MV Sea Spirit

Former names: Spirit of Oceanus, Megastar Sagittarius, Sun Viva, Renaissance V

MV Sea Spirit current position

MV Sea Spirit current location is at West Africa (coordinates 28.13831 N / -15.41374 W) cruising en route to Mindelo. The AIS position was reported 19 minutes ago.

Current Position

Specifications of MV Sea Spirit

Year built1991  /  Age: 30
Flag state Madeira
BuilderNuovi Cantieri Apuania (Marina di Carrara, Italy)
Classice-strengthened expedition ship
OwnerSunStone Ships Inc
OperatorPoseidon Expeditions
Speed15 kn / 28 kph / 17 mph
Length (LOA)91 m / 299 ft
Beam (width)15 m / 49 ft
Gross Tonnage4200 gt
Passengers114
Crew72
Passengers-to-space ratio35
Decks6
Cabins60
Decks with cabins5
Last Refurbishment2019
Sister-shipsCaledonian Sky (Renaissance VI), Hebridean Sky (Renaissance VII), Island Sky (Renaissance VIII)
Former namesSpirit of Oceanus, Megastar Sagittarius, Sun Viva, Renaissance V

MV Sea Spirit Review

Review of MV Sea Spirit

The 1991-built Sea Spirit cruise ship was constructed by Nuovi Cantieri Apuania SpA (in Marina di Carrara Italy) and launched under the name "Renaissance V" for shipowner Renaissance Cruises (1989-founded/2001-defunct). Subsequently, the boat was operated as "Spirit of Oceanus" by Cruise West (1973-founded/2010-defunct) before being modified/drydock refitted (the hull was ice-strengthened) in 2010 to become more suitable for polar cruises. Since October 2010 are operated exclusively polar itineraries - to Arctic and Antarctic destinations.

The vessel (IMO number 8802868) is currently Portugal-flagged (MMSI 255806397) and registered in Madeira/Funchal. Before 2019, it was Bahamas-flagged (MMSI 309224000/Nassau-registry).

From the same shipbuilder/sisterships are Caledonian Sky (Renaissance VI), Hebridean Sky (Renaissance VII), Island Sky (Renaissance VIII).

NEWS: In May 2019, the shipowner (SunStone Ships Inc) put the vessel for sale. It is currently chartered to Poseidon Expeditions (through May 2022), which means it can be either bareboat-chartered or acquired, with delivery in May 2022.

MV Sea Spirit cruise ship

The cruise company Poseidon Expeditions was founded in 1999. Currently, it is among the cruising industry's leading brands specializing in top-quality polar cruises (including on icebreakers). The company has offices in USA, UK, Germany, Greece (Cyprus), Russia, China.

Decks and Cabins

The boat has 6 decks, of which 5 are passenger-accessible and with cabins. There are a total of 60 staterooms (providing max capacity 114 passengers), with the smallest cabins sized 20 m2 (215 ft2). All cabins are outside (oceanviews) and with en suite bathrooms. Accommodations in categories Deluxe and Suites have private step-out balconies.

Most cabins are with double occupancy, but there are also lower deck accommodations with triple occupancy (family cabins with a sofabed). Standard cabin amenities include en suite bathroom (WC-toilet, shower, washbasin, hairdryer), sitting area (mirrored dressing table/writing desk with chair, TV, DVD/CD player), spacious wardrobe, mini-bar, individually controlled air-conditioning.

MV Sea Spirit cruise ship

Shipboard facilities and amenities (dining and entertainment options)

The ship has its own fleet of RIBs/rubber inflatable boats (10x Zodiacs) used for landings, shoreside cruising and passenger tendering in ports/destinations without docking infrastructure. The ship has retractable fin stabilizers that guarantee smooth sailing.

All passengers are provided complimentary with expedition equipment - rubber boots (on loan) and Parkas/Jackets (to keep). All voyages are multi-lingual (typically English and German), on many sailings are also available Chinese and Russian speaking tour guides. Ship-to-shore communications are via Inmarsat Capsat Fleet 77 (satellite phone and Internet).

Common areas and signature facilities onboard include Club Lounge & Library on Club Deck (with a large collection of polar-themed books and DVDs), Oceanus Lounge & Bar on Ocean Deck (bar and presentation lounge/meeting room with media equipment for lectures, recaps, briefings, movies), several outdoor deck areas (including Club Deck's Promenade), Lido Bistro, Gym (weight-lifting and aerobic equipment) and Sundeck with a hot tub on Bridge Deck, Shop (polar boutique near the Reception on Lobby Deck), Infirmary (hospital served by a licensed physician) and Restaurant (main dining room) on Main Deck.

