Albatros Expeditions has notified travel advisors that it has shelved the upcoming 2022/23 Antarctic deployment of Ocean Atlantic.
Originally built in 1985, rebuilt in 2010 and most recently renovated in 2016, the 198-passenger Ocean Atlantic is one of two ships the Danish travel company operates. The other is the 185-guest Ocean Victory, which entered service last December in Antarctica for Albatros Expeditions and is now in Alaska being operated by Victory Cruise Lines along the Inside Passage over the northern summer.
Ocean Atlantic had been scheduled to commence an Antarctica program from December 2022.
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In an update to travel partners, Albatros Expeditions said “it is with mixed emotions that we have to announce, that our grand old lady – The Ocean Atlantic – will not be heading south this year”.
“Following its current season in the Arctic, after careful consideration of the current world events, we have decided that she will not be operating in Antarctica this coming 2022/23 season.”
Guests who were booked on the now cancelled Ocean Atlantic sailings to the White Continent will be offered a free upgrade to Ocean Victory for alternate dates.
Albatros Expeditions said Ocean Victory “handled her first season with aplomb in Antarctica last year to rave reviews and we are really excited to focus all our attention to her”.
Displaced guests who are unable to find a suitable alternative date aboard Victory are being offered a credit note for a future voyage, on top of a 10% discount.
“We would like to once again apologise for the cancellation, but we sincerely hope that the agents and guests in question will find the options above favourable, and we look forward to welcoming you on board of Ocean Victory!” the company said.
As a result of the changed deployment, Ocean Victory‘s 16 and 26 December 2022 expeditions have been cancelled and merged into a “more extensive” 20-day itinerary incorporating the Falkland Islands and South Georgia as well. Those impacted guests are being offered the chance to join the longer sailing for US$4,500 extra per person, or to join the 7 December expedition which is a similar “classic itinerary”.
Currently, the last listed sailing of Ocean Atlantic on the expedition cruise line’s website is a 16 September 2022 Northeast Greenland voyage roundtrip from Reykjavik, Iceland.
Greg Carter, Chief Commercial Officer, Albatros Expeditions said that “whilst the short-term news isn’t exactly ideal, we continue building towards a strong future, with innovation, variety, and quality being at the core of what we do”.
A specific reason for the change of mind to operate Ocean Atlantic to Antarctica has not been stated however the product variation (old versus new) would be a logical choice. Additional feedback from Albatros Expeditions in relation to the decision was requested by LATTE but not supplied by deadline.
Ocean Victory‘s X-Bow hulled sister-ship, Ocean Albatros, is under construction in China and – by last accounts – expected to be delivered in March 2023.