We chose Polar Pioneer mostly because it was a small ship with maximum 54 passengers as well as the fact that it was able to go to many places that the bigger ships could not & that they would change the route depending on weather, wildlife sightings etc. …..this turned out to be an excellent choice!!
Being a smaller ship the cabins & communal areas were basic but very comfortable. We chose a twin window cabin with private bathroom (there were also share bathroom options), the bathroom was fine & the beds were comfortable with an area underneath to store our suitcases. There were 2 dining areas, a lecture room & a bar where we met at the end of each day to recap our day’s activities & plan for the following day. I would have liked larger viewing windows in these areas (as we had on ms Expedition in the Antarctic) but as it turned out my favourite place was on the bow – because it was here I could watch as the ship cruise through the ice & when we nosed into the pack ice this is where the Polar bears came up to investigate us & I felt so close that I could hear them breathing as I stood mesmerized by the sparkle of their translucent fur in the sunlight (up until then I had always thought Polar bears fur was just white).