MV Sea Spirit Review and Specifications
Specifications of MV Sea Spirit
|Year built||1991 / Age : 28|
|Builder||Nuovi Cantieri Apuania (Marina di Carrara, Italy)|
|Class||ice-strengthened expedition ship|
|Owner||SunStone Ships Inc|
|Speed||15 kn / 28 kph / 17 mph|
|Length (LOA)||91 m / 299 ft|
|Beam (width)||15 m / 49 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||4200 gt|
|Decks with cabins||5|
|Former names||Spirit of Oceanus, Megastar Sagittarius, Sun Viva, Renaissance V|
Current position of MV Sea Spirit
Review of MV Sea Spirit
Sea Spirit cruise ship was built in 1991 in Carrara Italy and launched under the name "Renaissance V". Subsequently, the vessel was operated by Cruise West (as "Spirit of Oceanus") before being modified (drydock refitted) in 2010 to become more suitable for polar cruises.
Since late-2010, the liner operates on exclusively polar itineraries to Arctic and Antarctic destinations. Currently, this ice-strengthened expedition ship is owned by SunStone Ships (USA-based shipowner) and operated under charter by Poseidon Expeditions.
The cruise company Poseidon Expeditions was founded in 1999. Currently, it is among 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.
NEWS: In May 2019, the shipowner SunStone Ships Inc put the vessel for sale. The cruise ship is currently chartered to Poseidon Expeditions (through May 2022), which means it can be either bareboat-chartered or acquired, with delivery in May 2022.
Providing suites for a total of 114 passengers (with the smallest suite measuring 20 m2 / 215 ft2) the ice-strengthened mv Sea Spirit at the same time provides manoeuvrability and small ship friendly atmosphere. All suites feature exterior views and private facilities. Some of the accommodations have private balconies for enjoying the fantastic landscapes of Antarctica and the Arctic.
A fleet of rubber inflatable boats (10 Zodiacs) for landings on wild shores, experienced crew, and retractable fin stabilizers for smooth sailing make a polar cruise on Sea Spirit enjoyable. All deals include rubber boots on loan and an expedition Jacket to keep. All voyages are Multi-Lingual (typically English and German). Many of the sailings will also include Chinese and Russian languages. Ship-to-shore communications are via Inmarsat Capsat Fleet 77 (satellite phone and Internet).
Spacious common areas on Sea Spirit include a library on the Club Deck with a large collection of polar books and DVDs, a presentation lounge on the Ocean Deck with special equipment for lectures, recaps and briefings, many outdoor deck areas and barbecues, a gym on the Sports Deck including weight-lifting and aerobic equipment, a polar boutique and an infirmary with licensed medical doctor.
An elevator provides access to all passenger decks. On the aft of the Main Deck, a zodiac landing platform allows for quick deployment of passenger landing craft.
MV Sea Spirit features a full-service bar, so guests may expect wine and spirits to flow freely during the cruise. Bottled water, tea, coffee and cocoa are available around the clock. 4-course meals are prepared nightly by top chefs and expert kitchen staff. Special diets are accommodated with advance notice. All meals are served on the Main Deck in a single, leisurely seating.
Optional excursions including kayaking, birding, snorkelling 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.
In 2017, Poseidon Expeditions chartered Sea Spirit for a variety of Arctic cruises. The itinerary program featured 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 7,500 pp (Triple Classic Cabin rates) up to USD 22,500 pp (Owner Suite rates).
For season 2019-2020, Poseidon Expeditions offers 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 includes Antarctic Peninsula plus 3 longer itineraries to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands. Additional to these Sea Spirit cruises, for summer 2019, Poseidon Expeditions also chartered the Russian nuclear ship 50 Years of Victory for the "Top of the World" cruise itinerary, with scheduled departures on July 7, 18 and 29.
Arctic 2020 cruises (prices are based on double occupancy)
- "West Spitsbergen and the Polar Ice Edge" - 5 departures (itineraries range 9-12 days) are all roundtrips from Longyearbyen (offered in 2020 between May 31-June 30), with prices from USD 7290 pp.
- "Arctic Odyssey: Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland" (14-day cruise from Longyearbyen to Reykjavik) departure 2020 (August 25), with fares from USD 10980 pp.
- "Franz Josef Land Archipelago" (14-day cruise in the Russian High Arctic roundtrip from Longyearbyen) includes 3 departures in 2020 (July 20, August 1 and 13), with prices from USD 12510 pp.
- "East Greenland: Arctic Sights and Northern Lights" - two Aurora Borealis-themed 11-day voyages to East Greenland are roundtrips from Reykjavik (departures 2020 September 6 and 15), with fares from USD 7830 pp.
Returning in 2020 are two itineraries repositioning to the Arctic. These are:
- May 8 ("British Isles: Legendary History and Wild Nature Discovery" cruise, 13-day from Plymouth to Edinburgh, starting at US$7,466 pp, and May 21, From the Highlands to the High Arctic: Crossing the Arctic Circle, Jan Mayen & Spitsbergen, 12-day trip from Edinburgh to Longyearbyen starting at US$5,936 pp.
Antarctica 2020-2021 cruises (prices are based on 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" departs January 25 (2021). The 15-day cruise is roundtrip from Ushuaia, with prices from USD 14220 pp.
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 (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
- 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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MV Sea Spirit Wiki
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).
The Sea Spirit ship 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).
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