Professor Khromov

Former name: Spirit of Enderby

Professor Khromov current position

Professor Khromov current location is at East Asia (coordinates 43.10497 N / 131.92660 E) cruising en route to Vladivostok. The AIS position was reported 3 minutes ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Professor Khromov

Year of build1984  /  Age: 40
Flag state Russia
BuilderOy Laivateollisuus AB (Turku, Finland)
Classice-strengthened expedition ship
Ferry route / homeportsVladivostok
Speed14 kn / 26 km/h / 16 mph
Length (LOA)71 m / 233 ft
Beam (width)13 m / 43 ft
Gross Tonnage1759 gt
Decks with cabins3
Last Refurbishment2019
Sister-shipsAkademik Shuleykin (Polar Pioneer), Professor Molchanov, Akademik Shokalskiy, Professor Multanovskiy
Former namesSpirit of Enderby
OwnerRussian Federation (via Gidrometflot)
OperatorHeritage Expeditions New Zealand (via FERHRI-Far Eastern Regional Hydrometeorological Research Institute)

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The 1984-built MV Professor Khromov cruise ship (Spirit of Enderby) is an ice-strengthened vessel and one of the original ex-USSR/Soviet Union oceanic research ships that started privately chartered polar cruises in the early 1990s. When chartered by private cruise travel companies (like Aurora Expeditions Australia, and Heritage Expeditions New Zealand), the boat is branded/advertized as "Spirit of Enderby".

The vessel (IMO number 8010350) is currently Russia-flagged (MMSI 273457210) and registered/homeported in Vladivostok.

MV Spirit of Enderby cruise ship (Professor Khromov)

Currently, the cruise ship Khromov is operated under charter by the Christchurch NZ-based Heritage Expeditions (New Zealand travel company specializing in Arctic and Antarctic cruises and wildlife tours). The vessel is state-owned but managed by FERHRI - Vladivostok's "Far Eastern Regional Hydrometeorological Research Institute". The other vessel chartered by Heritage Expeditions is Akademik Shokalskiy (1982-built).

Professor Khromov vessel details

From the same Akademik Shuleykin-class are also the research ships (drydock-converted and now operated as cruise vessels) Akademik Shuleykin (1982, now Polar Pioneer), Professor Molchanov (1982), Akademik Shokalskiy (1982) and Professor Multanovskiy (1983).

The vessel is polar (1A ice-class) rated, purpose-built and small as far as modern expedition cruise ships are concerned, It is configured for 48 passengers in 6 cabin categories. The charm of this ship is not in luxury appointments, but rather in its utilitarian construction and the Russian crew who operates it with an efficient discipline.

The ship focuses on enrichment and exceptional itineraries. Most excursions are organized via the ship's own fleet of Zodiacs - rigid inflatable boats powered by 4-stroke outboard motors that give good speed and maneuverability. The Khromov ship spends plenty of time in the open ocean. Her 'sea-keeping' is quite good for a small ship with active ballast stabiliser system for the worst conditions.

MV Spirit of Enderby cruise ship (Professor Khromov)

Also known as Spirit of Enderby, Professor Khromov is one of all ten Akademik Shuleykin-class (Project 637) Russian ships built in the mid-1980s in Finland for the Soviet Union's oceanographic research purposes. Around half of these vessels ended up as chartered for polar cruise tours.

Laivateollisuus Oy was a shipbuilding company (Turku Finland-based shipyard) that operated between 1944-1988. In 1983, the shipbuilder was acquired by Valmet Marine, which in 1987 became part of Wartsila - just to be closed down in 1988. The Laivateollisuus company built various types of marine vessels, including schooners (a total of ninety 3-masted wooden schooners). In its peak, the shipbuilding yard was Turku's 3rd-largest (following Valmet and Crichton-Vulcan) with around 750 employees.

The vessel (Turku shipyard/hull number 345) is powered by two marine diesel engines (model 6ChRN 36/45 ) with combined power output 2,3 MW. The propulsion system is single-shaft, with one CPP/controllable-pitch propeller.

MV Spirit of Enderby cruise ship (Professor Khromov)

Decks and Cabins

Professor Khromov/Spirit of Enderby staterooms (total 29 passenger cabins) include 3x Suites (1x Heritage plus 2x Mini-Suites, all located on Upper Deck 5) to 8x Superior Plus cabins (on decks 4-Middle and 5-Upper) and 4x Superior cabins (on Middle Deck 4). All these cabins are with en-suite bathrooms (WC-toilet, shower, washbasin). The remaining 14x cabins are with shared bathrooms (Main Deck 3's public bathrooms).

