What It’s Like to Travel Aboard Ocean Nova

Explore Antarctica on board Ocean Nova according to our Expedition Team

Thursday, August 24, 2023

When you set sail on a small ship expedition cruise with us aboard Ocean Nova, you’re safely in the hands of world-class expedition guides. Our team of distinguished professionals hail from all over the globe — from Australia to Russia — and each offers special expertise in the natural world. Their deep knowledge of Antarctica, its ecosystem, and wild landscape makes the Antarctica21 expedition experience unlike any other.

Recently, we asked members of our expedition team why they love working with Antarctica21 and traveling aboard Ocean Nova, a vessel designed for adventure and to cruise the ice-choked seas for no more than 72 guest at a time. From the ship’s 200-degree view lounge, guests and the expedition team are treated to a relaxed and tranquil place for wildlife and iceberg viewing. Ocean Nova also has a large expeditionary staff of 12, meaning it has one of the highest passenger-to-staff ratios of any Antarctic ship.

From its family feel to its cozy spaces, keep reading to learn why the members of our expedition team love traveling and being an Expedition Guide aboard Ocean Nova!

Daria Jansson – Guide & Naturalist

“The staff and the expedition team on Ocean Nova are like a big family. You will feel very welcome on this ship, like in a friend’s family house. If you are traveling alone or just want to be social, our expedition team is always around the ship. After a day of exploring Antarctica by walking on land, zodiac cruising, or sea kayaking, you can join our expedition staff for dinner in the restaurant, hang out in our panoramic lounge with a couple of drinks or even watch the birds and enjoy the scenery from the outside decks.”

André L. Belem – Naturalist and Oceanographer

“I had the wonderful opportunity to be part of the first group aboard Ocean Nova when Antarctica21 started operating with her, and what I feel is simply that she is my “home”. I have a very special affection for this ship, and I am happy to be sailing with her once again in the upcoming season. Because Antarctica has a unique geography, with narrow passages, bays interspersed with glaciers and fjords, still untouched and pristine. And the Ocean Nova seems to be part of this landscape. It is a small ship, very cozy, extremely agile, and perfect for sailing to the most hidden places.”

Ana Carla Martínez – Cruise Manager

“Ocean Nova is very cozy. As soon as you settle in, you feel at home, interacting with the crew and the expedition staff like you are a real family for the journey. Part of the experience onboard is the human relationships you will find and build. Compared with other vessels, Ocean Nova has the fastest way to operate the Zodiacs. This means we are able to move faster from one place to another, allowing us to cover a range of daily expeditions safely and easily. One of my favorite memories aboard Ocean Nova was enjoying an outdoor barbecue while watching whales show their tails all around us.”

Pablo Zenteno – Lecturer & Glaciologist

“It is a fantastic experience to feel Ocean Nova crashing into the ice and progressing to southern latitudes. The best experience I’ve ever had aboard Ocean Nova was in the Gerlache Strait, surrounded by a pack of orcas training their calves to hunt. I was with the great Mike Hann, an amazing Expedition Leader, on a Zodiac. After we witnessed the orcas fairly close by, we went to Wilhelmina Bay to park the Ocean Nova on the fast ice and had an unforgettable moment in the Kingdom of Ice!”

Nigel Milius – Lecturer, Naturalist & Historian

Ships with a hundred guests or less mean that we can land everyone at the same time. With a capacity of up to 71 and plenty of scope to offer a variety of activities at most landing sites, the experience we can offer on Ocean Nova is as near as you’ll get on expedition cruising to being able to appreciate the solitude of Antarctica. With such a small, intimate team, including our guests, it feels like family. In 23 years of working on expedition ships in Antarctica, it’s the only ship where I feel this connection. It’s truly unique.”

Sergei Sakharov – Head of Expedition Logistics

Ocean Nova is a strong vessel that can go far in almost any ice condition. I’ve worked aboard Ocean Nova for quite some time, and for this reason, this ship has a special place in my heart.”

Learn more about Ocean Nova and how you can set sail with us! 

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