Plancius small ship cruising around Antarctica on a sunny day
plancius polar expedition ship lounge with couches and tables filling the room and windows on the end
Circular & square light wood tables on expedition ship Plancius, set for a meal with dark blue & orange padded chairs & green padded booths.
Plancius Antarctica small ship cabin with a large bed in front of a window
Plancius Antarctica small ship cabin with a large bed in front of two windows
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108 guests
year built
crew members
47 crew members
293 feet
47 feet
16 feet
cruising speed
10.5 knots
ice class

The Plancius is a 108-passenger small ship designed and built exclusively for polar cruises. A wide variety of cabins and ample space on five decks make the Plancius a great option for expedition cruises. With a strong focus on off-ship activities, the Plancius is an excellent jumping-off point for exploration of the polar regions.

Plancius Review

AdventureSmith Explorations’ Plancius review includes a detailed description of the small ship including deck plans and a photo gallery. Our experts have been aboard nearly every small expedition ship in the polar regions. Please read our review below then contact our polar cruise experts to compare the Plancius with other Antarctica ships and small cruise ships sailing Antarctica cruises and Arctic cruises including cruises to Greenland.

Choose the Plancius for an activity-focused vessel while traveling in a comfortable and nicely decorated small ship that is spacious while imparting character, style and modern technology. The Plancius is a sleek ship made for explorers, much like her sister ship Ortelius. She makes for an excellent base camp for active-, adventure- and wildlife-minded modern explorers. Her polar cruises are primarily defined by an exploratory educational travel program, spending as much time ashore as possible hiking, kayaking, overnight field camping and even scuba diving.

The Plancius is ice-strengthened and was specially built for oceanographic voyages. The 3 diesel engines generate 1.230 horse-power each, giving the vessel a speed of 10-12 knots. She has also been upgraded for comfort and cruising as the Plancius’s diesel-electric propulsion system reduces the noise and vibration of the engines considerably. In 2019, the ship’s superior cabins were fully upgraded, the corridors of deck 5 were given new carpeting and there were also renovations made to the ship’s restaurant area.

Plancius History

M/V Plancius was built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy and was named “Hr. Ms. Tydeman.” The ship sailed for the Dutch Navy until June 2004 and was eventually purchased by Oceanwide Expeditions. The vessel was completely rebuilt as a passenger vessel in 2009 and complies with the latest SOLAS regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea). M/V Plancius is classed by Lloyd’s Register in London and flies the Dutch flag.

Common Areas Aboard Plancius

Plancius offers a restaurant/lecture room on Deck 3. The spacious observation lounge and bar on Deck 5 boasts full panoramic views, a coffee and tea station with espresso machine and TVs. In the library, just off the lounge, computers for photo downloading and reference books in multiple languages are available. The Plancius has large open deck spaces with full walk-around viewing areas on Deck 4, offering excellent opportunities to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. An infirmary is available if needed.

Dining Aboard Plancius

All meals are served in the dining room. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style while dinners are plated 3-course meals. Options for dinner include meat, fish or vegetarian dishes. Coffee, tea and water are included however alcohol and drinks are at additional cost.

Crew & Guides Aboard Plancius

Plancius is staffed by 17 nautical crew, 19 hotel staff (6 chefs, 1 hotel manager, 1 steward-barman and 11 stewards/cabin cleaners), 7-8 expedition staff (1 expedition leader and 7 guides-lecturers) and 1 doctor. An international team of polar experts and field guides are assembled to share their enthusiasm and in-depth knowledge through lectures, briefings and field excursions. The science-minded professionals aboard cover major topics like marine biology, geography, geology, glaciology, ornithology and history. When it comes to excursions, the staff have all been trained and qualified in their respective activity. These scientists, lecturers and expedition guides work hard not just for safety but also to highlight examples of the unique elements of these intriguing polar regions.

Activities Aboard Plancius

As an activity-focused ship, the Plancius offers quality equipment and supplies to create safe, fun and comfortable exploration experiences. Snowshoes for shoreline hikes are available to explore the landscape via foot. Five single and five double kayaks are aboard the Plancius for off-ship on-the-water excursions, as are Neoprene wetsuits, splash shirts and covers, booties, caps and life jackets. Plancius is furthermore equipped with 10 Mark V Zodiacs, including 40 HP 4-stroke outboard engines and 2 gangways on the starboard side of the ship, guaranteeing a swift Zodiac operation. Select voyages have opportunities for photography workshops on board and on land, polar diving, camping and mountaineering excursions. All off-ship activities except shoreline hikes and walks require signing-up during the booking process.

Cabins & Deck Plan Aboard Plancius

M/V Plancius accommodates 108 passengers in 50 passenger cabins, each with private toilet and shower, in 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 9 twin porthole cabins, 26 twin window cabins, 2 twin deluxe cabins and 10 superior cabins. All cabins offer lower berths (one queen-size bed in the superior cabins and two single beds in the twin cabins), except for the 4 quadruple porthole cabins (for 4 persons in 2 upper and 2 lower beds).

Common amenities include desk and chair, telephone and internet connection, a flatscreen TV and a hairdryer in each cabin and ample storage space. The electrical supply aboard the ship is 220v, 60Hz. Electrical outlets are standard European with two thick round pins, so travelers may need a 220v/110v converter.

room with 4 beds and a porthole aboard Plancius Antarctica small ship
Quadruple Porthole

#203-206 on Deck 2: two upper & lower berths and one porthole. Approximately 161 square feet. This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or guests who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin.

cabin with 2 beds and a porthole aboard Plancius polar ship
Twin Porthole

#301-307, 390 & 311 on Deck 3: two lower berths and one porthole. Approximately 161 square feet.

Cabin with 2 beds aboard Plancius Polar small ship
Twin Window

#403-408 & 411-429 on Deck 4: two lower berths and one window. Approximately 161 square feet.

Twin Deluxe cabin with 2 windows and a table aboard Plancius polar vessel
Twin Deluxe

#401-402 on Deck 4: two lower berths and two windows. These corner cabins feel slightly more spacious than the normal twin window/porthole cabins, yet are still approximately 161 square feet.

Plancius Antarctica small ship cabin with a large bed in front of a window

#409 on Deck 4; #501-504 on Deck 5; #601-604 & 606 on Deck 6: one double bed, two windows, one sofa bed, refrigerator, coffee and tea maker. Approximately 226 square feet.

Plancius deck plan showing 50 color-coded cabins over 4 passenger decks plus social areas such as the Observation Lounge.
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