Farewell Akademik Ioffe

Quark Expeditions retires the venerable ship from the fleet for a new class of comfort

Mar 23, 2011, 13:43 ET from Quark Expeditions

WATERBURY, Vt., March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Akademik Ioffe sailed its final voyage for the polar specialist Quark Expeditions. The former Russian research vessel converted to an expedition ship had become out-dated. According to Hans Lagerweij, President of Quark Expeditions, "21st century polar travelers want cabins with private facilities, stylish public areas, and a choice of places to congregate to share a drink."

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110323/NE70421 )

Time had stood still on Akademik Ioffe

The 107-passenger vessel was a time capsule of the early years of polar travel, when spartan efficiency was enough to satisfy the early adopters. The contemporary polar traveler is more sophisticated, unwilling to forgo the creature comforts for the thrill of adventure.

Sea Spirit: the future of polar travel

Sea Spirit, Quark's first true luxury vessel, will fulfill the Ioffe schedule in the Antarctic in 2011-12. The 112-passenger vessel provides a degree of comfort unimagined by Ioffe guests. Every cabin has either king or twin beds, facilities en suite, a seating area and exterior views. Some cabins have balconies. Drinks are free and a 10MB communication access card is included in the per person price.

Upgraded comfort does not mean down-graded adventure

The education program, shore landings and concern for the environment that polar travelers have come to expect from Quark Expeditions are transferred to Sea Spirit. Her limited capacity ensures the ship is eligible to visit all Antarctic landing sites.

Introductory Savings for a limited time

Polar travelers who book an Antarctic cruise aboard Sea Spirit will save 15% off the published fares if they book before April 29, 2011. This savings does not apply to triple cabins, but it does apply to the ship's magnificent Owner's Suite.

Extended Hours

Quark Expeditions has extended its hours to accommodate telephone enquiries and live chat requests: Monday through Thursday, 8:30 AM to 8 PM eastern; Friday, 8:30 AM to 5 PM. Travelers in North America may call toll free 1.888.892.0171 or +1.203.803.2887.

SOURCE Quark Expeditions