Built as Renaissance V in 1991 and sailing as the Spirit of Oceanus for nearly a decade, the 114-passenger Sea Spirit was upgraded in late 2010 to include ice strengthening and other technical improvements for polar environments.
Poseidon Expeditions president Nikolay Saveliev said that offering Antarctic expedition cruises was the next logical step for the company, founded in 1991 and a leader in icebreaker cruises to the North Pole.
'With the acquisition of Sea Spirit for Arctic and Antarctic cruises starting in 2015, we will be taking a larger role in the polar cruise marketplace,' he said.
As earlier reported, Poseidon Expeditions is chartering Sea Spirit starting in May 2015.
'We believe in the Antarctic Treaty mandate that the entire continent is a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science. Tourism has an important role in promoting this concept, and our goal is to create ambassadors worldwide that help foster the conservation principles necessary to preserve Antarctica for future generations,' Saveliev added.
The season kicks off with a pair of longer voyages that include the Falkland and South Georgia Islands, followed by a series of 12-day programs to the Antarctic Peninsula. While most voyages will use Ushuaia, Argentina, as the turnaround port, the first and last cruise of the season will begin and end in Buenos Aires.
Per person rates start at $8,885 for 'Classic Antarctic' voyages, with special rates for the Dec. 8 program starting at $7,990. The longer expedition cruises that include the Falklands and South Georgia Islands are priced from $11,195, depending on the departure date.
The full schedule is here.
Poseidon Expeditions has offices in the US, UK, Germany, Russia, China and Japan.