Antarctica21 has a fresh new brand identity and later this year will take delivery of its first ship in the Magellan Explorer, which joins the Ocean Nova and Hebridean Sky, which are operated on charter agreements.
The 4,900-ton ship will be delivered at the end of September after scheduled sea trials, according to the 2019 Expedition Market Report by Cruise Industry News.
While the ship has been built for 100 guests, it will be sailing with 73 passengers for the season, the exact number of seats the company has on its plane that flies to King George Island. The local operation has an edge in the market, as the only player operating a full season of fly cruises, cutting days off sailing time with no Drake Passage transits, said Jaime Vásquez Sapunar, president and chairman.
The ship has been built for that in mind too, with a 60-day operational capacity, meaning huge amounts of cold storage space and 60-plus days of tank space for fuel. Technical management will be provided by V.Ships Leisure.
Last August, the company launched a new brand, morphing from Antarctica XXI to Antarctica21 with a new logo and color scheme to go with an eye-catching livery adorned on the hull of the new Magellan Explorer.
The sales effort for the Magellan Explorer started in April 2018, according to Francesco Contini, executive vice president, sales and marketing.
“My department went from seven to 18 people,” he said, noting the additions came aboard in the second quarter of 2018. “We’ve got market managers in different parts of the world dedicated to their regions.”
Sapunar said that with his fly-cruise business model he wasn’t particularly worried about capacity growth.
“We expected there would be some competition,” he said. “Our offer is differentiated. We are the only brand doing (a full season of) fly cruises. We represent a small percentage of the overall market. We have a clear position and it’s not a crowded place.”
The company announced 2020-2021 deployment in early April 2019, with a slight increase in capacity with the Magellan Explorer now in service for more cruises in November.
“We made a strategic decision to consolidate the growth for the 2020-2021 season and are looking at the future to see what we will do down the road,” Sapunar added.
About the Expedition Market Report:
The 2019 Expedition Market Report by Cruise Industry News is a comprehensive overview of the booming expedition market, profiling 39 operators, over 40 new ships and projecting capacity growth through 2027. The 196-page PDF is a deep dive into all aspects of the expedition cruise market.