The boat has 6 decks, of which 5 are passenger-accessible and 3 with cabins.

Shipboard facilities

As shipboard facilities, the vessel offers outdoor viewing platforms and open-air deck spaces, hospital (infirmary facility), combined bar lounge and library (deck 4), Lecture Theatre, laundry room and sauna room (all on deck 2), fore-located Dining Room restaurant (deck 3).

Heritage Expeditions itineraries

When chartered by Heritage Expeditions, Professor Khromov (advertised as "Spirit of Enderby") operates on roundtrips from New Zealand to Antarctica and other polar destinations in the region.

In 2021, the company introduced three ex-NZ polar itineraries - "January Ross Sea", "Unseen Fiordland, Stewart Island/Oban and The Snares - Exploring New Zealand's Remote Backyard", and "Auckland Islands and The Snares - Subantarctic Wonderland".

The 8-day Fiordland-Stewart Island-The Snares itinerary (Queenstown to Invercargill) departed January 30, 2021. Prices ranged from NZD 4000 per person (Main Deck Triple Cabin) to NZD 8450 pp (Heritage Suite). The ship's daily schedule included Queenstown (day 1), Milford Sound (day 2), Fiordland NP (days 3-5), The Snares/North East Island (day 6), Stewart Island/Ulva Island (day 7) and Invercargill (day 8).

The 7-day Auckland Islands-The Snares itinerary (roundtrip from Invercargill) departed on February 6, 2021. Prices ranged between NZD 4500 pp (Main Deck Triple Cabin) to NZD 7550 (Heritage Suite). The voyage featured a full day on Enderby Island. The ship's daily schedule included Invercargill (day 1), The Snares/North East Island (day 2), Auckland Islands (days 3-5), at sea (day 6) and Invercargill (day 7).

For winter season 2021-2022, Heritage Expeditions chartered Spirit of Enderby for the "Southern Ocean" program. It started on November 30, 2021, with the 13-day "Galapagos of the Southern Ocean" itinerary and featured voyages to NZ's Subantarctic Islands, Fiordland NP and Stewart Island (Oban). In February 2022 was restarted the brand's Antarctic Islands program.

All voyages with Heritage Expeditions feature coastal cruising (on motorized Zodiacs/speed boats) on professionally guided tours themed on wildlife viewing.

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The shipbuilder Laivateollisuus Oy was a Finnish shipbuilding yard in Turku (operated between 1944-1988). In 1983 the company was acquired by Valmet Marine, which in 1987 became part of Wartsila just to be closed down in 1988. The Laivateollisuus company built various types of marine vessels, including schooners (a total of ninety 3-masted wooden schooners). In its peak, the shipbuilding yard was Turku's 3rd largest (following Valmet and Crichton-Vulcan) with around 750 employees.

The record of MS The World cruise ship of furthest south (reaching 78° 43”. 997S in Bay of Whales) was broken on February 26, 2017. The ship (Spirit of Enderby) pushed through over 30 mi (48 km) of ice to beat the record by reaching 78° 44”.008S. During this epic voyage, the cruise ship was under the command of Captain Dmitry Zinchenko. He is among the world's most experienced Ross Sea navigators, having made over 40 expeditions to the region since the 1980s. The vessel was chartered by the Christchurch NZ-based company Heritage Expeditions.

Spirit of Enderby refurbishment 2019 review

The ship's last drydock refurbishment (April-May 2019) was conducted by Tsuneishi Shipbuilding (Balamban, Cebu Philippines).

The vessel received mainly regular maintenance works (including hull cleaning and silicon paint coating) before the charter for Heritage Expeditions (New Zealand-based travel company) for Russian season 2019 summer out of homeport Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy.

Other renovations during refurb 2019 included new wallpapers and skirting (in all staterooms and hallways), new laminate aluminium plates (fixed to corridor walls' lower half), new flooring (in all bathrooms), new light fittings (throughout), installing shipwide Wi-Fi Internet access.

In 2018, refits were carried out on ship's lecture theatre, dining room restaurant, bar, lounge, library.