The 92 passenger, 384 ft Akademik Sergey Vavilov is modern, comfortable, safe and ice strengthened. The ship was built in Finland in 1988 for polar and oceanographic research. Operated by One Ocean Expeditions and recently refurbished, she is ideal for expedition cruising – she is our favorite Polar vessel.

The ship features large open decks and public spaces suited for each and every need. A separate lounge and bar with panoramic views, as well as a library provide ideal places to sit and relax or catch up on some reading. 

Sumptuous meals are prepared by the culinary team and enjoyed in the dining room, which can host all passengers in a single seating and will keep you feeling healthy and strong for the myriad of activities offered throughout the voyage.

Other facilities include the theatre style presentation room, gift-shop, fitness room, massage room, hot water spa, sauna and plunge pool. There’s also a dedicated expedition ‘mud-room’ where you prepare for your off-ship excursions.

Stability and Strength

The Akademik Sergey Vavilov and her sister ship, the Akademik Ioffe, are considered by many to be the best polar expedition ships in the world. These vessels were purpose built to conduct sensitive hydro-acoustic research and science in the polar regions. 

The original design brief dictated that the vessels offer a very high level of stability. This is achieved through a sophisticated internal trimming system, controlled via a series of gyroscopic sensors around the vessel. The result? These ships are the most stable vessels navigating polar waters. This stability feature is something you will greatly appreciate should you encounter less than ideal sailing conditions. 

Maneuverable, Quiet and Fast

With both bow and stern thrusters and twin reversible propellers, the ship can spin on its own axis – greatly assisting embarkation of the zodiacs in windy conditions. When you are listening to the underwater sounds of the ocean as this ship was built to do, you need quiet engines. You will notice there is little – if any – ambient noise or vibration, which makes for a quiet ship.

These ships are fast, with a top speed of 14.5 knots in open water. Unmatched stability, coupled with superior speed allows for more time at your destination (rather than ‘at sea’) and more flexibility with itinerary planning – a critical factor in polar waters where ice and weather conditions sometimes dictate our daily itinerary. 

Superb Design and Layout

Throughout the ship there are spaces ideally suited to every need. Spacious outer decks provide 360 degree views of the stunning polar landscapes – as well as a great place for an outdoor barbecue, which usually happens once on every voyage. Inside there are comfortable presentation spaces for lectures and film screenings and there’s a multimedia computer lab with several large screen workstations where guests can download and back up photos. 

Six Different Cabin Categories

All cabins feature outside windows allowing ample natural light to filter in. Cabins all have lower berths (triple share cabins have one upper/lower bunk scenario and feature port holes). Specifics of cabins can be found on the DECK PLAN page. The Akademik Sergey Vavilov carries a maximum of just 92 guests – making for true, small-ship expedition cruising. This is particularly important in Antarctica where visitor guidelines dictate that no more than 100 people can be on shore at any one time. We fall under this limit and that equals maximum time ashore at all locations. Ships carrying more than 100 guests compromise your time ashore.

Enjoy Great Dining? So do we

The exciting schedule of onshore excursions, zodiac cruises and onboard activities are guaranteed to work up a serious appetite. Although the ship operates in some of the most remote locations in the world, you can expect an exceptional variety of tasty meals, prepared by a team of professional international chefs. 

Breakfasts are usually buffet style. Lunches offer a great choice of light meals - as well as more substantial options for those who are hungry - and each evening there is a hearty three-course meal offering both variety and choice. There’s also an excellent wine list featuring a range of international wines. You can get a cup of tea or coffee at any time of the day or night and we always offer afternoon tea with cakes and biscuits. Guests with dietary restrictions or special meal requirements are also well catered for. 

Join us on the Bridge

There is an open-bridge policy and guests are welcome to meet the navigating crew at virtually any time of day; there’s always something to learn from the officers on watch and the bridge is one of the best places on the ship for spotting whales and sea birds.



Operational Safety

There are no compromises here. The expedition staff and crew onboard the Akademik Sergey Vavilov have the deepest respect for changeable weather in the polar regions and the varying sea and ice conditions. That respect is apparent in every decision made throughout the voyage. The ship carries the most extensive inventory of safety equipment on all excursions and require leaders to undergo vigorous and effective safety training programs. Your expedition team are well prepared, so you can relax and enjoy your voyage.

