Antarctic Vessels & Reviews Planning & Tips

What’s it like to travel on the Seaventure ship?

The Seaventure ship is a big favourite of both Swoop Antarctica staff and passengers. Originally designed for around 180 passengers, a complete refit for polar cruising reduced the number of berths to a maximum of 139 as well as upgrading the vessel to a 1-A ice class rating – the highest possible maritime rating. When I headed south on our Antarctic Peninsula Classic trip last November I was keen to get on board and see for myself how Seaventure operates out in Antarctic waters.

My cabin on Seaventure

After boarding in Ushuaia there was time to check in to my cabins before the pre-departure safety briefings. My home for the voyage was a window state room on deck four, the same deck at the reception and the restaurant. 

My cabin on Seaventure

The cabin was more spacious than I had anticipated, with decent sized singles that were high enough to easily slide my luggage under. I was sharing in a twin and although there was more than enough space for us both I also appreciated the practical touch of the side closet bathroom where we could keep our bulky polar jackets and muck boots out of the way. 

There was a small writing desk next to the window and a TV that allowed us to tune into the live streamed onboard educational presentations if we didn’t have the energy or the sea legs to make it to the lecture theatre. 

The window was big enough for decent views, and being on deck four we were able to catch plenty of dramatic waves when we crossed the Drake Passage. Later on in the voyage I got to take a look inside one of the deck six staterooms with their own balcony. I’d felt lucky that I’d been able to look out of my window to see passing petrels and albatrosses, but I’ll confess to a pang of envy for the floor-to-ceiling glass that seemed to let the whole of Antarctica into the cabin.

Welcome canapés on the first day of our voyage

First impressions of Seaventure

The cabin proved a great space to catch some much needed rest after a busy day, but there were plenty of quiet little spots to relax and unwind between landings dotted around the ship.

Enjoying Deck 5 aft on Seaventure

The only time the ship felt crowded was the moment we pulled away from the dock to start our voyage. What felt like everyone on board gathered on the very top of the ship at Deck Eight to enjoy the views as we sailed through the Beagle Channel. This deck (amazingly, not shown on any of the ship’s plans) proved a real highlight throughout the voyage as its 360 degree views proved perfect for admiring the Antarctic scenery and scanning the horizon to spot whales, particularly when cruising through the Lemaire Channel. 

I was surprised how light and airy Seaventure felt. In my head I had somehow anticipated portholes everywhere (indeed, a few cabins on Deck Three did have them), but both the lounge and restaurant were lined with large picture windows that invited you to linger over a glass of wine and scan the seas for albatrosses or the hint of a whale’s spout. 

Seaventure’s lecture theatre on Deck 7

Deck Seven was home to a large lecture theatre with more panoramic views. There was also a compact but well-appointed gym that I didn’t think I’d be using that much, but I made a quiet note that the sauna might be rather fun later on to warm up in if I took the polar plunge. Seaventure also has a small pool, but it which is generally not used in polar waters for environmental and fuel efficiency reasons, which left a dip in the Southern Ocean the only opportunity to splash about – no matter how cold it promised to be.

Life on board Seaventure

During the voyage itself I found myself naturally gravitating towards Deck Five. This was home to the lounge and bar, with comfy seats to sink into and more of those massive picture windows to let in the light and views. There was also access to the aft deck, a popular hangout for both casual and devoted birdwatchers, while a side room at the front contained a well-stocked polar library. 

The lounge was also a great place to meet other passengers and talk about the day’s excursions or compare photos. Conversation flowed easily, with guests appreciating the opportunity to log off from their devices. Seaventure does offer guests a complimentary 200Mb of data, with the ability to top up at additional cost if needed however, so I mostly stuck to data-efficient WhatsApp to keep in touch with home during the trip. 

Deception Island seen from Deck 8 on Seaventure

The only time the lounge filled to capacity was just before dinner when the Expedition Leader would give us a recap of the day’s events and a briefing on what was coming up the next day. Antarctica being as it is, these plans would often change, and we quickly realised the most important part of the briefing was always the weather forecast. 

The landings themselves were very well organised. We were divided into four landing groups (each named for a penguin) and waited in our cabins for our call to minimise time waiting to get off the ship and overheating in our parkas. It worked very smoothly, and I always felt that I had plenty of time to explore off the ship. 

Zodiac cruising from Seaventure

Seaventure’s expedition team was definitely a real highlight for me. Most of them had at least 13 year’s experience on polar ships, which is far more than the industry average The lectures were superb and engaging and the ship also had its own citizen science coordinator, which added to the richness of the on-board experience, learning about how tourists can help with data collection for research scientists. 

Who is Seaventure suited to?

Seaventure had a particularly convivial atmosphere and I definitely got the feeling that everyone on board shared similar interests and motivations for visiting Antarctica. Being divided into landing groups helped quickly break down barriers between guests as we learned who was a ‘gentoo’ or a ‘chinstrap’, while the highly social layout of the lounge encouraged passengers to mingle.

Seaventure’s expedition team on the final evening of our cruise

The highly experienced guiding team on board is another great attraction for anyone really wanting to get the most out of their trip. The ship itself leans towards comfort rather than luxury, but for anyone wanting to squeeze the most out of their Antarctic experience, Seaventure is a great ship to sail on.


Looking to sail to the White Continent? Swoop Antarctica know every ship in the polar fleet: Get in touch today and let us help you plan your Antarctic adventure.

Avatar photo

Mike Poppe

Polar specialist

Mike is an Antarctic Team Leader at Swoop. He has sailed on multiple expedition ships in both the Antarctica and Arctic, has experienced a true Drake Shake, taken the Polar Plunge and has paddled through icebergs on a kayak. His next Antarctic adventure takes him to the Weddell Sea in search of the final resting place of Shackleton’s Endurance.