The Polar Pioneer was built in Finland in 1985 as an ice-strengthened research ship, and for many years she plied the treacherous waters of the USSR's northern coast. In 2000 she was refurbished in St Petersburg to provide comfortable accommodation for 56 passengers.

There is a combined bar/lounge/library area.

The bridge is always open to us and the decks are ideal for viewing. The chefs are Australian, and the dining room is attended by Russian stewardesses.

The Polar Pioneer is not a luxury vessel as such. The accommodations are simple yet comfortable, and the meals are wholesome and uncomplicated. A small fleet of inflatable Zodiacs with outboard motors enable you to travel from ship to shore.