Island Sky Review and Specifications
Specifications of Island Sky
|Year built||1992 / Age : 28|
|Builder||Nuovi Cantieri Apuania (Marina di Carrara, Italy)|
|Class||ice-strengthened expedition ship|
|Owner||APT (Australian Pacific Touring)|
|Operator||Noble Caledonia Cruises, Quark Expeditions|
|Speed||12 kn / 22 kph / 14 mph|
|Length (LOA)||91 m / 299 ft|
|Beam (width)||15 m / 49 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||4200 gt|
|Passengers||108 - 118|
|Decks with cabins||5|
|Former names||Renaissance VIII (Renaissance Cruises)|
Current position of Island Sky
Review of Island Sky
MS Island Sky cruise ship belongs to the fleet of Noble Caledonia, together with the fleetmates MS Caledonian Sky and MS Hebridean Sky. The vessel was originally built for the now-defunct Renaissance Cruises (as "Renaissance VIII") and was launched in 1992. The ship is also seasonally chartered by Quark Expeditions. In 2017, Quark Expeditions started an all-inclusive fly-cruise program on the chartered from Noble Caledonia ship Island Sky.
History - construction and ownership
The 4,200-ton, 114-passenger cruise ship Island Sky was under construction at the same time and in the same Italian shipyard as the other ship of Noble Caledonia - Caledonian Sky. In June 2012, APT (Australian Pacific Touring) bought 51% stake in Noble Caledonia, and thus became shipowner. To its passengers, the vessel offers wine at lunch and dinner, a professional guest speaker program and in-depth shore excursions included in cruise ticket prices.
The ship's draft is only 13 ft (4 m) allowing access to remote islands and unique coastal destinations. The ship is powered by two B&W MAN marine diesel engines (total power output 4750 HP). The hull is ice class 1D. The ship has all 4 lifeboats, which are fully enclosed. Ship-to-shore communications are via Inmarsat Capsat Fleet 77 (satellite phone and Internet).
Cruise itinerary program
Island Sky is a spacious, all-suite expedition vessel. All 57 staterooms are with ocean views, en-suite bathrooms, sitting room, flat TVs, DVD players, dressing tables, spacious wardrobes. Of all cabins, 23 have private balconies.
Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks
With a maximum of just over 100 guests and only one sitting, the cuisine onboard Island Sky is of consistently superior quality. Where possible, the chefs obtain local produce or buy the catch of the day from passing fishing boats. Pre-dinner canapes and afternoon tea take place every day in either the lounge or out on the Lido Deck.
When dining, guests are able to choose their seating arrangements, whether that be joining a table of 4 to 6 other passengers outside on the Lido Deck or whether enjoying meals in the à la carte restaurant. Those travelling alone are seated with other like-minded travellers. In the main stylish dining room, breakfast is buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order. Lunches and dinners are an a la carte 5-course affairs. A selection of wines is included (complimentary) with both lunch and dinner meals.
Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport
The ship's beautifully designed public spaces include a large Lounge (with a grand piano), stylish bar (served by a professional bartender), sun deck (with plenty of observation space), enclosed panoramic viewing deck, Polar Library, Lecture Theatre, spa pool, small gym.
The ship carries a fleet of Zodiacs and stand-up paddleboards for accessing remote shores and islands. The ship also provides complimentary equipment for scuba diving. Passengers also enjoy high-quality onboard entertainment and enrichment program.
MS Island Sky's Quark Expeditions fly-cruise deals
As chartered by Quark Expeditions, Island Sky cruise ship is operated with all-inclusive deals. The ship's capacity was also decreased to 108 max passengers.
Quark Expeditions "Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake" cruise itinerary (duration 7 or 8 days) visits King George Island and the Antarctic Peninsula without cruising the Drake Passage (instead of flying over it). This Antarctica fly-cruise is inclusive of charter flights between Santiago (Chile), Punta Arenas (Chile) and South Shetland Islands (King George Island), where is the embarkation on the ship bound to Antarctica. The itinerary's duration is 7 or 8 days.
Quark Expeditions "Antarctic Explorer: All-Inclusive" cruise itinerary (duration 10 days) visits Antarctic Peninsula and is themed on wildlife viewing and onboard lectures (penguins, seals, whales). This fly-cruise is inclusive of domestic flights in Argentina (between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia), also of all gratuities and onboard drinks. Ship embarkation is in Ushuaia (late afternoon). The itinerary includes passing through Beagle Channel, cruising through Drake Passage, South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. Disembarkation is in Ushuaia with following flight to Buenos Aires (price-included).
Quark Expeditions "Antarctic Express: Crossing the Circle" cruise itinerary (duration 11 days) is also inclusive of all domestic flights (between Punta Arenas and King George Island, where are the ship embarkation/disembarkation). This fly-cruise is inclusive of 2 charter flights and features crossing Drake Passage (on day 2) and Crossing the Antarctic Circle (on days 6 and 7).
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 (onshore 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.
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