The M/V Polar Pioneer was built in Finland in 1982, and the ship was originally an ice-strengthened research vessel with ice class 1A Super, which is perfect for navigation in polar regions with heavy sea ice. Polar Pioneer is one of 10 Akademik Shuleykin-class Russian ships built in the mid-1980s in Finland for the Soviet Union’s oceanographic research purposes. Around half of these vessels ended up as chartered polar expeditions ships. Today, only three are still in operation, with Polar Pioneer being the only one in the Atlantic, Arctic and Antarctic Peninsula. Polar Pioner has been refurbished in 2022.
Due to several reasons Arctic Wildlife Tours has decided to start using this very strong ice class vessel for being able to stay more time in heavy drift ice searching for wildlife. Due to crowded areas closer to especially Svalbard coastlines this gives us more flexibility to do what we want - getting close to wildlife. Without that we cannot give our customers the most important feelings from encountering wildlife. A polar bear up close is something totally different than in a distance.
Polar Pioner allows us also to keep prices a little lower and the ship is big enough to do longer sailings as to places like East Greenland. Polar Pioner is also being used in Antarctica.
Svalbard and Greenland expeditions
Polar Pioner is small enough to still belong to the category micro cruises. It's big enough to cross open waters like over to East Greenland or Antarctica. It's strong enough to reach areas in heavy drift ice no other similar or smaller ships can.
The ship has the capacity for 53 passengers, Arctic Wildlife Tours will not fill the ship entirely and have some more space available. We will use 6-7 zodiacs to still make our zodiac cruises flexible for photography and a unique experience.
Cabin 501, 502 and 503 - Twin suites with big windows and private bathrooms
Cabin 504, 505, 506 and 507 - Twin cabins with one window and private bathrooms
Cabin 400 - 408 - Twin cabins with private bathrooms
Cabin 300 and 301 - Triple cabins with shared bathrooms
Cabin 302 - 313(12 cabins) - Twin cabins with shared bathrooms
Suites 501, 502 and 503 on upper deck with private bathrooms is spacious. 3-5 windows with a great view. Large sofas and a table. The interior is from when the ship was built in Finland and is showing signs of characteristic Russian style.
Twin cabins 504, 505, 506 and 507 with private bathrooms and side by side beds on upper deck is spacious cabins with one window and one table with two chairs. The cabins has good storage space.
Twin cabins 400, 401, 404, 405, 406 and 408 on deck two has private bathrooms and a table. One or two windows. Single beds side by side. The cabins has good storage space and are quite spacious.
Twin cabins 402 and 403 on deck two has private bathrooms. One sofa and a table with a chair. One window. Upper and lower bunks. The cabins has good storage space.
Twin cabins 302 - 313 on deck one has shared bathrooms. One sofa and a table with a chair. One window. Single beds side by side. The cabins has good storage space. Zink in cabins.
Triple cabin 301 and 302 with one upper and lower bunks and one single bed. Shared bathroom. One sofa and table with chairs. Zink in cabin.