Pioneering New Zealand-based expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions is exceptionally excited and proud to announce it will be operating world-renowned Russian icebreaker and former research vessel Kapitan Khlebnikov when its Russian Far East Wrangel Island voyages start in 2019, with the 2020 season about to go on sale soon.
The peerless, authentic polar-class icebreaker holds the passenger ship record for the most crossings of the Northwest Passage and has famously circumnavigated Antarctica – twice. Built in 1981 by Finland’s Wärtsilä Company and one of four Kapitan Sorokin-class icebreakers, Kapitan Khlebnikov wraps comfortable surrounds in a formidable, ice-reinforced vessel powered by 24,000 horsepower diesel-electric engines making it capable of breaking ice as thick as two metres.
“The addition of Kapitan Khlebnikov to Heritage Expeditions’ fleet enables us to provide an unrivalled platform for High Arctic exploration combining the exceptional navigation capabilities of this magnificent vessel with our intrepid expedition programs and experienced team,” says Heritage Expeditions General Manager Dave Bowen.
“She is designed for conquering the harshest conditions and allows us to forge new ground and continue to offer the next-level experiential exploration Heritage Expeditions is renowned for.”
Recently refurbished, Kapitan Khlebnikov comfortably accommodates up to 110 guests in well-appointed and spacious cabins and suites all featuring large windows that can be opened and en suite facilities. Common areas include large open decks, two dining rooms, a digitally equipped theatre-style lecture room, heated indoor pool, sauna, gymnasium, fully-stocked library, bar, lounge and four-person elevator.
While the surrounds might be new, Heritage Expeditions’ legacy as a family-owned and operated expedition company continues to grow with a team of world renowned naturalists, botanists, historians and experts on hand to interpret the natural and human history discovered during each voyage, as well as hosting regular lectures, presentations and opportunities for experiential learning.
Similarly, voyagers aboard Kapitan Khlebnikov will continue to enjoy Heritage Expeditions’ signature, gourmet cuisine alongside a premium selection of New Zealand wines, as well as enjoying exceptional views from the bridge, via an open bridge policy, deck and various viewing areas around this remarkable vessel.
Equipped with a fleet of 10 Zodiacs manned by Heritage Expeditions’ experienced expedition team ensures guests will continue to enjoy the maximum time engaged in the wildlife encounters and ice exploration that is synonymous with the Heritage Expeditions experience.
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