Albatros Expeditions Moves to Year-Round Operations
Published in: Cruise News
Albatros Expeditions has gone from tour operator status in the 1980s to having a full year-round cruise program in 2019 with the Ocean Atlantic.
Having started with seasonal sailings in Greenland, the company will have a full summer program in the Arctic next year, and up Antarctica capacity 40 percent this coming season, 2018-2019, having come off a successful first year operation in 2017-2018, according to Gorm Pedersen, managing director.
“We are building our team with strong resources and finding our position in the market. It’s an exciting time, the industry is in growth mode,” he said, in an interview in the 2018 Expedition Market Report by Cruise Industry News.
Having first launched into service in 1985, the Ocean Atlantic is fresh off a refit and was rebuilt extensively in 2010.
The ship offers five cabin categories, a number of lecture areas and a restaurant serving a four-star food and beverage product, according to Pedersen.
He said that guests rated the food and beverage at 98 percent over the course of the recent Antarctica season.
“We offer a sense of coziness with a strong food and beverage concept,” Pedersen said. “We have strong lecturers with worldwide knowledge, that is what we do.”
The vessel carries 20 zodiacs, giving it plenty of supply to land passengers or run zodiac cruises.
Having planned the company’s first Antarctica season for years, Pedersen said passenger demographics saw 60 percent of the guests come from Asian markets.
Next year, the Ocean Atlantic will venture into Ireland and Scotland early in the summer season.
Looking ahead, Pedersen said he expected to announce the company’s 2020 program by June. In April, Albatros had its expedition leaders gather for a meeting to reflect on the inaugural Antarctica season and also plan for the future.
Opening deployment nearly two years ahead of time, the company is responding to demand from North America, which Pedersen said is six months ahead of other markets.
He’s not worried about the projected growth in polar cruising.
“Travel is moving fast globally. We see new segments popping up,” he said, adding that while some markets are stable in outbound travel to Antarctica, like North America, there is growth coming from India, Japan and China.
“To build up a brand and vessel in the market it takes years, and is not something you can do in 18 months. I’m not worried.”
Excerpt from the 2018 Expedition Market Report.
About the Expedition Market Report:
The 2018 Cruise Industry News Expedition Market Report presents a complete 127-page overview of the entire expedition market, including capacity projections through 2027, and profiles of 30+ major players, with exclusive interviews and insight, along with trends, original data, operational coverage and much more. Original reporting, analysis and research.