One lift/elevator provides access to all passenger decks. Aft on Main Deck there is a marina (zodiac landing platform) that allows quick deployment of the landing craft/speedboats.

MV Sea Spirit cruise ship

MV Sea Spirit features a full-service bar, so guests may expect wine and spirits to flow freely during the voyage. Bottled water, tea, coffee and cocoa are complimentary and available around the clock. 4-course meals are prepared nightly by the ship's chefs and kitchen staff. Special diets are accommodated with advance notice. All meals are served at Main Deck's restaurant in a single, non-fixed seating.

Optional excursions including kayaking, birding, snorkeling and hiking are available during the stay on mv Sea Spirit. Daily briefings by naturalists prepare passengers for any activity they may desire and wildlife viewing. The onboard gym on ship's Sports Deck is open daily and provides a good place to unwind. It offers several treadmills, stationary bikes and multi-functional training machines.

MV Sea Spirit cruise ship

Itineraries

In 2017, Poseidon Expeditions chartered Sea Spirit for a variety of Arctic cruises. The itinerary program featured the company's first-ever "Voyage to The Arctic" (itinerary June 17-29) to Iceland's northern fjords and also along the Arctic Circle to Norway, from where the ship continued to Bear Island and Spitsbergen Archipelago. Russian Arctic territories (including Franz Josef Land) were visited during Poseidon Expeditions' August 14-29 itinerary.

In September 2017, following an Arctic cruise to East Greenland, the ship was relocated to South America (for winter season 2017-2018) with itineraries to Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia Island and the Falkland Islands. Departures were roundtrips from Argentina (Puerto Madryn and Ushuaia). The 19-day "Best of the Southern Ocean" itinerary (through Beagle Channel) visited the British Overseas territories Falklands and South Georgia. Poseidon Expeditions cruise prices started from USD 7500 pp (Triple Classic Cabin rates) up to USD 22500 pp (Owner Suite rates).

For season 2019-2020, Poseidon Expeditions offered more departures and new cruise tour destinations.

  • (May 2019) "Best of the British Isles" itinerary leaves from Plymouth England.
  • (June 2019) 12-day itinerary leaves from Scotland (Leith-Edinburgh) to Arctic Norway (Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen Island).
  • (2019) Two "East Greenland Cruise" itineraries leave roundtrip from Reykjavik Iceland.
  • (August 2019) Two "Arctic" voyages visit Franz Josef Land Archipelago (inhabited by Russian military personnel only).

Poseidon Expeditions' Antarctica 2019-2020 program included Antarctic Peninsula plus 3 longer itineraries visiting the UK's territories/dependencies South Georgia and the Falklands. Additional to these cruises, Poseidon Expeditions for summer 2019 also chartered the Russian nuclear ship 50 Years of Victory. The icebreaker was booked for the "Top of the World" itinerary, with scheduled departures on July 7, 18 and 29 (2019).

Next are listed Poseidon Expeditions Sea Spirit cruises that were scheduled for 2020-2021 but eventually canceled due to the Coronavirus crisis.

Arctic 2020 program (prices with double occupancy)

  • "West Spitsbergen and the Polar Ice Edge" - 5x departures (itineraries range 9-12 days) are all roundtrips from Longyearbyen (offered between May 31-June 30), with prices from USD 7290 pp.
  • "Arctic Odyssey: Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland" (14-day from Longyearbyen to Reykjavik) departure August 25, with fares from USD 10980 pp.
  • "Franz Josef Land Archipelago" (14-day "Russian High Arctic" roundtrip from Longyearbyen) - 3x departures (July 20, August 1 and 13), priced from USD 12510 pp.
  • "East Greenland: Arctic Sights and Northern Lights" - 2x Aurora Borealis-themed 11-day voyages to East Greenland roundtrip from Reykjavik (departures September 6 and 15), with fares from USD 7830 pp.

Returning in 2020 were two Arctic itineraries

  • May 8 ("British Isles: Legendary History and Wild Nature Discovery"), 13-day from Plymouth to Edinburgh, starting at US$7,466 pp
  • May 21 ("From the Highlands to the High Arctic: Crossing the Arctic Circle, Jan Mayen & Spitsbergen") 12-day from Edinburgh to Longyearbyen starting at USD 5935 pp.

