Ocean Endeavour

Former names: Kristina Katarina, The Iris, Francesca, Konstantin Simonov

Ocean Endeavour current position

Ocean Endeavour current location is at Southern Ocean (coordinates -62.57549 S / -63.85193 W) cruising at speed of 13.5 kn (25 km/h | 16 mph) en route to USHUAIA. The AIS position was reported 38 minutes ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Ocean Endeavour

Year of build1982  /  Age: 41
Flag state Madeira
BuilderNew Szczecin Shipyard (Szczecin, Poland)
Classice-strengthened expedition ship
Speed16 kn / 30 km/h / 18 mph
Length (LOA)137 m / 449 ft
Beam (width)21 m / 69 ft
Gross Tonnage12907 gt
Passengers300 - 450
Passengers-to-space ratio64
Decks with cabins6
Last Refurbishment2017
Former namesKristina Katarina, The Iris, Francesca, Konstantin Simonov
OwnerSunStone Ships Inc
OperatorAlbatros Travel, Adventure Canada

Ocean Endeavour Review

Review of Ocean Endeavour

The 1982-built MS Ocean Endeavour cruise ship was launched under the name "Konstantin Simonov" and was initially operated in Northern Europe/Baltic Sea. In 1988, the vessel underwent a major drydock refit (complete makeover) and was transformed into an expedition cruise ship. In the period 1996-2001, the ship was deployed in Southern Europe/Mediterranean Sea and operated as "MS Francesca".

The vessel (IMO number 7625811) is currently Portugal/Madeira-flagged (MMSI 255806401) and registered in Funchal. When operated as "Kristina Katarina", its flag-state was Finland (MMSI 230614000).

The boat is owned by the Copenhagen-based Albatros Travel company, which specializes in polar expedition cruises and tours. Quark Expeditions (USA-based polar cruise travel company) operated the vessel under charter until 2014. The list of other Albatros Travel-owned ships also includes Ocean AdventurerOcean Atlantic (sistership), Ocean DiamondSea Endurance. For Antarctica 2022 season, the ship was chartered to Adventure Canada/Intrepid Travel.

MS Ocean Endeavour cruise ship (Quark Expeditions)

Adventure Canada is a joint venture between Intrepid Travel (1989-founded/ currently ranked the world's largest travel company specializing in small-group adventures) and Chimu Adventures (specializing in tours and cruises mainly in Central and South America, also Antarctica and Galapagos).

The vessel was built in Szczecin Poland as a Ro-Ro ship (passenger and car ferry) ship "MS Konstantin Simonov" for the USSR (Soviet Union / Russia) Black Sea Shipping Company. The ship was launched as the 4th in a series of all 7 "Dmitriy Shostakovich-class" ferries (project B-492/B-493). The list of sister-ships includes Dmitriy Shostakovich (1980, scrapped 2016 as Royale Star), Georg Ots (1980, illegally scrapped in 2014), Lev Tolstoy (1981, scrapped in 2014 as Ocean Life), , Konstantin Simonov (1982, now Ocean Endeavour), Mikhail Suslov (1982, scrapped in 2013 as Ocean Jewel of St Petersburg), Mikhail Sholokhov (1986, scrapped in 2011 as Phoenix) and Konstantin Chernenko (1986, now Ocean Atlantic). Originally, each of these ferry ships was designed with passenger capacity around 400, crew capacity around 170, power (4 marine diesel engines model Sulzer-Skoda / combined power output 12,800 kW), propulsion (2 fixed propellers), max speed 20 Kn (23 mph / 37 kph), and all 9 decks (6 of which passenger accessible).

Until 2010, the shipowner Mano Cruise (Israel-based travel company/subsidiary of Mano Maritime) operated it under the name "The Iris" on Eastern Mediterranean itineraries. In late 2010, it was refurbished again and became the flagship of Kristina Cruises (renamed "Kristina Katarina") replacing the smaller Kristina Regina (IMO 5048485). On January 8, 2014, the vessel was sold and renamed "Ocean Endeavour" and started voyages along Canada's east coast (Atlantic Ocean) and Greenland. Canadian Arctic cruises are offered during the northern summer season. Antarctica itineraries leaving out of Chile (Ushuaia and Punta Arenas, with optional fly-cruise deals from Buenos Aires) are offered during the southern summer season.

The vessel's draft is only 18 ft (5,6 m) allowing access to remote islands and unique coastal destinations. The ship is powered by two MAN marine diesel engines (total power output 5400 HP). The hull is ice class 1B. The ship has all 6 lifeboats, which are fully enclosed. Ship-to-shore communications are via Inmarsat Capsat Fleet 77 (satellite phone and Internet).

Decks and Cabins

Staterooms come in numerous categories. Most feature exterior views via portholes or windows. The one exception is a block of interior single cabins on Deck 5. Booking one of these allows solo travelers to avoid rooming with a stranger or paying a single supplement. Twin cabins come in a variety of layouts and sizes due to the ship's older design. Passengers can choose one or two portholes, single or two picture windows. Some windows are with obstructed views. Another option is one double bed or two single beds. Triple cabins are also available.