Relax — You're on Holiday

The ship also features a Finnish dry-heat sauna, a salt water plunge pool (filled when conditions allow), a hot water outdoor Jacuzzi, a small gymnasium and day spa with massage therapist.

Polar expedition gear package included

A journey to the Polar regions requires a fair bit of planning and some special items of clothing and equipment are needed. You will have use of an expedition wet weather gear package free of charge, which includes a quality waterproof/windproof jacket and bib-pants as well as insulated, comfortable rubber boots designed for extended walking. New is the inclusion of a set of expedition binoculars and a walking pole in your kit. This saves you buying expensive items you may only ever use once and eliminates the need to carry such cumbersome gear all the way to the ship. If you do have your own gear, of course you are welcome to bring it. Make sure it is wind and waterproof. If you have questions about gear, feel free to ask. 

Traveling Alone? No problem — many expedition guests do

If you are considering travelling solo on a polar voyage and wish to avoid paying a single supplement, you can be matched up with a fellow expeditioner of the same gender. It’s a system that works well and saves you having to pay a single supplement. If we can’t find someone suitable to share a cabin with, you’ll have sole use of the cabin at no extra cost. You won’t be forced to pay extra. Some guests however prefer to have exclusive use of a cabin. In this case, a single supplement does apply, which is 1.5 x times the cabin price. (2 x times in suites). Triple share cabins are also a great option to consider.

Vavilov deck plan

Vavilov deck plan

deck 6 Bar and Observation Lounge

deck 6 Bar and Observation Lounge

deck 2 Presentation Room

deck 2 Presentation Room



ONE OCEAN SUITE: Located on deck 5 this cabin is separated into two very spacious rooms. A spacious lounge areas is perfect for relaxation and features a sofa (convertible to bed), large table, writing desk, ample storage, plus large pictures windows overlooking the bow (forward facing) that can be opened. The separate bedroom features a double bed with upgraded linen/ pillows, night light, and windows over the port side of the ship. The bathroom has a bathtub and shower. There is also a region specific iPad, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, fully stocked mini bar, iPod alarm clock with audio line and several arms chairs.

SHACKLETON SUITES: Located on decks 4 and 5 these cabins are separated into two spacious rooms, one that is ideal for relaxation with a sofa (convertible to bed), large table, writing desk, chair, ample storage and a large window that can be opened. A separate private bedroom has a double berth with upgraded linen/pillows, night light, private facilities, iPad loaded with region specific material, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, fully stocked mini bar, iPod alarm clock with audio line.

SUPERIOR CABINS: There are three Superior cabins on Akademik Sergey Vavilov, all located on the main deck three. The Superior cabins on the ship feature portholes, rather than windows. The portholes allow in ample natural light and can be opened. These bright, spacious cabins provide easy access to the ships’ reception area, dining room, presentation rooms, outer decks, mudroom and the gangway. 

TWIN PRIVATE CABINS: Located on decks 3, 4 and 5 these spacious. Well-appointed cabins feature two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day), with private washroom facilities (sink, shower, toilet and bathroom cabinet). There are tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage, a writing desk, chair, bookshelf, and a window that can be opened.

TWIN SEMI-PRIVATE CABINS: Located on deck 4 these cabins have two lower berths, one of which can be converted to a sofa during the day. These cabins have tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage, a writing desk, chair, bookshelf, and a window that can be opened. Facilities are semi-private, meaning you share the washroom with the adjacent cabin.

TRIPLE CABINS: Located on deck 3 these cabins feature two lower berths and one upper berth. One lower berth can be converted to a comfortable sofa during the day. Washroom facilities are shared "down the hall". There is a washbasin in the cabin, a writing desk and chair and ample storage for all cabin occupants. These cabins are efficient and well-appointed with two portholes with the option to open one. One triple cabin is reserved for female guests, the other is for male guests. Triple cabins can also be booked by groups of three travelling together.

sample Twin Private cabin

sample Twin Private cabin

sample Twin semi-private cabin

sample Twin semi-private cabin

sample Superior cabin

sample Superior cabin

Ant12-13MG - 0317e.jpg

An optional kayaking program is offered on many departures. This must be pre-booked and there is an additional charge to participate. Please inquire about this unusual expedition option - it truly adds a new dimension of adventure to an already action-filled expedition.