Why we like the Akademik Sergey Vavilov

  • Along with her sister ship, the Akademik Ioffe, they are arguably the perfect polar vessels - extremely stable and quiet through the water, with outstanding manoeuvrability and a high 1B ice class rating
  • Capable of carrying more people but capped to only 96 passengers, The Vavilov offers a true small ship experience
  • All guests can go ashore at the same time, even at those sites with a cap of 100 people
  • Focus on service with a high staff to guest ratio of 1 to 4 ensuring everyone is fully looked after
  • Complimentary camping alongside a wide range of additional adventure activities: kayaking, hiking and ski touring
  • Wellness programme including Finnish sauna, salt water plunge pool, massage therapist and on-deck hot tub
  • The loan of full polar gear - boots, waterproof jacket and trousers - is included

Watch our Video Tour of Akademik Sergey Vavilov

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What our customers think

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The Vavilov was the perfect venue in every respect.

Al & Natalia Florida January 2018

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We loved the boat and the fact that its crew obviously really care for her. She felt homely. We wanted a sturdy boat, experienced staff and less than 100 passengers. So a tick in all the right boxes there.

Sam UK December 2017

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The expedition staff could not have been more helpful, friendly and accommodating. That contributed to the overall experience. They were knowledgeable and keen to show us as much as possible, always bearing our safety in mind.

Val UK December 2017

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Many interesting people on the ship. Only 60 passengers, so quite intimate. Staff were very good - very friendly and knowledgeable. I was sitting in the lounge early one morning and the 1st Officer came down and told me to come up to the bridge to see the whale that was only a 100 metres away.

Neill New Zealand November 2017

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It was testament to the Vavilov that despite 10m waves, the dining room remained at least 90% full throughout. The ship is built like a tank, the crew superb, with safety being paramount.

Nick UK February 2017

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You can read about Antarctica, people can tell you about it, you can look at countless images, but it is so much more beautiful in reality. We were so well looked after and loved the crew on the Vavilov.

Kim Australia January 2017

Voyage was a good one for us, and we really liked the ship, as we don't do 'cruisy'. Read the full review

Rowena Lord United Kingdom December 2018

The Vavilov was an excellent choice; it is a very special cruise ship! Our suite was spacious and very comfortable and the passengers were a very diverse and interesting group. The trip was amazing.

Joan & Michael New Jersey January 2018

We definitely picked the right ship and itinerary. Once we got to our cabin, we understood why it had been selected (by you): close to the middle of the ship for minimal rocking!

Tish & Obadiah Massachusetts December 2017

Expedition staff were fantastic. Extremely knowledgable and helpful. We loved the zodiac landings when we were free to roam about. Read the full review

Tish & Obadiah (Natasha) Scolnik United States Of America December 2017

Our ship crews were very experienced. They would do their best to have the most excursions. Read the full review

An & Houmin Xiao (Luo) United States Of America December 2017

The Vavilov is a great ship. I ended up in a crew room w/ bathroom and shower across the hall, and couldn't have been happier. The ship was very stable even during open seas. I would recommend this to anyone who isn't expecting a "cruise" experience, but something a bit more adventurous.

Iris Florida October 2017

The Vavilov was very stable even during open seas. It was great to have an elevator for those who were more unsteady on their feet. I would recommend this to anyone who isn't expecting a "cruise" experience, but something a bit more adventurous.  Read the full review

Iris Heinemann United States Of America October 2017

The food was delicious and exceeded my expectations. I don't eat meat and was pleasantly surprised at all of the options I had. I also really liked that the lounge area had the viewing deck, it was easy to quickly get out and catch a whale sighting.

Nicole Illinois January 2017

The crew is stellar, top-notch. So helpful, knowledgeable, and safety conscious.

Angie Minnesota December 2016

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Alex says

The Vavilov first took me to Antarctica so I have to confess to a natural bias here. Watching from the bridge as she cut through rough seas really demonstrated her superior strength, it felt like I was on an expedition, and I loved the kayaking.

Alex Mudd Polar Specialist

Cabin Categories

*Note that the above measurements are approximate averages and exact cabin size can vary

All cabins come with a writing desk and chair, a clock radio with ipod connector, and bathrobes.

Captain's Suite (1)

  • Located on Deck 5 with double bed, bathtub and opening windows overlooking the bow
  • Separate lounge area with sofa-bed, mini-bar and mini-fridge, and tablet with polar literature and various media
  • Up-graded bed linen, tea- and coffee-maker and arrival gift basket with wine and healthy snacks

Shackleton Suite (5)

  • 3 cabins on Deck 4 and 2 on Deck 5
  • Double bed and opening windows
  • Separate lounge area with sofa-bed, mini-bar, and tablet with polar literature and various media
  • Up-graded bed linen, tea- and coffee-maker and arrival gift basket with wine and healthy snacks

Superior (3)

  • All 3 cabins are on Deck 3
  • 2 lower berths, portholes
  • Tea- and coffee-maker, up-graded bed linen

Twin Private (21)

  • Twin beds, private bathroom, opening window
  • 7 cabins are located on Deck 4, and 12 on Deck 5
  • 2 additional cabins are located on Deck 3 and have portholes (cabins 328 & 329)
  • Tea- and coffee-maker

Twin Semi-Private (12)

  • All 12 cabins are on Deck 4
  • Single bed and full-length, sofa-bed
  • Opening window
  • Semi-private bathrooms shared adjacent cabin
  • Tea- and coffee-maker


  • Both of these cabins are on Deck 3
  • Bunk-bed and full-length sofa-bed
  • Porthole
  • Private, in-cabin washbasin and shared bathroom facilities

Deck Plan

Onboard Communications

If you wish to stay in touch, even in Antarctica, you can choose from the options below:

  • Satellite and VoIP phone card: $30/60minutes
  • Ship-based email service: one-time $30 set-up fee (Email can be accessed through wifi using your own device). Please note that the service only supports text, uploading images is unfortunately not possible.

Please note that this is only for light data traffic and that the above prices are only approximate. 

Ready to plan your Antarctic adventure?



We'll spend some time listening to your aspirations, then discuss the kind of experience that might suit you.



Next we'll discuss the options, shortlist the best trips for you and present you our impartial recommendations.



We'll place a 24 hour hold on your preferred option - without obligation - whilst we talk through the details.

With over 50 years of Antarctic experience between us, we can help guide you to exactly the right trip for you.