Avoid the heaving swells of the infamous Drake Passage and explore the magnificent expanse of the Antarctic Peninsula aboard the Ocean Nova, a 240ft. expedition vessel whose ice-strengthened hull is ideally suited for navigating ice-choked waters. Operated by the Chilean company Antarctica XXI, the Ocean Nova offers the first fly-cruise programme of its kind in the Antarctic. From Punta Arenas in southern Chile, passengers take a 3½ hour flight across to King George Island in the South Shetland Islands to board their cruise, right on the very doorstep to the peninsula.
Comfortable and spacious, the Ocean Nova carries a maximum of 68 passengers in private, outside-facing cabins spread across 2 decks. The cabins are simple yet warmly furnished and feature picture windows to drink in the glorious views. Double cabins have twin lower berths, triples an additional upper bunk and there are also dedicated single cabins.
Guests enjoy fabulous vistas from the comfortable, glass-enclosed observation lounge while additional facilities include a dining room, bar, library and an infirmary.
Expert, naturalist guides lead daily excursions by “zodiac boats” amongst icebergs to experience the magnificent scenery and wildlife. On shore, guests can walk amongst penguins, sea-lions and fur seals with petrels and albatross circling overhead. On board, there are daily presentations on the area’s rich flora and fauna.
The Ocean Nova is an excellent ship with first rate guides and service although facilities are simple in line with all expedition vessels. The fly-cruise program is, however, unique perfectly suited to the poor sailors of this world.