Tuesday 16 December 2008

Cruise Weekly Comment: Marina Svetaeva

If Orion, True North and Oceanic Discoverer are the flirtatious, glamour girls of the expedition cruise fleet, then Aurora's Marina Svetaeva is the motherly, buxom babushka. What she lacks in marble bathrooms and brass banisters is more than compensated for in sheer sea-going confidence.

Purpose-built in Poland's famous Gdynia shipyards for polar work twenty years ago, she has undergone several refits and modernisations, including the addition of a twin-hangar helideck for airborne operations.

Despite her modest appointments and utilitarian fit-out, Marina Svetaeva is the sort of vessel you know will deliver when the going gets tough. Cross off boutique, salon and Jacuzzi and tick enclosed lifeboats, stabilisers and heavy ice rating. Don't choose Marina Svetaeva for "cruising", her no-nonsense demeanour is not about luxury, pampering or degustation menus. Instead you can be assured of a seriously robust vessel built with the rigours of polar work in mind and the likelihood of a full, well-planned and comprehensive itinerary backed by Greg Mortimer's world-famous team at Aurora.

Next to benchmark operators, Quark Expeditons, Aurora's Ross Sea and Commonwealth Bay Antarctic itineraries should be on your shortlist for deep south adventures.

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