Australia's Chimu Adventures has combined with Intrepid Travel to operate their own cruises to Antarctica on Ocean Endeavour. Selected for its uncompromised outer deck space, comfortable interiors and reliability, the ice-class ship has served in polar expedition cruising for several decades. Refurbished in 2014 it will be effectively relaunched in November 2020.
As a purpose-built expedition vessel, Ocean Endeavour has key design features like a spacious mudroom for passengers' expedition clothing and equipment and two zodiac gangways on each side of the ship that allows the expedition team to quickly disembark people for excursions.
There are three bars: Nautilus on Deck 6, Aurora on Deck 7 and the Meridian Club for cocktail events at the top of the ship on Deck 9. The Polaris restaurant can seat everyone at the same time and has large panoramic windows of the scenery. A wellness centre includes a gym, sauna and spa.
Fewer than 200 guests are served by a crew of 110 plus 25 staff including expeditions leaders, specialist guides, kayak guides and presenters. When weather permits, staff will take you camping ashore or for the chilling 'polar plunge'.
Ocean Endeavour has a strong focus on sustainability, serving only sustainably sourced seafood, eliminating single-use plastics and using biodegradable and phosphate-free cleaning products onboard. The vessel is leading the expedition industry by double-offsetting carbon emissions for all its trips to Antarctica to make these voyages "life-changing, without being earth-changing".
The main dining room is Polaris, which extends down both sides of the ship with large windows so it’s almost like two long restaurants with good views. Hearty breakfasts and lunches are served buffet-style with some a la carte options, while dinner is more refined and entirely a la carte. The ship also has the Compass Club Café.
Ocean Endeavour has 10 classes of cabins and each has its own washroom. The Owner's suite (30 square metres) is on Deck 7, directly below the bridge. There are four Junior Suites (15 to 30 square metres), 10 Superior Doubles (17 to 21 square metres) and seven Select Twins (18 to 20 square metres) on Decks 5 and 7. The 22 Comfort Twins (18 to 20 square metres) are located on Deck 4, while the 18 Main Twins (13 to 20 square metres) are on Decks 7 and 8. Decks 4 and 5 have 29 Twins/Singles (10 square metres). Three Interior Twins (10 square metres) and four Interior Triples (20 square metres) are also on Deck 4, with 10 Single Interiors (10 square metres) on Deck 5.
The emphasis will be on making the most of every passenger’s time in Antarctica or the Arctic. An optional dedicated photography program for up to 20 guests will be led by expert photographic guides on dedicated expedition boats.
Ocean Endeavour will feature expedition briefings and onboard lectures from naturalists, glaciologists and historians.
Ocean Endeavour’s Antarctic expeditions depart from Ushuaia, Argentina, with 14 expeditions scheduled from October 2020 to March 2021.
The two most popular expedition itineraries are ‘Discover Antarctica’, an 11-day voyage exploring the best of the Antarctic Peninsula, and the epic 21-day ‘Antarctica, South Georgia and Falklands Explorer’.