ASENAV launches Antarctica21 newbuild Magellan Explorer

Magellan Explorer emerges from the covered building dock at ASENAV shipyard PHOTO: Antarctica21 Magellan Explorer emerges from the covered building dock at ASENAV shipyard PHOTO: Antarctica21

ASENAV shipyard in Valdivia, Chile, on Thursday launched Magellan Explorer, a 100-passenger expedition cruise ship for Antarctica21.

Fly-cruise programs

Antarctica21 operates fly-cruise programs to the White Continent, with passengers transferring by small private plane to King George Island to join their ship, avoiding the often stormy Drake Passage.

Following its completion, Magellan Explorer is scheduled to depart from Puntarenas to Antarctica on Nov. 28.

Ship of firsts

‘The Magellan Explorer is the first ship in the world built specifically for the operation of Antarctic fly-cruises. It is also the first ship with a maximum capacity of 100 passengers for expeditions to Antarctica built in the last 16 years. We want to thank the entire ASENAV team for the great work they have done in the construction so far,’ Antarctica21 chairman Jaime Vásquez said.

Magellan Explorer stretches 90.7 meters, with stylish interiors and capacity for 60 crew.

The 4,900gt ship is being built to PC-6 ice class and is specially designed for long periods in Antarctica with features like high-capacity fuel tanks, comfortable crew cabins, extensive provisions space and a well-equipped maintenance workshop.

Tier III engines

To reduce its carbon footprint, Magellan Explorer is equipped with two highly efficient engines (providing 3,440 KW total power) and emission control systems that meet the highest environmental standards, MARPOL Tier III. In addition, a waste heat recovery system captures the head produced by the engines to use for heating rooms and water on board.

With the new ship, Antarctica21 aims to consolidate its offer for well-heeled travelers interested in exclusive expeditions providing the highest quality standards, said Francesco Contini, EVP sales and marketing. He added this type of boutique travel also promotes sustainable tourism to Antarctica.

MInke Shipping Co. the principal behind this newbuild project, is providing financing for Magellan Explorer along with Banco Internacional.

Antarctica21 also operates programs aboard the small expedition ships Ocean Nova and Hebridean Sky.

Posted 1 March 2019

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Anne Kalosh

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Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor, Seatrade Cruise Review Anne Kalosh covers global stories, reporting both breaking and in-depth news on cruising's significant people, places, ships and trends. A sought-after expert on cruising, she has moderated conferences around the world, including the high-profile State of the Industry panel at Seatrade Cruise Global. She created and led the acclaimed itinerary-planning case study for Seatrade's cruise master classes held at Cambridge and Oxford universities. She is the cruise columnist for, and her freelance stories have appeared in a wide range of publications, from The New York Times to The Miami Herald.

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