Albatros Expeditions is winding back the capacity of its new expedition ships, Ocean Victory and the yet-to-sail Ocean Albatros.
Ocean Victory launched late last year in Antarctica and has 93 suites with a capacity of 186 guests. Ocean Albatros, which is under construction in China and will soon touch water for the first time, was initially slated to have a larger capacity, accommodating up to around 190 guests.
Greg Carter, Chief Commercial Officer at Albatros Expeditions said after nearly a year of sailing Ocean Victory, the Danish cruise operator has decided to trim the maximum guest numbers to 174, and even less on the new ship, down to 169 on Albatros (in 94 state rooms). The reduced passenger counts will come into effect for the 2023/24 season.
“We have decided to reduce her capacity to 169 while providing the same amount of deck space, to deliver an even better guide to guests ratio, a 1:8, one of the best in our industry,” Carter outlined.
Additionally, Albatros Expeditions is set to introduce a new Family Suite on Deck 7 of Ocean Albatros. The new double-bedroom Brynhilde Suite is 52 square-metres and will feature two interconnecting French Balcony Suites, and have a maximum capacity of 5 people. It will be located next door to a new Panorama Sauna and relocated fitness centre, that will occupy the space previously flagged for three Category E French Balcony suites.
“Although this is the maximum capacity of our non-chartered trips, we expect around 150 passengers on an average voyage – a true small ship experience,” he said.
Further, based on operational feedback of the previous season, Albatros Expeditions will merge its Category B1 and B2 cabins from the 2023 Arctic season aboard both vessels. Agents and clients affected by the update will be contacted.
According to Albatros Expeditions’ website, the first voyage of Ocean Albatros appears to be a 1 June 2023 departure on an 8-day Svalbard itinerary. However, the tour description states Ocean Atlantic – the same vessel Carter said the cruise line would discontinue using following a “small intrusion” in the hull while cruising Svalbard in July, which ultimately resulted in Albatros Expeditions’ having to abandon the remainder of its 2022 Arctic program – as flagged first by LATTE.