MS Ocean Endeavour cruise ship (Quark Expeditions)

The largest staterooms on Ocean Endeavour are the Owner's Suite and the Junior Suites. While the Juniors are similar-sized (approx 30 m2 /320 ft2), the Owner's Suite boasts two large windows facing forward (the bow), plus a bathroom with hot tub. All Junior Suites are with single windows, and most bathrooms are shower only. All accommodations are equipped with DVD players and flat TVs.

Shipboard facilities

Ocean Endeavour is the only Antarctica-visiting cruise ship with a focus on health and wellness. Onboard amenities include a day spa, yoga room, swimming pool, hot tub, gym, 2x saunas (for men and women), a wellness cafe (with juice bar). Passengers can go on with the boat's wellness theme by participating in snowshoeing, stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking tours (the latter two for an additional fee).

For onboard relaxation, the ship has three lounges (Aurora, Nautilus and the top-deck Meridian Club), Library (open 24 hours), top-deck outdoor observation platform.

MS Ocean Endeavour cruise ship (Quark Expeditions)

Ocean Endeavour has an Infirmary (medical clinic served by a resident physician and a nurse), self-service laundry facility, 

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.

Antarctic itineraries (Adventure Canada)

Adventure Canada's Antarctic expeditions are via partnership with the travel agencies Chimu Adventures (Australia) and Intrepid Travel (England UK).

Adventure Canada chartered Ocean Endeavour for a total of 3 itineraries in 2022-2023 (November-March).

  • (January 7-27) 20-day "Antarctica, South Georgia and Falklands Explorer" itinerary to Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia Island and Falkland Islands (stop at Port Stanley).
  • (January 26 - February 8) 14-day "Journey to the Circle" itinerary crosses the Antarctic Circle, explores the Antarctic Peninsula's wildlife and visits South Shetland Islands.
  • (February 16-26) 10-day "Antarctic Whale Journey" itinerary visits South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula.

Intrepid Travel's 11-day "Best of Antarctica" itinerary visits the Antarctica Peninsula, Anvers Island (Palmer Station), Deception Island and the South Shetlands.

All Antarctic expeditions start with transiting the Drake Passage.

Adventure Canada's Ocean Endeavour schedule 2023 included the following Arctic voyages (ship charter July-October 2023).

11-day "Greenland and Arctic Canada: High Arctic Explorer" itinerary (July 25-August 5, August 5-16, August 15-27) is inclusive of a direct flight from Canada to Greenland (Toronto to Kangerlussuaq). The itinerary is between Kangerlussuaq and Qausuittuq/Resolute (NU Canada), visiting Greenland (Kangerlussuaq, Sisimiut, Ilulissat), Davis Strait, and Nunavut Canada (Mittimatalik/Pond Inlet, Tallurutiup Imanga/Lancaster Sound, Devon Island, Beechey Island, and Qausuittuq/Resolute Bay). Prices varied from US$8995 to $17295 pp. 

15-day "Greenland & Wild Labrador: A Torngat Mountains Adventure" itinerary (September 17-October 1) visits Greenland (Kangerlussuaq, Kangerlussuatsiaq Fjord, Nuuk), Davis Strait, and Canada's Torngat Mountains NP (NL), Labrador (Hebron, Nain, coastal navigation), L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site (Newfoundland), and ends in St John's (NL Canada). Prices varied from US$7995 to $17595 pp.

11-day "Newfoundland Circumnavigation" itinerary (June 5-16, June 16-27, October 1-12) is a roundtrip from St John’s (NL Canada) visiting L’Anse aux Meadows, Red Bay (Labrador), Gros Morne NP (Newfoundland), Miawpukek/Conne River (Newfoundland), Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France), ending in St John’s. Prices varied from US$6695 to $14995 pp.

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The ship was added to the Iceland ProCruises company's 2018 itinerary program as a second chartered vessel - together with the seasonally (long-term chartered) Ocean Diamond. In 2018, the Endeavour ship had scheduled two 9-day itineraries (departures July 1, July 10) plus an Iceland circumnavigation cruise.

In 2019 and 2020, the liner was chartered by the company Adventure Canada for two 10-day "Newfoundland Circumnavigation" cruise itineraries roundtrip from homeport St Johns NL. Itinerary's onboard-ashore experience includes themed activities (folk music, poetry, storytelling), deep-sea fishing, visiting Gros Morne National Park, St Pierre Island (food and wine tour), L'Anse aux Meadows (archaeological site). Newfoundland Circumnavigation cruises were scheduled for October 2-12 (2019) and June 26-July 6 (2020). Prices started from USD 4000 pp (double occupancy rates).

In early-December 2019, Adventure Canada announced four Ocean Endeavour cruises to Antarctica via partnership with Chimu Adventures Pty Ltd (2004-founded, NYC-based travel company). The voyages are Ushuaia Argentina roundtrips.

Starting in 2021 (initially October 2020), Peregrine Adventures (premium travel agency and cruise brand of Intrepid Group) chartered Ocean Endeavour for a series of Antarctic cruises.