m/v Plancius

Our Ship - What you need to know about the Plancius

Our vessel for the duration of the photography tour is the mighty Plancius. The ship was built in 1976 and was originally designed to be an ocean research vessel for the Dutch navy. Until the summer of 2014 it did exactly that, before it was sold into the world of tourism and photography expeditions. In many ways the ship had to be completely refurbished and renovated. It now boasts a capacity of 116 and complies with all of the latest seafaring regulations.


Passengers: 116 in 53 cabins
Staff & crew: 47
Length: 89 meters (293 feet)
Breadth: 14,5 meters (47 feet)
Draft: 5 meters (16 feet)
Ice class: 1D (Plancius has a Lloyds class notation 100A1 Passenger ship, Ice Class 1D at a draught of 5 meters)
Displacement: 3211 tonnes
Propulsion: 3x Diesel-Electric
Speed: 10 - 12 knots maximum
For a closer look at the ship you can download the following documents.
Plancius, ship details (.pdf)  Plancius, deck plan (.pdf)

Life on board the Plancius


Our ship has a total capacity of 116 passengers, spread out over 53 separate cabins.

There are four types of cabin to choose from. All benefit from private toilets and shower facilities. In all there are:

-4 quadruple cabins
-2 triple cabins
-9 standard twin cabins
-26 twin cabins with a window
-2 deluxe twin cabins
-10 superior twin cabins

Sailing on a vessel with character

On board the Plancius passengers can spend time in our cosy restaurant, gaze out to sea from our generously proportioned observation lounge and bar, or walk out in the open air on deck four. The ship is perfect for taking in the spectacular scenery we are likely to witness all around.

Aside from plenty of room to stretch your legs on board, the Plancius also boasts ten Mark V Zodiacs equipped with outboard engines. These, added to the ship’s two gangways for launching, mean that passengers can enjoy a swift Zodiac operation when it comes to exploring dry land or weaving among the ice. Most of our tours try to fit in as much time on land as possible, and our smooth Zodiac operation ensures that is never a problem.

The crew

You can rest assured that you’re in the finest of hands while on sailing with the Plancius. Our team is made up of international crew of 37, including 18 nautical, 19 hospitality, and 8 expedition staff. There will also be a doctor on board the ship.

Age and Nationality

Our passengers are traditionally from all around the world and between 30 and 80 years of age, with the bulk lying somewhere in the middle of those two numbers. One thing they do all have in common though, is a desire to explore, to see places not many people have seen and appreciate unspoilt natural sights. With this fundamental trait in common, it’s no surprise that we all get along and a great camaraderie usually develops on board. The sense of togetherness is a big part of what makes our expeditions so special.

What to wear

Our expeditions have a causal, informal atmosphere, and are about being comfortable and enjoying what will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. To that end, we want our passengers to dress casually but practically. The weather is likely to be changeable, and the deck is certainly going to be slippery. We ask that along with all of your normal outdoor gear you bring along some sturdy, waterproof shoes that won’t slip. Plenty of options in terms of layers is your best bet, so you can easily switch between the warmth of the ship and the crispness of the open air.

Currency & Payment

Any refreshments you order at the bar or souvenirs you buy during the trip will be charged to your room. Before departure we ask that you settle your outstanding bill with the Hotel Manager, paying by credit card or cash (Euro or Dollar). Unfortunately we cannot accept cheques. Our prices on board are in Euros, so it would be wise to bring some along with you.

Electric current

Keen photographers will be happy to know that we have electricity on board! Our supply is 220v and 60Hz, and the plugs you will find are fitted with standard European pins. For some electronic equipment you may need a 220v/110v converter.


Tipping is a very personal matter, and you may feel that you wish to reward the crew that has made every effort possible to improve your stay on board. It’s customary that passengers make a blanket contribution that is then divided up among the crew. If possible, it is best for the crew to receive tips in US dollars.

Non-smoking policy

We have a strict no-smoking policy on board our vessel. There are designated smoking areas on certain decks, and we ask that you use them and not your rooms in any circumstances. Following these guidelines will ensure a safe and pleasant journey for everyone on the ship.
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