Ocean Diamond

Ocean Diamond Review and Specifications

Specifications of Ocean Diamond

Year built 1974  /  Age : 44
Flag state Wallis and Futuna
Builder KMV (Kristiansand Mekaniske Verksted) Kristiansand, Norway
Class ice-strengthened expedition ship
Owner SunStone Ships Inc
Operator Quark Expeditions, Albatros Travel, Iceland ProCruises
Speed 16 kn / 30 kph / 18 mph
Length (LOA) 124 m / 407 ft
Beam (width) 16 m / 52 ft
Gross Tonnage 8282 gt
Passengers 113 - 251
Crew 106
Passengers-to-space ratio 37
Decks 6
Cabins 113
Decks with cabins 5
Last Refurbishment 2012
Former names Begonia, Femhil, Explorer Starship, Song of Flower, Le Diamant

Review of Ocean Diamond

MV Ocean Diamond cruise ship is owned by the Copenhagen-based Albatros Travel company, that specializes in polar expedition cruises and tours. Quark Expeditions (USA-based polar cruise travel company) operates the vessel under charter. The list of other Albatros Travel-owned ships also includes Ocean AdventurerOcean AtlanticOcean EndeavourSea Endurance.

This expedition vessel accommodates a maximum of 189 passengers and features an ice-strengthened hull and two stabilizers, making it ideal for polar travel vacations.

MV Ocean Diamond cruise ship (Quark Expeditions)

History - construction & ownership

The ship's previous owner - Compagnie du Ponant - sold it in late 2011 to investors. In November 2012, it was contracted by Quark Expeditions for charter operations under the name "Ocean Diamond". The travel company Quark Expeditions (established 1991) specializes in polar expedition cruises to the Antarctica and Arctic aboard purpose-built vessels. Quark Expeditions became part of the UK-based TUI Travel PLC Group of Companies on May 1, 2007.

MV Ocean Diamond cruise ship (Quark Expeditions)

Being one of the most eco-friendly and fastest cruise ships in Antarctica, Ocean Diamond is also one of the most comfortable ones. Its 101 elegantly furnished cabins and suites all feature exterior views. There are also expansive common spaces,  a spacious restaurant and club lounge.

The boat offers a wealth of adventure options, plus onboard interactions with photography instructors (dedicated photography enrichment program), yoga classes, aromatherapy treatments and massage therapy (wellness program). Zodiac cruising and landings, snowshoeing and hiking tours ashore are included in cruise fares, while kayaking is optional. After a day of exploration, guests can relax and browse DVDs or books in the well-stocked polar library.

The vessel's draft is only 16 ft (4,9 m) allowing access to remote islands and unique coastal destinations. The ship is powered by two WiCHMANN marine diesel engines (total power output 7375 HP). The hul is ice class 1D. The ship has all 2 lifeboats, which are fully enclosed. Ship-to-shore communications are via Inmarsat Capsat Fleet 77 (satellite phone and Internet).

In addition to the lifeboats, MS Ocean Diamond carries a tender on davits (crane-like device used for raising, and lowering the boats) located across the stern. The cruise ship also serves the "Expert in Residence" program, letting polar researchers, scientists, historians and other experts to undertake field work out of the ship. Passengers are allowed to assist. All landings include expedition jackets and rubber boots on loan.


Ocean Diamond cruises in Antarctica (Antarctic Peninsula region). itineraries also visit the wildlife paradise of South Georgia Island and the remote Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). Antarctica departures are out of Ushuaia (Argentina) and fly-cruise deals are offered from Buenos Aires.

In the summer, the ship operates on European itineraries (cruises in Iceland) with roundtrip departures from Reykjavik. These seasonal ship charters are since 2015 and by the local tour brand Iceland ProCruises (run by the Iceland ProTravel agency). In 2018 was introduced a new 7-day cruise itinerary program targeting the USA-Canada market. Most itineraries are 9-days and longer and visit port destinations in Iceland and Greenland.

Quark cruise deals

Quark Expeditions cruise deals are inclusive of:

  • 1-night pre-cruise hotel stay, group transfers (airport-hotel on the day prior departure, and hotel-ship on embarkation day)
  • onboard accommodation (daily housekeeping service)
  • all onboard meals (breakfasts, lunches, dinners) - know that the ship's galley / kitchen can't prepare kosher meals
  • all Zodiac landings (daily, weather permitting) and Zodiac transfers and cruising (daily)
  • media presentations by Expedition Team members and special guest lecturers
  • waterproof expedition boots (on shore landings)
  • complimentary Quark Expeditions logoed parka
  • lifejackets and immersion suits
  • complimentary coffee, tea and cocoa (24 / 7)
  • hairdryer and bathrobe (in all cabins)
  • pre-departure materials (including maps)
  • all service taxes and port fees
  • all onboard luggage handling
  • emergency evacuation (medevac) insurance to a max benefit USD 100,000 pp
  • Fly-cruise deals are inclusive of complimentary house wines (by the glass), beers and spirits on the ship, also of all gratuities (staff and crew) and all domestic flights (prior to embarkation).
  • Shipboard laundry and Ironing services are available at additional cost.
  • Ship-to-shore communications are via Inmarsat Capsat Fleet 77 (satellite phone and Internet) and cost extra.

