Akademik Ioffe


The Akademik Ioffe is a modern, ice strengthened vessel that is very comfortable and ideally suited for polar exploration. There is ample space for meetings of the full group as well as smaller rooms for more intimate meetings. Slide and video projection equipment are available, as well as overhead projection. There is a separate bar, lounge, library, video room, and dining space for the full passenger complement in one seating. There is also a gymnasium, sauna and swimming pool.


Deck Plans courtesy of Quark Expeditions/Peregrine



As a relatively new Scandinavian-built exploration vessel, the Akademik Ioffe is very comfortable, especially following refitting and refurbishment over the last five years. All passenger areas are thoroughly heated and air-conditioned. Cabins are tastefully and pleasantly decorated. The vessel is maintained to the highest standards and is kept immaculately clean. As the ship was built to perform delicate and sensitive hydroacoustic work, she is also designed to run very quietly. In cabins and public spaces there is very little if any ambient noise from engines or machinery. Further, most passenger cabins (except the Main Deck cabins) are on a separate deck from the well-used public spaces and lounge areas, so noise is seldom a bother.


Stability and Safety

This vessel has external stabilizers on her hull. She also has a built-in trimming system which is operated by the flow of water ballast from tanks in either side of the ship. A series of valves causes the water to flow to the side where its presence guarantees greatest stability. Added to her modern hull design, these systems make for a very stable ship. The Akademik Ioffe carries all current certifications required by law for ensuring passenger safety and wellbeing. All equipment and systems are inspected and tested regularly. A lifeboat briefing anddrill will be conducted early in each expedition to ensure that all passengers are familiar with the location of life jackets and lifeboats, and the procedures to be followed in the highly unlikely event of an emergency. With her two powerful engines this ship rarely suffers significant delays due to inclement weather. She has a cruising speed of 14.5 knots in still-wind/sea conditions. The ship's speed capabilities allow us added flexibility in planning our itineraries.


On the main deck to the aft of the lobby there is a separate room which is operated as a bar, with an adjacent lounge area. It is a very comfortable room with outside views and an exit to the main outer deck and has seating for about 25 people in comfortable sofas, armchairs. There are also a number of traditional bar stools surrounding a large semi–circular bar. There is a stereo with CD player in the bar area. If you are interested in where we are going, there is also a television monitor showing video of the view from the bridge at all times as well as a modern chartplotter located in the corner.



On Deck 6 the ship's bridge is open to passengers virtually 24 hours each day. With an officer and sailor (and often the captain) on watch, you are always able to learn something. The chart and navigation room is open to everyone, as are places to view the equipment and instruments. The bridge is a fascinating part of the ship and often a great place for sightseeing and bird watching – it provides a great view!



The ship carries all required communications and navigation facilities and equipment. She has Immarsat telephone and fax equipment as well as a variety of shortwave, SSB, and VHF radio systems. She also carries fully current GMDSS (Global Marine Distress and Safety System) equipment.

Dining Room

Located on the main deck our dining room seats all passengers comfortably in one sitting. It is attractively lit and comfortably furnished. There are outside windows and it is immaculately maintained. In one corner there is a bar which is used for meal times. There is also a comfortable lounge area in this corner. Lunches and dinners are served to the table by our ship's stewards, and breakfast is served here also but is buffet style. In the dining room there is also a television monitor relaying video images of the view from the bridge at all times.


In addition to the stairs between decks, there is one lift/elevator on the ship operating between all passenger deck levels and to the bridge level. (Please note that this does not remove the need for passengers to have a reasonable level of mobility, as ship access to and from zodiacs is by way of a staired gangway (please see Trip Information Guide).

Gift Shop

On the Main Deck there is a small kiosk and gift shop. It carries a selection of souvenir items such as postcards, hats, t-shirts, and books to bring home from a voyage. It also has a basic supply of toiletries such as sunscreen, lip balm, usually some film and some camera batteries. It is open each day.


There is a small gymnasium on the ship with a set of free weights, exercise bike, rowing machine, and step trainer.


On Deck 5 there is a basic infirmary and crew doctor available for passengers. As the ship was designed for extended projects, she carries an impressive list of equipment and supplies. However, passengers are reminded that this facility is intended as a basic or emergency service. While the inventory of medicines and equipment is extensive, passengers should bring their own basic first aid kit for any minor problems, and if using specific medications should ensure they bring a supply adequate to last the entire journey. If there is a need to consult the ship's doctor and to receive medications, etc., from the infirmary passengers will be invoiced for the cost of any items supplied.


On deck five and forward, situated in a quiet part of the ship, there is a library area. With a large conference table, comfortable chairs, and sophisticated decor this serves as a great, quiet space to read from our selection of expedition reference materials, atlases, magazines, novels and the like. There are attractive wooden bookcases and quality lighting. There are also windows which overlook the bow of the ship for good sightseeing from indoors. Just outside the library itself there is another quiet area with good lighting and very comfortable armchairs which is usually also reserved as a reading room. The library also has a slide screen and whiteboard for smaller discussions and meetings. It seats about 20.


In the aft part of the ship and reached through the bar is the television lounge. It seats about 25 and has an exit to the main outer deck space. It also has outside views. There is a television and VCR for educational and entertainment programming as well as watching the relayed video images of the view from the bridge. There is a collection of games and puzzles, maps, and a piano. This area, along with our bar, serves as the main social area of the vessel.

Mud Room

Towards the aft section of the main deck, and not far from where you will disembark from the zodiacs, there is a "mud room" where you can change out of your wet-weather gear on returning from shore excursions and leave your waterproof rubber boots.


Presentation Room

Our presentations take place in the dining room. All passengers can be seated there at the same time and it has a PA system to ensure everyone can hear talks and announcements. It has a TV and VCR to help in programming as well as modern projection facilities and screens.


Sauna and Swimming Pool

On Deck 5 there is a small swimming pool and a sauna. A plunge pool really, the former is filled on special occasions or on request and is on the outer deck just outside the sauna. It gets a certain level of use, even in the Antarctic waters! The sauna is open each afternoon and evening and seats about six people – it is a great place to relax after your shore excursions. It also has a change room and shower room.

Top Deck

There is also a spacious open top deck; from here you can enjoy spectacular views.

Photograph courtesy of Quark Expeditions/Peregrine

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