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Kapitan Khlebnikov – Antarctic and Arctic Expeditions

The Kapitan Khlebnikov is a polar class icebreaker which is used as a cruise liner that offers excursions to the poles. The vessel is owned and operated by the Quark Expeditions. Kapitan Khlebnikov is chartered for scientific missions, oil mining and other resource industries and adventure cruises to the Arctic and Antarctic regions. The icebreaker is a perfect combination of raw power, technology and comfort, and was originally intended to traverse the Siberian regions, and is suitably well built.

Manned by a team of crew extremely experienced and having a wide knowledge of the poles, The Khlebnikov also has an expedition staff which comprises of an expedition leader, several naturalists and lecturers who specialize in this area.

The Kapitan Khlebnikov is maneuvered from both the main bridge as well as a separate  auxiliary bridge which is at the rear of the ship. Thus the Kapitan can be used to break  ice at both directions; forwards as well as backwards.

Kapitan Khlebnikov cruise ship

The Kapitan Khlebnikov, while traveling at a speed of 1.8 k m per hour ( 1 knot ), can break through a slab of ice that is about 1.5 m thick easily.  By ramming repeatedly, it is possible for here to break through ice which is 3 m thick.   The 45 cm thick hull is 45cm thick enables her to go through ice quickly where it meets the ice. Air bubbling system is enabled and this helps in ice breaking. In this system, air which is under high pressure is driven under a layer of ice and facilitates easy breaking. The ship is 122. 50 m long and 26. 50 m at the beam and 8. 50 m at the draught.

The Khlebnikov makes expeditions to both the Antarctic and Arctic regions. A cruise on Kapitan Khlebnikov, is an experience like no other, passengers can watch the Kapitan, as she breaks through ice step by step, while standing on the bow of the ship. Excellent and unrestricted views are to be had from the good sized decks, that are open and the navigation bridge, which stands at more than ten storeys. Passengers can roam freely anywhere on the ship, even the bow and stern, and this is a truly rare experience, and is extremely unique in the way passengers can appreciate the working of such a magnificent ship, and not be restricted. There are helicopters on board which is mainly used for passenger excursions, and there is also a fleet which consists of Zodiac landing crafts for cruising and landing at beaches.

The Kapitan Khlebnikov was constructed in 1981 and is among the five ships which are part of the Kapitan Sorokin class of icebreakers. She underwent extensive refurbishments in 1990 to convert it into a cruise ship, along with comforts. The Khlebnikov was the first ship which took passengers on a trip around Antarctica in the year of 1996 – 97. She also reached the Bay of Whales in the Antarctic Ocean, which was a record set by Roald Amundsen, the legendary explorer, in 1911.

On  board . . .

The Kapitan Khlebnikhov has a good provision for comfort, and has a range of facilities which allow for ultimate excitement with no hassles. There are two dining rooms on board, as well as a bar and a lounge. There is an indoor swimming pool with adequate heating, a fitness room, steam and sauna, an auditorium which is built in theater style, a small library with books with information on the poles and shopping facilities.

Dining rooms

Accommodation facilities on board include a total of 54 cabins and suites altogether. These are inclusive of several types of options for accommodation, twin cabins, triple cabins ( which are identical to the twin cabins except for an additional pull down bed ), suites and corner suites. There is also a fleet of Zodiac landing craft, which shuttles passengers from ship to land, and is also used for cruising land. There are also several helicopters onboard which facilitates flights to the interior of the continent.

Kapitan khlebnikov cabins

The Kapitan can travel at a maximum speed of 19 knots, and 14 knots in open water. It can accommodate upto 108 guests, and 70 crew members, which includes staff members and naturalists.

Image Source: Quark Expeditions

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