Ocean Diamond wiki

  • In February 2018, the company Iceland ProCruises announced its ship charter contract with the ship will be extended through 2022. Iceland ProCruises charters MS Ocean Diamond since 2014, and its bookings have steady annual increase of around 20%. Season 2018 started with 3 Around Iceland (full island circumnavigation) itineraries fully booked by February 20. Due to growing demand, the cruise line extended season 2018 by 1 month (starting in April instead of May). Iceland ProCruises also have plans to time-charter a second vessel, to be operated on reverse to Ocean Dimond cruise route around Iceland (themed "Iceland Circumnavigation").

Photos of Ocean Diamond

Ocean Diamond Itineraries 2018

The below listed Ocean Diamond cruise prices on 2018 itineraries are only indicative and Per Person (in US dollars, based on double occupancy). These are the cheapest Quark Expeditions fares on the ship’s lowest category cabins available for booking. Cruise fares typically change with departure dates approaching, last minute deals, discounts, promotions, independent travel agency offers.

Itinerary ports
Ushuaia cruise port

22 February 2018 9 nights / 10 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires
fly-cruise ()
Prices starting
from $8532
show itinerary map
22 Feb      Departing from Ushuaia, Argentina   
24 Feb - 25 Feb     Drake Passage, Antarctica   
26 Feb     Half Moon Island, Antarctica   
27 Feb     King George Island, Antarctica   
27 Feb     Livingston Island, Antarctica   
28 Feb     Deception Island, Antarctica   
01 Mar     Paradise Harbor, Antarctica   
02 Mar - 03 Mar     Drake Passage, Antarctica   
04 Mar     Ushuaia, Argentina   
04 Mar      Arriving in Buenos Aires, Argentina (flight)   

Buenos Aires cruise port

03 March 2018 12 nights / 13 days, round-trip Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition
fly-cruise ()
Prices starting
from $9802
show itinerary map
03 Mar      Departing from Buenos Aires, Argentina (flight)   
03 Mar      Departing from Ushuaia, Argentina   
05 Mar     Drake Passage, Antarctica   
06 Mar     Drake Passage, Antarctica   
07 Mar     South Shetland Islands, Antarctica   
08 Mar     Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica (Exploring)   
09 Mar     Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica (Exploring)   
10 Mar     Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica (Antarctic Circle)   
11 Mar     Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica (Antarctic Circle)   
12 Mar     Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica (Northbound)   
13 Mar     Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica (Northbound)   
14 Mar     Drake Passage, Antarctica   
15 Mar     Drake Passage, Antarctica   
16 Mar     Ushuaia, Argentina   
16 Mar      Arriving in Buenos Aires, Argentina (flight)   

Reykjavik cruise port

03 June 2018 9 nights / 10 days, round-trip Iceland's Natural Wonders
Prices starting
from $5992
show itinerary map
03 Jun      Departing from Reykjavik, Iceland   
05 Jun     Breidafjordur, Iceland   
06 Jun     Isafjordur, Iceland   
06 Jun     Vigur Island, Iceland   
06 Jun     Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, Hornbjarg Island, Iceland   
07 Jun     Siglufjordur, Iceland   
07 Jun     Grimsey Island, Arctic Circle, Iceland   
08 Jun     Akureyri, Iceland   
09 Jun     Husavik, Iceland   
10 Jun     Seydisfjordur, Iceland   
11 Jun     Hofn, Iceland   
12 Jun     Heimaey Island, Iceland   
13 Jun      Arriving in Reykjavik, Iceland   

Buenos Aires cruise port

18 December 2018 21 nights / 22 days, round-trip Crossing the Circle via Falklands & South Georgia
fly-cruise ()
Prices starting
from $15456
show itinerary map
18 Dec      Departing from Buenos Aires, Argentina (flight)   
18 Dec      Departing from Ushuaia, Argentina   
20 Dec     At Sea   
21 Dec     Falkland Islands (Exploring)   
22 Dec     Port Stanley, East Falkland Island   
23 Dec - 24 Dec     At Sea   
25 Dec     South Georgia Island, Grytviken, British Antarctica (Exploring)   
26 Dec     South Georgia Island, Grytviken, British Antarctica (Exploring)   
27 Dec     South Georgia Island, Grytviken, British Antarctica (Exploring)   
28 Dec     South Georgia Island, Grytviken, British Antarctica (Exploring)   
29 Dec - 30 Dec     At Sea   
31 Dec     South Shetland Islands, Antarctica (Exploring)   
01 Jan     South Shetland Islands, Antarctica (Exploring)   
02 Jan     Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica (Exploring)   
03 Jan     Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica (Antarctic Circle)   
04 Jan     Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica (Antarctic Circle)   
05 Jan     Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica (Northbound)   
06 Jan     Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica (Northbound)   
07 Jan     Drake Passage, Antarctica   
08 Jan     Drake Passage, Antarctica   
09 Jan     Ushuaia, Argentina   
09 Jan      Arriving in Buenos Aires, Argentina (flight)