Maldives Master

Polar Pioneer was built in Finland in 1985 as an ice-strengthened research ship, and for many years she plied the treacherous waters of the USSR's northern coast. In 2000 she was refurbished in St Petersburg to provide comfortable accommodation for 56 passengers. A combined bar/lounge/library area (stocked with a good collection of polar books) was also created by simple internal restructuring.

This class of vessel has a fine reputation for polar expedition cruising, due to its strength, manoeuvrability and small number of cabins. All cabins have outside portholes plus ample storage space. You will find a range of accommodation types, including triple and twin cabins as well as larger suites, all featuring outside facing portholes or windows and ample storage space for your gear. Cabins have either shared or private bathroom facilities, whilst suites offer en suite bathrooms and lounge areas.The Russian captain and crew are among the most experienced ice-navigators in the world and their enthusiasm is legendary.

The Polar Pioneer is not a luxury vessel. The accommodations are simple yet comfortable, and the meals are wholesome and uncomplicated. The ship has a combined bar/lounge/library area, the bridge is always open to us, and the decks are ideal for viewing. The chefs are Australian, and the dining room is attended by Russian stewardesses. Dining is Family Style - platters set on tables which everyone shares from.  A small fleet of inflatable Zodiacs with outboard motors help you get from from ship to shore.

 

Dining

Our professional chefs present three healthy, delicious meals daily, with morning and afternoon tea available in the dining rooms in between. All of our produce is sourced locally, with fresh fruit and vegetables, and freshly baked bread and pastries, served wherever possible. We are able to cater for a range of special meal requests, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, lactose free and other allergy specific requirements – please ensure you list this on your personal details form.

Observation Decks

Our spacious observation decks provide a congenial place to watch for wildlife or follow the ship’s progress on nautical charts. Rug up for unparalleled scenery from the outer decks or flying bridge, where our naturalists help you identify wildlife.

Learning and Lectures

At sea, join our polar specialists as they entertain and inform us with illustrated talks, and prepare us for making shore visits with mandatory safety and environmental briefings.

Captain and Crew

Our highly experienced Russian captain and crew are among the best ice navigators in the world. Our efficient stewardesses attend to rooms and serve our meals, whilst the crew work mainly behind-the-scenes to help our expedition leader get the ship to where we want to go.

Getting Ashore

Polar Pioneer boasts a fleet of Zodiacs that transport us ashore to penguin rookeries, scientific stations and historic sites, and provide us with a platform for photography. Our small excursion crafts take us beyond the reach of giant cruisers, and our philosophy of “getting out amongst it” is put to practice.

Medical Clinic

A basic medical clinic is managed by our English-speaking Ship’s Doctor, who is available at all times to assist with bouts of sea sickness and other unexpected emergencies.

On-board Entertainment

From socialising in our fully-stocked lounge bar to enjoying Captain’s drinks, trivia nights and charity auctions, or escaping to the sauna for some R&R; our small ship offers some fun entertainment options for when we’re not out and about.

Technology and Connectivity

Polar Pioneer has communication services that are available for an additional fee. These include satellite telephone, email and fax. Please note that these services are basic and not suitable for continuous use. Internet access is available on board for an additional cost. Please note that due to the remote nature of our expeditions, connection cannot always be guaranteed. 

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