Polar Pioneer was commissioned in Finland in 1985 as an ice-strengthened research ship. She was designed for polar travel, particularly in Arctic regions and now plies the waters of Antarctica, Greenland, Spitsbergen, Norway and Iceland. In 2001 she was refurbished to provide comfortable accommodation for 56 passengers. Her excellent reputation for polar expedition cruising is due to her strength, manoeuvrability and size. The spacious bridge is always open to us and decks are ideal for viewing the dramatic polar landscapes and wildlife. Polar Pioneer is not a luxury vessel. The accommodation is simple, yet comfortable, and all cabins have outside portholes and ample storage space. Meals are wholesome and uncomplicated and prepared by Western chefs; while Russian stewardesses attend the dining room. A small fleet of inflatable Zodiacs enable easy travel from ship to shore.