Sea Spirit, was operated by Quark Expeditions (bought by Poseidon Adventures after our trip), is considered a “luxury expedition vessel.” The ice-strengthened small all-suite ship (originally Renaissance V) was built in 1991 in Italy. From that time she has changed several operators and regions of navigation, cruising in Singapore, Alaska, Pacific Basin, Arctic and Antarctica. There are five decks, a library/game room, hot tube, lounge, and gymnasium. The boat has additional stabilizers to provide for smoother sailing.
But Sir Robert Swan told us not to get too caught up in the comforts of the ship. We are here to work and won’t be spending much time in our rooms. The Sea Spirit was chosen because it is the safest and fastest ship in the entire Antarctic fleet. The speed allows us to spend nearly an extra day on Antarctica.
One important feature on the ship is the card key system. We swipe our card every time we get on or off the boat. When we swipe, our passport photo appears and the count of available life vests is decremented. This system assures no one is forgotten by tracking everyone as they embark and disembark.
Everyone has two sets of life jackets in their cabins. One inflatable for shore landings or zodiac tours and one regular life jacket for emergencies. We also have cold water survival suits under our beds.
There is recycling on the ship! Plus we are also using our own water bottles instead of the glasses to save water from washing and we promised to take short showers.