedition vessels, these vessels cannot land all of their guests at one time and will take more time to do so. In return, they will either visit fewer sites in a day, or spend less time ashore at any sites visited. This is in part why the onboard part of a luxury Arctic cruise is of greater importance; as you spend more time on the ship.

All Ships, sorted by Category

Here is another way to categorize ships. Note that there is no "Budget" Category. All ships in the Polar Regions will meet very high standards in terms of service on board, food, and, especially, the high level of their guides. The differences between the ships lie mostly within their cabin size and amenities, such as Jacuzzis, Sauna, Cigar Lounges, Spas etc.

National Geographic Endurance exterior
First-Class Ship

Less opulent than the luxury class, these ships offer you spacious accommodation and great service.

Silver Cloud
Luxury Ships

A selection of the very finest expedition vessels featuring stunning luxury suites.

How to choose the best ship and route now?

Our recommendation: Go to the page Polar Expeditions: Dates & Prices and filter for your desired travel date. Then, use the filters to narrow your choice further down, for example by ship size, ship category or amenities that you'd like to see on board.

Still cannot decide? Let us help you!

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Polar Expedition Specialists

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