Copenhagen – Albatros Expeditions has confirmed plans to add a second INFINITY class expedition cruise vessel to its fleet in 2022. The ship, named Ocean Albatros, will operate in both Antarctica and the Arctic, and on cruises between these core expedition areas. The Ocean Albatros will join the new Ocean Victory, that will be operated by Albatros Expeditions in Antarctica from December 2020 and is chartered to Victory Cruise Lines for operations in Alaska for the summer seasons.
Ocean Albatros and Ocean Victory are 104 metres long, and 18 metres wide, featuring 93 large cabins, of which 68 benefit from private observation decks and nine with French balconies. The vessel is part of a brand-new generation of low-energy vessels and are of the highest Ice Class 1A, Polar Code 6. They are being built with Safe Return to Port, Dynamic Positioning and Zero Speed Stabilisers. The vessels also feature the X-Bow® by Ulstein Design & Solutions. They are small enough to provide a sense of exclusivity and yet large enough to offer all the facilities and levels of services that you would expect from larger vessels.
Albatros has also announced the appointment of Hans Lagerweij as president of its international businesses. Lagerweij has extensive experience in the Expedition and Small Ship cruise industry, and in the past was responsible for managing Quark Expeditions and recently Victory Cruise Lines.
Hans Lagerweij, President of its international businesses, said; “Many expedition cruise companies are focusing on features such as under water lounges, helicopters or submarines for their new builds. At Albatros Expeditions, we have chosen vessels that are enhancing an authentic expedition experience which customers are looking for. The proven and patented X-Bow design gives our passengers a more enjoyable sailing, by improving guest comfort and safety, and even reducing seasickness. It provides very low levels of noise and vibration and gives us the ability to better maintain speed, ensuring we keep to our expedition schedules in rougher seas”. Lagerweij is also enthusiastic about the benefits of Dynamic Positioning; “With excellent maneuverability, it is easier and faster to change position during expedition operations like zodiac loading and no anchor handling is required. It also makes operations above underwater treasures like coral reefs easier, eliminating the possibility of any impacts. There will be no need for the sound and vibration of anchoring – so less chance of disturbing wildlife”. Lagerweij also stresses the importance of five zodiac loading points; “Where most expedition vessels only have two, with five this leads to less waiting time for Albatros guests, so they can spend more time off the ship exploring the wonders of our world. Also, it gives us the opportunity to deploy zodiacs more quickly when we have unexpected wildlife encounters. Finally, the highest ice class 1A means that we can safely operate deep into polar waters”.
Albatros owner Soren Rasmussen stresses the benefits of the unique Zero Speed Stabilizers; “These offer a proven reduction of the roll of the ship of 80% to 85%, even if the ship is not moving. This offers more comfort to our guests, while at the same time making our zodiac operators easier, even in more challenging conditions”. Despite the vessels being Expedition and Explorer focused, guests will also enjoy all the the modern comforts and amenities of today’s luxury cruise ships. Rasmussen continues; “Next to large cabins, most with balconies, we offer a heated infinity pool, hot tubs, library, spa, gym, three restaurants and two bars. Finally, the vessels also belong to the greenest generation of cruise ships in the world. Its tier 3 compliant engines give up to 80% less emissions and operate on significantly lower fuel consumption. Furthermore, we will remove single use plastics, only use bio-degradable and eco-friendly cleaning and laundry products. We will only offer sustainable seafood, reduce the use of all chemicals and implement an onboard recycling program”.
The ‘Safe Return to Port’ feature, following Solas 2012 classification, is not required for ships this size, but will be fully implemented. This means that all the critical equipment, machinery, propulsion and steering as well as pipe, duct and cable tray routings will be redundant on the ship in separate areas. Also, food preparation galleys are fully redundant. In the event of flood, fire or system emergency, passengers and crew can stay safely on board as the ship proceeds to port under her own power, maintaining minimum facilities like food preparation.