The nuclear icebreaker Yamal was built in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1992 by Murmansk Shipping Company and is one of five ice-breakers in this class. Not simply an ice-reinforced ship, the Yamal is a powerful and sophisticated icebreaker that has taken adventurous passengers to the North Pole since 1993.
The ship's interior provides passenger facilities necessary for excellent comfort, with accommodations in 50 first class outside cabins and suites, all with private facilities and large windows. The vessel carries a maximum of 100 passengers.
The atmosphere on board is relaxed and informal!
|Side Deck Plan courtesy of Quark Expeditions
|Deck Plan courtesy of Quark Expeditions
Suite: 2; 6; 8; 10; 11; 13; 24; 26; 29; 42; 45
Mini-Suite: 4; 16; 18; 19; 20; 21; 22; 23; 25
Standard Twin Cabins: 17; 28; 30; 31; 32; 33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 40; 41; 43; 52; 53; 54; 55; 56; 57; 58; 59; 60; 61; 62; 63; 64; 65; 66
Staff Cabins: 12; 14; 15; 22a; 25a; 50; 51; 67a; 78; 80; 82 (Cabins 78-82 on Crew Deck)
All announcements while on board will be made in English and will be relayed over the public address system including wildlife sightings, disembarkation announcements and itinerary and weather updates.
Bar & Wine Service
There is a well stocked bar on board, staffed by a European bartender, in the late morning, afternoon and evening. All drinks, liquors, spirits and beverages are imported through international ship's chandlers - and every effort is made to maintain reasonable prices. A varied list of good wine and champagne will be available in the dining room and bar.
Passengers are welcome to visit the Bridge at anytime unless asked to leave by the Captain or officers especially during bad weather. This is an excellent place to watch ship operations and maintain a lookout for wildlife. To enable our officers to navigate the ship, we ask that passengers keep noise levels down, stay clear of the working areas and do not eat or drink.
Regular sessions will be scheduled when the Expedition Leader and staff will update passengers on plans and provide information about landings. Recap sessions offer an opportunity for passengers to recount their experiences ashore and question the staff. An extensive lecture series by our diverse team of expedition staff will be provided in the lecture hall, and will cover all features of our voyage and on the surrounding environment. This may include slide-illustrated presentations, videos and other educational programs. Video programs will include documentary and general entertainment films.
All cabins are outside, with windows that can be opened for fresh or cooler air. In addition, passengers may control the flow of air into the cabin by adjusting the vent. Each cabin has a private bathroom with shower, toilet and wash-basin. Cabin floors are carpeted. The cabins have ample cupboard and drawer space, and a large desk. The second bed in each cabin is a convertible sofa bed, which is made up each night by the stewardess and converted back into a sofa during the day. Each cabin is equipped with an 'in-cabin' music system. Mini-suites are larger than standard cabins with two windows and a refrigerator. There is a bed separated by a curtain from the main cabin area, and also a sofa bed. Suites are larger still with a separate bedroom, most bedrooms having a double bed. There is also a sofa bed in the living area and a refrigerator. Hairdryers, quality soap and shower gel are available in each cabin. All passengers will receive a robe for use whilst onboard which will be collected on the last day of the voyage. These are available for purchase if passengers wish to take one home.
All cabins will be cleaned on a daily basis by the Russian stewardesses. Towels will be changed as desired but, for environmental reasons, we ask passengers to change towels only if necessary. Bed sheets will be changed every third day. There is no cabin food or drink service available.
The vessel (radio room) is equipped with both direct satellite Inmarsat A telephone, and facsimile systems. Email is not available due to the high latitude of the voyage. If the ship is able to connect to the satellite, the charges for Inmarsat A telephone calls/faxes will be approximately US$9.50 per minute. However, during most of the voyage the ship will be out of satellite range. Additionally, the Yamal is equipped with an Iridium Satellite phone which can be used for outgoing calls at any position, even at the North Pole! The cost for these calls is approximately US$4.50 per minute. The radio officer answers all incoming calls and receives and distributes any fax messages. In general, passengers receiving calls/messages will be paged and the caller is often requested to call back at a time when they are aboard. Full details on contacting the ship will be included in passengers final documents.
A daily program or itinerary is published each evening and distributed to cabins. It lists lectures, meal hours and all planned activities.
Dress On Board
In keeping with our expedition atmosphere, the dress code on board stresses informality. Passengers should plan to bring comfortable, casual clothing for all inside activities, and good footwear. Gentlemen may wish to bring a coat and tie, and ladies a cocktail dress for the Captain's Welcome and Farewell parties but this is certainly not necessary.
The electrical supply on board is 220 volts, 50 hertz. The electrical outlet sockets are the standard European two round pin system. Passengers coming from countries with a different system will need to bring a suitable adapter.
There are NO elevators aboard.
Engine Room Visits
Engine room visits are NOT allowed.
For safety reasons and international restrictions, engine room visits are allowed only when the vessel has stopped engines (e.g. when at anchor or parked in the ice).
Bar; Lounge/Library; Dining Room; Lecture Room; Sauna; Swimming Pool; Gymnasium; Basketball Court; Shop; Infirmary.
