2021 marks a significant milestone as luxury travel company Abercrombie and Kent celebrates 30 years of expedition cruising. What was once an intrepid way to observe wildlife in remote destinations has since been transformed into a luxury adventure, offering an unprecedented level of comfort and access. Today A&K offers 12 voyages, including polar and cultural cruises, across six continents.
To commemorate the anniversary, A&K founder Geoffrey Kent will host a brand-new expedition through The Northeast Passage: Across the Russian Arctic. He commented on the milestone in Luxury Expedition Cruising –
‘In 1991 we set out to explore Antarctica — a place that speaks to my passion for discovery. Thirty years later, I am excited to explore a new frontier – the Russian High Arctic – alongside A&K guests and my wife Otavia. In this rarely-transited, vast wilderness, each day’s activities are determined by the captain and expedition leader based on ice, weather and sea conditions – as well as knowledge gained from years of experience. That’s the appeal of expedition cruising – the unpredictability (and thrill) of adventure.’
Award-Winning Team of Experts
The key to every unforgettable journey is A&K’s award-winning Expedition Team of accomplished explorers, from award-winning scientists to habitat conservationists, historians and recipients of the prestigious Polar Medal – some who have been with A&K since the beginning. To recognise A&K’s 30th anniversary of cruising to Antarctica and other far reaches of the world, A&K has created a series of videos celebrating these intrepid explorers, including a special 30th Anniversary celebration video.
Joining A&K’s Expedition Team are world-renowned experts poised to lead riveting lectures and guide thrilling excursions as part of this robust, hand-selected team. The Northeast Passage cruise includes featured experts Kiliii Yuyan, a prized National Geographic photographer of Siberian descent, who specializes in photographing indigenous people, and Steffen Graupner, a trained scientist and passionate explorer who has explored extensively in Russia and brings a wealth of local knowledge to his role as Expedition Leader.
On The Northeast Passage Across the Russian Arctic with Geoffrey Kent (Aug 27-Sept 21, 2021) navigate from Tromso, Norway, to Nome, Alaska, visiting remote settlements strewn across the Russian High Arctic, seldom-seen Siberian islands, isolated wildlife habitats and Arctic nature reserves along the way. Discover Soviet-era Russia with visits to Murmansk, the world’s biggest city north of the Arctic Circle, and Provideniya, a former military port. Visit Wrangel Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was recognised for its vast biodiversity – including 400 species of plants, walruses and bird life. Explore the Great Arctic state Nature Reserve in the Kara Sea, which spans over 41,000 square kilometers and is home to polar bears, Arctic fox, reindeer, beluga whales and more. Geoffrey Kent commented –
“As we celebrate 30 years of Luxury Expedition Cruising in 2021, we also celebrate these incredible people,” says Kent. “I am looking forward to exploring alongside these experts and adventurers who share their experiences and insight gained through decades of field work. They are the essence of every voyage we lead.”
By chartering the perfect small expedition ship for each itinerary, Abercrombie and Kent is able to offer a safe and immersive destination experience. Every ship offers spacious, private-yacht-like ambiance and the utmost in luxury, complete with butler service in all suites (an A&K exclusive), and an intimate 1 to 1.3 staff-to-guest ratio. A&K limits capacity to approximately 80 percent – this means no polar voyage exceeds 199 guests and no cultural journey exceeds 148 – to ensure every stateroom and suite has a private balcony. This commitment to added space is also reflected in shore excursions, with capacity limits on Zodiacs and small groups on shore to ensure physical distancing.
Onboard, Ponant has implemented strict sanitary protocols that reflect “best practices” for cleanliness and disinfection established by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In addition to constant and systematic cleaning and sanitising of all areas on board and stringent management of air circulation, lounge areas and dining rooms have been reconfigured to provide appropriate physical distancing. A doctor and nurse are available 24/7 and have access to advanced hospital equipment and isolation areas, if needed.