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Polar Pioneer

The 72-meter (236-foot) polar ice-strengthened vessel, Polar Pioneer has long been a favorite in both polar regions. She is currently being refit & will recommence operation in June of 2022 in Svalbard.

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On Board Polar Pioneer

A word from Dom

This wonderful vessel, one of my top picks for polar explorations, is under new management by a consortium of polar experts and is undergoing the final stages of her refit as we speak.  Carefully keeping the character which has won her so many fans, but adding a new & contemporary Scandavian interior, the refit is also substantially increasing her environmentally friendly features.

I’m delighted to announce that Polar Pioneer will be plying the polar waters again starting in 2022. Below, you’ll find all the info we currently have … but, we’ll keep you posted as soon as more details are released.”

Dominick Macan

Upgraded Comfort & Style

Built in Finland in 1985 as an ice-strengthened research ship with ice class 1A Super for non-icebreakers, Polar Pioneer was converted to fit the role of passenger cruise vessel in 2000.  After years of being a popular expedition vessel in both the Arctic and Antarctic, she has been taken over by new management and is currently being refit to new technical standards.

Taking only 53 guests, she is ideally suited to expedition cruising in polar areas while leaving a light footprint.  The new management decided to “upcycle” the popular ship, keeping many of her original materials and features, repurposing and refinishing wherever possible to minimize waste and retain her popular appeal. All decisions about new materials were made with an eye to environmental sustainability, from iodegradable cleaning materials to ropes made with recycled plastics, to low-impact staff clothing.  Also, the aim to reduce single-use plastics to zero is uppermost in management’s mind.

Passenger capacity remains low in comparison with other vessels exploring the polar regions … the goal being to put fewer feet on the ground at any one time, causing less disruption to wildlife and natural habitat.  You will have the same immersive experiences but in a more environmentally friendly manner.  In fact, small group size equates to greater flexibility, longer visits, more sites reached … and unique itineraries.

The upgraded bar/lounge area includes more open and comfortable seating, flat-screen TVs for ease of presentation viewing, and windows with views in three directions so that you don’t miss a thing.  And, the sauna is frosting on the cake at the end of a chilly day of exhilarating exploration !

You’ll find 26 cabins spread across the three decks.  All cabins have been refreshed with functional Scandinavian style in mind and a special attention to small details like extra hooks and optimized storage ideal for polar expedition cruising.

Polar Pioneer still sports a combined bar/lounge/library area (stocked with a good collection of polar books). The spacious bridge is always open and the decks are ideal for viewing.  The ship carries a full complement of Zodiac crafts, for both cruising and landing ashore.

Plancius Deck Plan ... Technical Specifications

See The Deck & Cabin Layout … Vessel Specifications … Equipment & Safety Features
PP Deck Plan Final


ISM and SOLAS certified as Ice strengthened vessel
Length: 71,6 Meters (236 ft)
Beam: 12,8 Meters (42 ft)
Draft: 4,5 Meters (15ft)
Displacement: 2140 tonnes
Speed: 12,5 knots
Number of passengers: 54


Greenland, Svalbard, Antarctica and South Georgia

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