MV Magellan Explorer Review and Specifications
Specifications of MV Magellan Explorer
|Year built||2019 / Age : 1|
|Builder||ASENAV Shipyard (Valdivia, Chile)|
|Class||ice-strengthened expedition ship|
|Building cost||USD 50 million / EUR 44 million|
|Owner||Minke Shipping Company|
|Speed||14 kn / 26 kph / 16 mph|
|Length (LOA)||91 m / 299 ft|
|Beam (width)||16 m / 52 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||4900 gt|
|Passengers||69 - 100|
|Decks with cabins||3|
Current position of MV Magellan Explorer
Review of MV Magellan Explorer
Magellan Explorer cruise ship is a polar-class expedition vessel (Bahamas-flagged) owned and operated by the Chilean Antarctica Air Cruise company Antarctica21 (fka Antarctica XXI).
Currently, Antarctica21 operates a fleet of 2 chartered cruise ships (Ocean Nova and Hebridean Sky) plus the UK-built BAE-146 aircraft. The high-wing aircraft was manufactured by BAE Systems. It has the capacity of 71 passengers (16 reserved seats) and is operated by Aerovias DAP - Chilean airline operating domestic flights (charter and scheduled) from Punta Arenas.
Note: In the case of poor AIS coverage, tracking the vessel's current location will be impossible. You can see the CruiseMapper's list of all icebreakers and ice-breaking research ships in the "itinerary" section of our Icebreakers hub. All states and their fleets are listed there.
The ship Magellan Explorer has a total of 50 staterooms (cabins and suites) in all 5 categories. The ship also offers single-occupancy cabins. All passenger accommodations are spacious, with sizes ranging between 20-40 m2 (220-440 ft2).
Double cabins are fitted with 2 lower / twin beds (convertible to a double bed). A total of 42 cabins are with large Picture Window and private balcony. All cabins (except Deck 3's fore-located Portholes) are with private (step-out) balconies. Of all staterooms, only 8 are with Porthole Windows (2 small, round-shaped, non-opening windows).
Most double cabins have 2 twin beds convertible to King-size (double bed). All other staterooms are with 2 twin beds convertible to Queen-size (double bed). All staterooms offer as standard amenities lounge/sitting area (2 armchairs, coffee table, writing desk with chair), HDTV (satellite reception), wardrobe, phone, hairdryer, electronic safe box (in the closet), wall-mounted reading lamps, ceiling LED lighting, en-suite bathroom (WC, separate shower, single-sink vanity, premium bath products, bathrobes, slippers), bedside cabinets, EU-USA combo electrical outlets (with USB port), individually controlled air-conditioning.
Cabin balconies are accessed via floor-ceiling sliding glass doors. King-size bed is sized 2x2 m (82x78 inches). A twin bed is sized 1x2 m (41x78 inches).
Shipboard facilities and amenities
Ship's public areas include a forward-facing Observation Lounge (enclosed with floor-ceiling windows), Observation Deck (outdoor viewing area), Sun Deck (aft location, with an outdoor BBQ bar area), single-seating capacity dining room restaurant, meeting room (featuring an interactive science lab), gift shop, gym (fitness room with panoramic windows), sauna room, library (stocked with books in multiple languages and Antarctica literature), infirmary (medical clinic). The bow section is passenger-accessible and used for wildlife viewing during the voyage. Adventure activities (sea kayaking, snowshoeing) are optional and available at extra cost.
The main dining room offers buffet breakfasts and lunches, along with table service dinner. Premium Chilean wines are available with lunch and dinner. Drinks and snacks are shared during welcome and farewell parties. Express lunches as well as 24-hour water, tea, and coffee are also offered. In addition to the cuisine, the ship's bar offers Chilean domestic drinks and international favourites.
Ship's interior spaces were designed by the Chilean studio Enrique Concha & Co. The ship offers local intranet with daily programs and international news. Wireless internet costs extra and WiFi is available throughout.
On Observation Deck are located ship's 2 tenders (lifeboats) and also the fleet of all 10 Zodiacs (large-capacity inflatable boats) used for landings and for passenger tendering ashore. Magellan Explorer also offers various polar activities, such as hiking, snowshoeing, and kayaking at additional cost. Ship's Navigation Bridge (aka Wheelhouse) and the adjacent officers quarters are located forward-midship on deck 6.
The cruise tour company Antarctica21 operates on regularly scheduled roundtrips to Antarctica leaving from homeport Punta Arenas (Chile). On wildlife viewing excursions can be seen penguins (Gentoo, Macaroni, Adelie, Chinstrap), whales, seals, various seabirds. Antarctica21 cruise itineraries destinations include Aitcho Island, Cuverville Island, Deception Island, Half Moon Island, Livingston Island, Petermann Island, Lemaire Channel (aka Kodak Gap), Paradise Bay (minke whales), Wiencke Island (Port Lockroy).
