Heritage Expeditions brings ex-Hanseatic back to polar stage | Polarjournal
Under the new name Heritage Adventurer and with a new coat of paint, the ship with the sleek shape will once again be sailing in the Arctic and Antarctic. The unique expedition character of Heritage Expeditions and the stylish-familiar ambience of the ship are to complement each other. Photo: Heritage Expeditions

In the course of the development of polar tourism, several ships made their mark on this branch of tourism. In the German-speaking countries, it was especially the former Hanseatic that had shaped cruise tourism in the north and south with its services, but also with its ambience. After being out of the picture for a while, this “Grande Dame” of expedition tourism is back on the scene and ready to take young and old alike back to the realms of penguins and polar bears. There’s life in the old dog yet.

Pioneering New Zealand-based expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions is proud to announce it will be operating the world-renowned Polar exploration vessel formerly known as MS Hanseatic and Society Adventurer from May 2022.

Rechristened Heritage Adventurer, Heritage Expeditions Directors Aaron and Nathan Russ said the synergy between the pioneering expedition ship and industry-leading expedition cruise company allow it to forge new ground while taking the experiential exploration Heritage Expeditions is renowned for to stylish new levels. “Heritage Adventurer, with its legendary history of Polar exploration firsts and superior ice capabilities, will take centre stage as our new flagship effortlessly adding new levels of comfort and sophistication to the authentic, intimate small group expeditions Heritage Expeditions was founded on,” said Aaron Russ.

The vessel’s rechristening to Heritage Adventurer marries the history of the vessel with the legacy of HMS Adventure’s explorations alongside the HMS Resolution during Captain Cook’s second expedition of the Pacific, said Nathan, adding works to get the vessel “Heritage ready” were about to commence. “Over the coming months we will be working closely with the owners to co-ordinate a complete overhaul and refurbishment in preparation of Heritage Adventurer joining our fleet,” said Nathan. Heritage Adventurer will commence operations in the Russian Far East, including Wrangel Island in May 2022, before venturing southwards through the South Pacific to New Zealand, the Subantarctic Islands and down into the heart of Antarctica, the Ross Sea.

Built in 1991 at Finland’s Rauma shipyard and specifically designed for Polar exploration, Heritage Adventurer is 124-metres long, boasts a 1A Super ice class and an impressive history of Polar and remote region exploration. The ship was a pioneer in many regions and on many voyages. Originally designed to accommodate 184 guests, Heritage Expeditions intends to operate Heritage Adventurer with a maximum of just 140 expeditioners to create a spacious, comfortable on board experience and continuation of the exceptional, personalised expedition experience synonymous with the company. While a fleet of 14 Zodiacs ensures all guests are able to maximise their expedition experience.

The New Zealand company Heritage Expeditions offers trips off the beaten track, away from the Antarctic Peninsula or Svalbard/Greenland. From the Arctic Ocean beyond the Bering Strait deep into the Antarctic Ross Sea, the company brings its guests closer to polar nature than almost anyone else. Picture: Michael Wenger

Who is Heritage Expeditions?

Every year Heritage Expeditions voyages with small groups of between 18 and 140 intrepid travellers to some of the most unique and remote islands, coasts and shorelines on earth aboard their expedition ships Heritage Adventurer, Spirit of Enderby, Akademik Shokalskiy and Heritage Explorer on voyages ranging from 5 – 31 days. Founded in 1985 by the Russ family in Christchurch, New Zealand, Heritage Expeditions is still proudly family-owned and operated. Contributing to conservation through experiential learning and providing funds for research and management, they are pioneers in environmentally-responsible expedition travel offering intimate group excursions to Antarctica and the Subantarctic Islands, through the Pacific, and around the Russian Far East and Wrangel Island on their purpose built expedition ships.

Each expedition is meticulously planned and led by a team of botanists, ornithologists, naturalists and experts in their field, ensuring guests maximise every opportunity to learn, discover and experience as much as possible, while minimising the impact of their visit and returning as ambassadors for these very special places.

Heritage Expeditions / PolarJournal

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