A boutique cruise line, which offers fly-and-sail expeditions to Antarctica, is getting a third, cutting-edge ship that is designed to keep sustainability and environmental responsibility at the forefront. 

Antarctica21, which offers both sea voyages and fly-and-sail adventures to the White Continent during the region’s summer months (October to March), is adding a new ship named Magellan Discovery, designed with the latest in environmentally friendly technology in mind.

The new vessel, which will be named Magellan Discoverer, is expected to enter service in time for the 2026-2027 Antarctic season and will be custom-built specifically for expeditions to the 7th continent. The ship will be built at the ASENAV shipyard in Valdivia, Chile, which is the same shipyard that built its sister ship, Magellan Explorer.

While the new addition will mirror its sister shipin its yacht-esque elegance and style, what makes this new ship extra exciting is its commitment to environmental stewardship.

In addition to some other enhancements, Magellan Discoverer will feature a cutting-edge, hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system, which is not only a greener alternative to typical diesel engines, but will also help stabilize the ship to allow for smoother voyages. 

“This ship is born out of our unwavering commitment to meeting the rising expectations of our guests. Equipped with the latest technology, Magellan Discoverer strengthens our dedication to sustainability while offering seamless comfort for our travelers,” says Jaime Vásquez, President of Antarctica21.

Magellan Discovery Hybrid Cruise Ship

Magellan Discoverer will feature two powerful MAN main engines, as well as ABB’s innovative Azipod® propulsion units and Energy Storage System with the Battery Bank from Corvus.

It will meet the strict PC6 ice class specifications that are required for Polar Class ships undertaking arctic and antarctic expeditions, while also complying with the stringent Tier III emission standard – in line with the cruise industry’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2050

Magellan Discoverer will be a lot like its sister ship, Magellan Explorer, which joined the Antarctica21fleet during the 2019-2020 season. 

Magellan Explorer, which was also built specifically for Antarctic exploration, can accommodate 76 guests per sailing across seven different types of accommodations. The ship also features a glass-enclosed observation room for watching the ocean and marine wildlife, a gym, sauna, state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, a dining room, and a medical clinic. 

Likewise, the brand new Magellan Discoverer will also have a capacity of 76 passengers across 40 cruise cabins. The offerings on board will be a lot like its sister ship, but with some enhancements, such as a stylish observation lounge and bar.

The other ship operated by Antarctica21, Ocean Nova, is older and a tad smaller, with the ability to host 67 passengers. This vessel was built in Denmark in 1992, but was refurbished in 2006 and receives yearly upgrades and improvements. 

Read Also: Two Cruise Ships Meet in Antarctica for the First Time

The newest addition to the fleet will join its sister ship and Ocean Nova in offering the air-cruises Antarctica21 is known for, which will be based out of the company’s new expedition center, Explorer House, in Punta Arenas, Chile.

This is where cruisers will go over pre-departure briefings and have a chance to mingle with other passengers before taking a two-hour flight to King George Island, where they will embark on their cruise. 

Prior to Antarctica21’s founding in 2003, the only way to reach the Antarctic Peninsula was via a two-day cruise across the notoriously rocky Drake Passage. Bringing air and sea into one adventure make Antarctica21’s expeditions more comfortable for guests and more efficient – which is something Magellan Discoverer will soon be part of.

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