About Polar Latitudes

  • Location: Offices in the US, Canada and Germany
  • Number of staff: 47
  • Established: 2010
  • Number of ships: 2
  • Swoop partnership: 2010 to present

Why we partner with Polar Latitudes

1. Their experience

In the extreme environment of the White Continent, experience and knowledge count for everything. Polar Latitudes have both in spades, with one of the most seasoned and loyal teams in Antarctica; packed with world-class marine biologists, environmental scientists, ornithologists, and modern-day explorers.

They only specialise in Antarctic voyages, so they can focus all of their passion and attention on delivering once in a lifetime experiences in one destination, with safety always front of mind.

Polar Latitudes

2. Their reliability

We have been working closely with PL for over 11 years now and have total confidence in their ability to deliver, and that is endorsed each year by hundreds of customer reviews. 

They require all of their operational staff to be certified as crew under the International Maritime Organization’s STCW standards. Furthermore, they were the first Polar operator to adopt the PTGA’s (Polar Tourism Guides Association) guide qualification framework – a world-first in training and certifying polar guides in the skills and experience required for this unique industry.

Polar Latitudes

3. Their values

Put simply, they care. PL built their business on old fashioned customer-centric values and doing the right thing, which drives loyalty amongst their staff and customers, and they remain founder-owned and run to this day.

For them, the main attraction of their work has always been helping others to make an up-close and personal connection with the last wild place on Earth. Everything they do, on board and off, they do to enhance (not distract from) that experience.

They’re a class act; always aiming to over-deliver and yet very fairly priced, a quality that sets them apart in the Polar travel industry.

Polar Latitudes

4. Their product

Polar Latitudes achieve that tricky combination of delivering both comfort and a sense of true adventure at the same time. By offering a small ship experience, there’s no feeling of being herded around, no early and late dinner shifts, no endless waiting for your turn to board a zodiac boat, and no missing out on excursion opportunities – an integral part of an Antarctic cruise.

Their ships ensure the very latest in safety and style including state-of-the-art stabilization, ice-strengthened hulls, the very latest communication systems and beautifully designed rooms and common areas.

Seaventure ship
Customer review background image

What our customers think of Polar Latitudes

Customer Image

It was wonderful; the ship's crew could not do enough for anyone, and the food was excellent.

Travelled: March 2018

Mick - UK

Island Sky exceeded expectations. I would travel on this ship again in a heartbeat! From the Nav Team, to the Marine Deck, each group made the whole trip wonderful with their expertise, diligence, and warm friendly attitudes. Lovely cabin and care. Loved the menus! Kitchen and dining staff met my special dietary needs beyond graciously. Thank you, Chef and Maitre’d! Read the full review

Travelled: February 2020

Kara Knox - United States Of America

Awesome, incredible, amazing, wonderful, perfect. Swoop gave great responses to my questions, emails, telephone calls, I would do it all again and will. Polar Latitudes was the best expedition team and the ship was absolutely amazing. We had the grandson of the British Explorer, Scott, giving personal stories on his family!

Travelled: March 2019

Catherine Macwillie - USA

Our Swoop Polar Specialist listened to what we wanted, chatted over alternatives, and recommended Polar Latitudes. It was absolutely the right trip for us and as we booked early we had a cabin upgrade with a door onto the promenade deck! Swoop kept us informed at all times, always happy to deal with queries, the whole thing was pretty much seamless. You may have realised we are now Swoop fans.

Travelled: March 2019

David Irwin - UK

We had the best time with Polar Latitudes in Antarctica! We were most impressed by the Polar Latitudes team. Everyone was so knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating. Communication with Swoop pre-expedition was great. The staff answered all of our questions promptly and even gave us recommendations for some activities around town and in Tierra del Fuego. All in all, we would highly recommend!

Travelled: January 2019

Fifi Rawlins - USA

Fun facts

  • One of our Polar Specialists was married in Antarctica by their PL Expedition Leader in December 2019
  • We were the first agent onboard PL’s new ship, Seaventure, ahead of her inaugural 21/22 season
  • PL’s President ditches his desk once a season to drive zodiacs as part of his expedition team and interact with guests to ensure he stays fully connected to the delivery end of his business

  • Through activities like their onboard auctions, PL prioritise donating to organisations that support Antarctica, and have been known to donate as much as $60,000 in a year

Meet some of the PL Expedition Team

Hayley Shephard, Director of Expedition Operations

Silver medalist in the 2017 World Guide Awards, Hayley has spent 13 years adventuring in Antarctica, and still feels privileged to walk amongst the penguins. She once attempted the world’s first solo sea kayak journey around South Georgia Island to help raise awareness for the Albatross, about which a book and documentary were made. 

Originally from the Kapiti Coast in New Zealand, she now calls Vancouver Island home, living alongside orca and humpback whales, and grizzly and black bears. In her spare time, Hayley likes to take extended sea kayaking adventures around Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii.

Polar Latitudes

Hannah Lawson, Expedition Leader

Hannah has a particular love of birdlife and marine mammals and has been sharing her thrill for the natural world working aboard Expedition Ships in remote regions since 1999. Starting out as a zoology student, Hannah has also worked as a wildlife artist and mural painter and has completed a Masters in Natural History Illustration. She has also spent time as a leader with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.

She now divides her time between being an artist working from a studio in England, and a wildlife guide, zodiac driver and expedition leader. She visits the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia annually and then heads north to cruise the shoreline of Norway and the Arctic, swapping penguins for polar bears.

Polar Latitudes

Seb Coulthard, Antarctic Historian

Seb is an accomplished aeronautical engineer, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, former GB Chapter Chair for The Explorers Club, joint recipient of the Royal Institute of Navigation Certificate of Achievement, and a world record holder. Over the last 15 years, Seb has worked in maritime aviation and in January 2013, he joined the ‘Shackleton Epic’ team, which became the first expedition in history to faithfully recreate Sir Ernest Shackleton’s small boat voyage across the Southern Ocean.

When he is not on board lecturing, or climbing a mountain, he can be found in Scotland with his wife and children sailing the world’s most faithful seaworthy replica of Shackleton’s lifeboat. 

Polar Latitudes

Annette Bombosch, Citizen Science Coordinator

Born in Germany, Annette studied Marine Biology and obtained a Masters in Marine Conservation in New Zealand. There, she had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit Antarctica as part of a postgraduate certificate offered by the University in Christchurch.

Returning from New Zealand, she conducted her PhD at the German Polar Research Institute and participated in several multi-week expeditions to the Southern Ocean. Annette has been working on various expedition cruises to Svalbard, Greenland, the North Pole, the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica. For Annette, visiting South Georgia is one of the very special moments in life, given its history of whaling and polar exploration. 

Polar Latitudes

Our favourite PL trips

PL's ships

Seaventure

Seaventure ship

The Seaventure features the highest ice class awarded to passenger vessels, a sauna, a fitness center, a custom-built citizen science lab, a heated saltwater pool and much more.

Discover More

Island Sky

Island Sky ship

With spacious, well-appointed suites, stylish common areas, an ice-strengthened hull, and redundant core technology, the Island Sky represents the height of comfort and style.

Discover More

Ready to plan your Antarctic adventure?

1
Listen

Listen

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

2
Match

Match

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

3
Reserve

Reserve

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.

1-855-369-8288