The seasonally chartered by Antarctica21 airplane is used for fly cruises as its short runway requirements make it perfect for Antarctic landings.
Flying to Antarctica with Aerovias DAP includes roundtrip flights from Punta Arenas to Chile's largest Antarctic base "Eduardo Frei Montalva" on King George Island. The first flight was on February 12, 1989. In 2007, Aerovias DAP leased one BAE 146 airliner from the UK company Flightline. Antarctica flights started in early 2008. Currently, Aerovias DAP carries out around 3/4 of all air traffic between South America and Antarctica, using two BAE 146-200 planes (model 1981, cost GBP 11 million) plus one smaller plane (Beechcraft "Super King Air" / model 300).
For September-October 2020, Antarctica21 added new cruises on Magellan Explorer. The itineraries visit Cape Horn (Chile), the Falklands (Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia Island (UK). The first 7-night itinerary is roundtrip from Ushuaia Argentina (3 departures). It starts with the transition of Beagle Channel (Chilean Patagonia), follows Puerto Williams (Navarino Island, Chile), Cape Horn, Drake Passage, Nassau Bay (overnight crossing), Falkland Islands. The second 14-night itinerary (October 3-17) is roundtrip from Port Stanley (East Falkland Island) and visits South Georgia Island. Fares started at USD10,000 per person (double-occupancy Porthole Cabin rates). Package deals offered hotel stays in Chile (Santiago or Punta Arenas) and Antarctica21 flights to the Falklands.
For season 2020-2021, Antarctica21's schedule included 40x fly-cruises with 4 different itineraries - 14x "Classic Antarctica Air-Cruise" (7-day itinerary, price range USD 13,500-27,000), 1x "Polar Circle Air-Cruise" (9-day, USD 18,000-34,000), 1x "Antarctica Express Air-Cruise" (5-day, USD 5800-8600) and 1x "South Georgia Circumnavigation" (15-day). Besides Magellan Explorer, Antarctica21 also chartered Ocean Nova and Hebridean Sky. All fly-cruise deals are inclusive of 2-hour flights from Punta Arenas to King George Island (Antarctica) via BAE 146/AVRO RJ. Company's privately-owned plane has a capacity of 75 passengers and can land on short runways.
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MS Magellan Explorer is equipped with modern marine diesel engines that meet IMO's Tier III emission standards (marine engine regulations implemented worldwide since 2021). To lower fuel consumption and minimize its carbon footprint, vessel's waste heat recovery system recycles the engines-produced heat to power the vessel's heating system and also to warm the onboard water. All waste is compacted and stored in order to be safely disposed of. The desalination plant of the ship produces over 24 tons of freshwater per day.
The vessel is powered by two MAN marine diesel engines with total power output 3440 MW. The ice-strengthened hull is ice-class PC6 (Lloyd's Register's Polar Class 6). Ship's Expedition Landing Craft fleet consists of 10x inflatable motorized boats (Zodiacs), 2 lifeboats and loading stations. Zodiacs are used for passenger disembarkation (tendering and landings) in remote areas otherwise inaccessible by the cruise ship. Each expedition boat has a length of 19 ft (6 m), max capacity 12 people and is powered by a 4-stroke diesel engine. These boats are specially designed (military-grade) watercraft with extra holds and custom-designed ladders for easy boarding/debarkation.
The shipowner Minke Shipping Company Ltd (Chile) charters the Bahamas-flagged vessel to ANTARCTICA 21 on long-term charter. Ship's interiors were designed by the Santiago-based Enrique Concha Company (Chile).
In November 2018, the shipowner contracted V-Ships Leisure Ltd (part of V-Group - vessel management and support services provider, and industry's first with a dedicated cruise ship division). V-Ships Leisure is responsible for newbuild's technical management.
The vessel was launched (floated-out from drydock) on February 28, 2019. The ceremony was attended by Jaime Vasquez (Chairman), Francesco Contini (Executive VP) and other Antarctica21 company executives and staff. Ship's naming ceremony was held on November 8, 2019, in Punta Arenas Chile. The christening ceremony was attended by Francesco Contini (Antarctica21's sales and marketing VP) and 200+ people involved in the shipbuilding project. Followed an overnight voyage (exclusive mini-cruise) for the Fred Olsen's family members and friends. The inaugural cruise (maiden voyage) started on November 28 (Punta Arenas to Antarctica via Puerto Williams, Ushuaia and Cape Horn).
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