The ´Professor Molchanov´ are modern and comfortable oceanographic research vessels.
Built in 1983 in Finland, both were designed as ice-strengthened vessels. They have been converted for passenger use and are ideally suited for expedition cruising. They have a good anti-roll system, a range of 70 days independent operation and are ISM certified.
The vessels are strongly built of steel with an ice strengthened hull (ice-strengthened from the bow until about 1/4 of the ships length), perfect for polar seas. They have the Russian ice-class notation LU(1), which is identical with Lloyds Register 1D.
The ´Professor Molchanov´ are manned by enthusiastic Russian crews of around 20, all highly experienced in ice navigation. Russian captains are recognised experts in polar navigation.
All our international expedition leaders and lecturers are highly knowledgeable, helpful and dedicated to the protection of the environment.
The ships have a large bridge (where you are almost always welcome) and good open deck-viewing areas. They carry a full complement of Zodiac craft, excellent for landings and wildlife viewing opportunities in otherwise in-accessible areas. 3-Star meals, prepared by international chefs, is served in the dining room, which also acts as the lecture room. Other public areas include a lounge and bar, small library, infirmary, and sauna.
All announcements while on board will be made in English and will be relayed over the public address system including wildlife sightings, disembarkation announcements and itinerary and weather updates.
Age Range & Nationality
Passengers on a typical voyage range from their 30s to their 80s - with a majority usually from 45 – 65. Our expeditions attract independent-minded travellers from around the world. They are characterised by a strong interest in exploring remote regions. The camaraderie and spirit that develops aboard is an important part of the expedition experience. Many departures have several nationalities on board.
You are nearly always welcome on the bridge, an excellent place to watch ship operations and maintain a lookout for wildlife. Please remember, however, that the bridge is a work place.
To enable our officers to navigate the ship, remain on the port side of the bridge and please do not eat or drink. When in port, during rough weather, and other times for reasons of safety, the bridge may be closed to visitors. If you are in doubt, please ask the officer on watch.
Combating sea sickness
Anticipate some rough water on the voyage. Should you be prone to motion or sea sickness, please consult your physician which medication is appropriate and its side effects.
To avert motion sickness, avoid alcohol, tobacco, excess liquids, and confined spaces. Most people feel better sitting on deck looking at the horizon or prone with eyes shut. Oddly, you will feel better with some food, such as crackers or dry toast in your stomach. Many people eat to avoid feeling sick. Remember, once you start to experience motion sickness, medications are of little help.
On the motor vessels the crew are Russian. Some of them speak English some of them don’t. The personal contact with the Russian crew is always a nice aspect of our polar journeys. All staff (Guides/Lecturers, Purser, Chef, Expedition leaders) do speak English, and most of the time other languages as well.
Currency & Credit Card
On board our motor vessels the standard currency is U.S. Dollar and Euro. Other currencies may be accepted at the discretion of the hotel manager at prevailing rates.
We also accept Visa card and Euro/MasterCard.
In keeping with our expeditions atmosphere, dress on board is informal. Bring casual and comfortable clothing for all activities. Keep in mind that much of the spectacular scenery can be appreciated from deck, which can be slippery. Bring sturdy shoes with no-slip soles and make sure the parka is never far away in case of the call “Whales!” comes over the loudspeaker and you have to dash outside. Wear layers since it is comfortably warm aboard the ship - and often cold on deck.
The electrical supply aboard the ship is 220 volt 50hz. Electrical outlets are standard European with two thick round pins. U.S. passengers may need a 220v/110v converter.
The customary gratuity to the ship’s service personnel is made as a blanket contribution at the end of the voyage which is divided among the crew. You will receive detailed guidelines aboard. Tipping is a very personal matter and the amount you wish to give is at your discretion. It is better for the crew, if you can give them cash, either US Dollars or Euros.
On board our vessels we have a non-smoking policy. It is prohibited to smoke inside the ship. You can smoke on deck but do not throw your cigarette filter overboard ! Do not smoke on the aft deck in the proximity of zodiacs, engines and fuel. Please respect the wishes of non-smokers.
Your physical condition
You must be in good general health and you should be able to walk several hours per day. The expedition is ship-based and physically not very demanding. Although we spend as much time as possible ashore, you are welcome to remain aboard the ship if you like. To join most excursions, you must be able to get up and down the steep gangway from the ship to the water level to board the Zodiacs. Staff will assist you in and out of the boats. This will become progressively easier with practice. Ashore it can be slippery and rocky. You are travelling in remote areas without access to sophisticated medical facilities, so you must not join this expedition if you have a life-threatening condition, or need daily medical treatment.
Restaurant & Lecture Room
In the dining room we serve breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared by international chefs.
Sometimes the dining room also serves as the lecture room. Informative lectures, briefings and recaps will keep you updated
during the voyages.
Bar & Library
The bar is the place to be for reading, sharing the highlights of the day, have a drink and relax. There are many interesting books about the history, flora and fauna of the areas we visit.
The sauna is always warm and accessable for everybody. The hotelmanager will organize ladies- and gents hours on request.
The ships have good open deck-viewing areas. They carry a full complement of Zodiac craft, excellent for landings and wildlife viewing opportunities in otherwise in-accessible areas.
The deck space give you first class wildlife viewing and great opportunities to spot whales, birds and other interesting sightings.
It's an awesome feeling to sit in bright sunlight on the topdeck in the middle of the night and enjoy the beautifull scenery around you.
| Triple Shared
||2 Triple cabins on deck 3 with two lower and one upper berth, a desk, a small washbasin, storage and hanging space and portholes. Shared shower and toilet facilities are conveniently located on the same deck.
| Twin Shared
||9 Twin non private cabins on deck 3 with two lower berths, a desk, small washbasin, ample storage and hanging space and portholes. Shared shower and toilet facilities are conveniently located on the same deck.
||8 Cabins on deck 4 with a private bathroom with shower,washbasin and toilet,upper and lower berths (2 cabins have lower berths),a desk,ample storage space and windows. 4 Cabins on deck 5 with a private bathroom with shower, washbasin and toilet, upper and lower berths, a desk, ample storage space and windows.
||2 Superior cabins on deck 5 with a double bed and a single sofa-bed. A private bathroom with shower, washbasin and toilet. A sitting area with a desk, video player and TV, coffee and tea facilities, refrigerator, and windows.
||The large Suite has a double bed and a single sofa-bed. A private bathroom with shower, washbasin and toilet. A large lounge area with a desk, video player and TV, coffee and tea facilities, refrigerator and large forward and side facing windows.