As the customary gratuity to the ship's personnel is divided amongst the entire Russian crew and catering staff, the following suggested guidelines are for our passengers convenience: US$11-14 per person, per day. As stated, this is only a guideline and the amount passengers wish to give is at their discretion and can be added to their shipboard account.
There is no hairdresser on board and ladies should come prepared to do their own. However, each cabin is equipped with a hairdryer.
Our highly experienced European Hotel Manager is responsible for all passenger services and administrative matters while on board, as well as for shipboard accounts. The Hotel Manager has regular office hours, which will be posted and listed in the daily program. The Hotel Manager also supervises the catering personnel - a combination of international staff and Russian crew. Our team of chefs, dining room staff and bartender are mostly of Austrian, German and Scandinavian descent. Most have worked for us for many seasons.
Laundry service will be available, similar to that of a hotel, provided by the cabin stewardesses. Laundry request forms and bags will be in each cabin and laundry is collected each morning. Generally it will be returned in 48 hours. Average prices: Men's shirts/sweaters, US$2.50-$3.00, Women's blouses/slacks, US$3.00. A complete laundry list with prices will be provided on board. Ironing services are also available at a minimal charge. There are no facilities for dry cleaning or a self-service laundry.
There is a small library on board that has a selection of polar books, reference materials and general reading material along with board games and playing cards.
Life Boat Drill
By international law, passengers must participate in an emergency exercise within 24-hours of sailing. Upon embarkation, they will be requested to locate their lifejacket in their cabin and note their life boat and muster station. This mandatory life boat drill will be scheduled as soon as convenient by the Expedition Leader/Captain.
Mail may be posted from the ship and will be charged to passengers' individual shipboard accounts. The cabin number and name should be clearly noted in the upper right hand corner of each card or letter when deposited.
There is one dining room on board. Seating is not reserved and we encourage passengers to sit where and with whom they like. Hours will be posted in the daily program. Breakfast is served buffet style with table service. There is a choice of main course from the menu at lunch and dinner featuring international cuisine prepared by international chefs. Coffee and tea are available all day and cakes are served mid-afternoon daily. Service aboard all our vessels is personal - a combination of international staff and experienced Russian crew. Should passengers have any special dietary requirements, we request that they inform us as far in advance of their voyage as possible so the necessary arrangements can be made. The kitchen is not set up for Kosher meal preparation.
The vessel has a small medical clinic with a basic supply of western medicines and equipment. However, we cannot guarantee to have every drug or piece of equipment for every medical problem. If passengers are under regular treatment for any ailment, they must bring a more than adequate supply of medicines for the duration of their voyage. We cannot accept responsibility for not having a specific brand or type of drug on board. If passengers suffer from any potentially serious illness, they should inform us prior to the voyage so that we can alert the doctor to their condition.
A name badge will be sent to passengers along with their final documents. We encourage them to wear this so our staff and fellow passengers can get to know them better.
Officers And Crew
The Russian Captain, officers and crew are considered to be the world's leaders in icebreaker operations. All are experienced in navigation under severe conditions.
Upon embarkation, an account will automatically be opened for each cabin for purchases aboard ship - including bar services, laundry, postage and communication charges. If passengers are sharing a cabin and would like separate accounts, they must advise the Hotel Manager. A 'chit' system will operate for on board payments and all purchases should be signed for. An account for payment will be presented to each passenger on the final day of the voyage. Final payment can be made using cash, travelers checks or major credit cards - Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club or American Express. All prices are in US dollars. Personal checks are NOT accepted on board.
Sauna/Exercise Room/Indoor Pool
The vessel is equipped with a sauna, small exercise room and indoor pool. Sauna hours will be divided between men, women and mixed groups, and listed in the daily program. The sauna is normally open throughout the day on a self-use basis and not supervised. Passenger use of the facility is of their own volition and at their own risk. Pool hours are also listed in the daily program. The exercise room is open 24 hours.
There is a small shop on board, carrying various logo items (T-shirts, sweatshirts, caps), stuffed animals, postcards, drug store items and films. The shop is operated by a separate concessionaire and shop purchases should be settled directly with the shopkeeper. Settlement can be made by cash (US Dollars), travelers checks or major credit cards - Visa, MasterCard or American Express. The shop hours will be listed in the daily program.
Smoking is allowed one deck below the bar, on the open decks and in the cabins. If passengers have booked on a 'share basis', smoking in the cabin is not allowed unless both passengers agree. If passengers are smoking in their cabins they should ask the stewardess for an ashtray. The smoking of pipes and cigars is only allowed on deck. Smoking is not allowed in the dining room.
Valuables should not be kept in the cabin. Deposit envelopes will be available from the Hotel Manager and kept in a locked safe.
A multi-system video recorder and television is available upon request if passengers wish to view their own videos in progress.
Views are excellent from the large open decks and Navigation Bridge. Passengers are welcome nearly everywhere on the ship, including (conditions permitting) the bow and stern. However, the helicopter deck is off limits at all times, as it does not offer any protective railings.
Zodiacs & Helicopters
Essential for navigation in the ice, the Yamal normally carries helicopters for reconnaissance and passenger excursions. In addition, the vessel carries a fleet of sturdy Zodiac craft for leisurely cruising and beach landings.
|Photograph courtesy of Quark Expeditions