Polar Latitudes will add a new vessel come the 2021-2022 Antarctica season, chartering the Bremen (to be renamed Seascape) from Scylla, according to John McKeon, president.
“The ship became available to us and we talked to the owners. Then we went down and saw it in Ushuaia and we really liked it,” McKeon told Cruise Industry News. “I like the fact it’s got a much upgraded ice-class and we like the larger physical size of the ship.”
With 155 berths on the Bremen, Polar Latitudes isn’t planning to run the ship at full capacity, and will use the bigger footprint to build a science lab and add more adventure equipment.
The deal with Scylla is a five-year seasonal charter with additional options, McKeon said, noting the ship represented a really good opportunity.
The company currently operates the Hebridean Sky and Island Sky in Antarctica, also on seasonal charter agreements.
Whether they extend those charter deals will depend on the performance of the 2019-2020 season, with McKeon noting significant capacity growth coming in Antarctica.
“The number of new ships coming into the market has everyone a bit spooked.”
The Vermont-based operator plans to have its 2021-2022 season in the market this summer, and with slightly more berths on the Bremen, should be able to offer competitive retail rates.
“We are totally enamored with this thing,” McKeon continued. “We think it will deliver a traditional Antarctic experience.
“We are convinced there is still a huge market for a relatively small ship. It is slightly larger than our Sky ships, but still relatively small passenger-wise and there is great future for that.”