Antarctica 2020-2021 program (prices with double occupancy)

  • 6 "Antarctic Peninsula" departures are offered with either 11-day or 12-day itineraries roundtrip from Ushuaia: November 29, December 8, December 18, December 27, February 7, February 17. Prices start at USD 8,910 pp.
  • 4 "Antarctica, South Georgia and Falkland Islands" itineraries (ranging from 21 to 24 days) are offered with departures on October 19, November 10, January 6 and February 27, with fares from USD 15480 pp. Embarkation and disembarkation ports vary from Ushuaia to Montevideo.

Poseidon Expeditions' classic itinerary "Antarctic Circle: Crossing 66-degree South Latitude" was planned to depart on January 25 (2021). The 15-day roundtrip from Ushuaia was priced from USD 14220 pp.

The company's operations/Antarctic program was restarted on December 20, 2021, with a 10-day Christmas Holiday-themed voyage (Ushuaia roundtrip) ending Dec 30th. The special sailing included a pre-cruise overnight at Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa.

Poseidon Expeditions Sea Spirit 2022 (Arctic) and 2022-2023 (Antarctic) programs

In late-October 2020, Poseidon Expeditions announced Sea Spirit's 2022 Arctic program to West Greenland. These itineraries included one 12-day crossing (May 2022) from Reykjavik (Iceland) to Kangerlussuaq (Greenland) and one 8-day roundtrip (June 2022) from Kangerlussuaq.

Follows the repositioning to Svalbard Norway and Franz Josef Land (Russia) then a voyage to East Greenland for 11-day voyages (September 2022) themed on Aurora Borealis. In October 2022, the ship is deployed to Antarctica for season 2022-2023. The program is based on four 11-12-days long voyages to the Antarctic Peninsula, three 21-23-days long itineraries (in addition to Antarctic Peninsula also visit South Georgia and the Falklands) and one 15-day expedition voyage themed as "Crossing 66-degree South Latitude".

As promo offer, early bookings (made by December 31, 2020) received 10-15% discount (depending on cabin category) plus USD 250 OBC (onboard credit). Bookings made by June 30, 2021, received only the 10-15% discount.

Poseidon Expeditions cruise deals

Poseidon Expeditions 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 (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
  • 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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In 2017, Poseidon Expeditions signed with the shipowner SunStone Ships a 4-year charter deal (until 2021) for Sea Spirit. The ship started charter operations for Poseidon Expeditions in May 2018. Among the planned itinerary destinations are Antarctica, Western Greenland, Svalbard Islands (Norway), British Isles (UK).

MS Sea Spirit was drydock refurbished in 2017 in Vigo Spain. By this USD 2,5+million project, all staterooms were renovated. Previously (during drydock 2015), all public areas were redesigned and renovated. During drydock 2019 (April) to the vessel were installed two Rolls Royce Zero Speed Stabilizers. These are in-hill mounted (retractable) fin stabilizers that eliminate vibrations and noises. They also reduce the vessel’s rolling (when anchored, moored or adrift) and dynamic drag (when both units are deployed during cruising).

The April-May 2019 drydock (at Naval Rocha Shipyard, Lisbon Portugal) resulted in complete interior upgrade plus advanced maritime technology upgrades, including 2 retractable fin stabilizers. These new units (Rolls Royce Zero Speed Stabilizers) provide high roll damping performance at sea, as well as while the boat is drifting or anchored. They are also designed to eliminate vibrations and noise. Both stabilizers are fully compatible with environmentally acceptable lubricants and feature 4 main seals for additional redundancy. The system is computer-based, with a programmable logic controller developing different patterns depending on weather and sea conditions. The drydock improvements will also result in re-certifying the ship for the new vessel requirements by the updated IMO Polar Code allowing passenger shipping operations in polar waters.

In May 2019, SunStone Ships Inc (US shipowner) put Sea Spirit for sale. The vessel is currently chartered to Poseidon Expeditions through May 2022, meaning it can be bareboat-chartered or purchased with delivery in May 2022.

In late-June 2019, the ship charterer Poseidon Expeditions announced the 23-day solar eclipse-themed voyage to Antarctica (Nov 20 through Dec 12, 2021) roundtrip from Ushuaia Argentina. The solar eclipse will occur on December 4 (itinerary's Day 14). Early booking prices started from USD 16,560 (per person rates based on triple occupancy) and USD 21,870 (pp double-occupancy rates).

In early-April 2020, Poseidon Expeditions extended the Sea Spirit cruise ship charter deal through May 2024.

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