G Adventures (Small Cruise Lines)
MS Expedition Review and Specifications
Specifications of MS Expedition
|Year built||1972 / Age : 46|
|Builder||Helsingor Skibsvaerft og Maskinbyggeri (Helsingor, Denmark)|
|Class||1B Ice Class Vessel|
|Speed||15 kn / 28 kph / 17 mph|
|Length (LOA)||105 m / 344 ft|
|Beam (width)||19 m / 62 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||6334 gt|
|Passengers||67 - 134|
|Decks with cabins||3|
|Former names||Kattegat, nf Tiger, Tiger, Ålandsfärjan|
Review of MS Expedition
MS Expedition is an ice-strengthened polar expedition cruise ship owned and operated by the Canada-based travel company G Adventures (former Gap Adventures).
History - construction & ownership
MS Expedition was built as a cRo-Pax vessel (ar and passenger ferry) in 1972 under the name "MS Kattegat" for the company Jydsk Færgefart. The vessel was subsequently operated under the name "NF Tiger" (by P&O Normandy Ferries), "Tiger" (by Townsend Thoresen) and "Alandsfarjan" (by VIKING LINE), prior to its 2008 conversion into a cruise ship. The vessel's hull is ice-strengthened and ice-classed 1B. Only two higher ice classes exist - 1A Super and 1A).
The ship has a forward-looking sonar that increases its safety by reducing the risk of grounding accidents or collisions with uncharted rocks and reefs. The vessel is also equipped with 4 covered lifeboats (capacity 220 people / all passengers and crew) and 6 liferafts (capacity 150 people).
Cruise itinerary program
The Arctic season of ms Expedition usually includes 3 land tour types. The first starts in Scotland's capital Edinburgh, and visits Orkneys, travels along the Norwegian coast and ends at Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen. Expedition's following tours circumnavigate Svalbard island, starting and finishing at Longyearbyen. Season's final tour travels to Greenland from Longyearbyen and ends in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Antarctic cruise tours on MS Expedition offer itineraries starting from either Montevideo, Uruguay or Ushuaia, Argentina. Cruises include crossing Drake Passage and traveling along Antarctic Peninsula. Thes itineraries visit South Shetland Islands, Falkland Islands, Weddell Sea and South Georgia Island. On all Antarctic voyages, the ship's crew of 69 includes a team of 14 expedition staff members.
Completely refurbished in 2009, MS Expedition ship has all-outside cabins. Each of the staterooms has ocean-facing windows (or portholes) and en-suite bathroom. Four different cabin types are available (categories 1 through 4) plus Category 5 Suites (with floor-ceiling windows).
Dining options - Food & Drinks
The dining room Albatross seats everyone at once and offers starboard, port and forward-facing views. It features buffet-style breakfast and lunch, while dinner is a served 4-course meal. Vegetarian options are available, and, when possible, onboard meals feature regional foods bought locally.
There is a vast outdoor observation deck (top deck 6), as well as other open-air areas (including the forward Observation Deck / raised viewing platform on deck 4) that provide panoramic views. The large aft-located sun deck (deck 5) has BBQ facilities for alfresco dining and is served with drinks by the Polar Bear bar.
Entertainment options - Fun & Sport
MS Expedition has max passenger capacity of 134 and cruises in both polar regions (Arctic and Antarctica) carrying professional tour guides and scientific experts. Numerous shore excursions are arranged for cruise passengers to explore the geology, flora, fauna and landscapes, by using Zodiacs (large-capacity, rigid-hulled inflatable boats, each powered by 4-stroke diesel engines). Tour guides are trained in the use of flare guns and rifles in the Arctic due to the possibility of polar bear encounters. The ship has a heated Mudroom in which clothing and boots can be stored after shore excursions. The ship provides complimentary Wellington Boots (leather boots) for the duration of the voyage.
Onboard, there are viewing platforms, a bar (Polar Bear Pub), a full-capacity Discovery Lounge (doubles as lecture hall for daily media presentations and lectures). Live entertainment in the evening is offered in the Polar Bear bar. There is also a library (Lonely Planet), computer room (fitted with internet stations), gift shop, gym and sauna, infirmary (Medical Clinic). Passengers can keep in touch with the outside via a satellite-linked internet system.