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Antarctica21 unveils plans for Magellan Discoverer, a new cutting-edge ship designed exclusively for Antarctic exploration

Artist’s rendering of Magellan Discoverer
Artist’s rendering of Magellan Discoverer.

Antarctica21’s decision to build a sister ship to the successful Magellan Explorer comes as a response to the increasing demand for their unique fly and cruise Antarctic expeditions, a model of travel that the Chilean company pioneered in 2003.

PUNTA ARENAS, CHILE – Antarctica21, a leader in boutique Antarctic expeditions, announces the construction of its latest vessel, Magellan Discoverer, set to join its fleet for the 2026-27 Antarctic season. This move reflects the company’s commitment to excellence in small ship, boutique-style expeditions and marks a significant additional step in its efforts to serve the high-end segment of the Antarctic travel market.

Magellan Discoverer is not just another vessel; it’s a promise of innovative design and environmental stewardship, crafted as a sister ship to the esteemed Magellan Explorer. While mirroring its sibling in elegance and style, Magellan Discoverer charts its own course with remarkable enhancements.

Like Magellan Explorer, Magellan Discoverer meets the stringent PC6 ice class specifications and flaunts a similar boutique, yacht-like aesthetic. It is custom-built for Antarctic fly-and-sail operations, which allows guests to fly to Antarctica, skipping over the notoriously rough seas of the Drake Passage, to join their ship directly at the White Continent. For Antarctic air-cruises, Magellan Discoverer will welcome up to 76 guests in 40 cabins across three passenger decks. Like Magellan Explorer, Magellan Discoverer complies with the stringent Tier III emission standard and champions environmental responsibility with its hybrid diesel-electric propulsion and heat recovery systems. The vessel features a spacious dining area, versatile meeting rooms, a stylish observation lounge and bar, a well-equipped gym, and an inviting gift shop. The accessible bow draws guests closer to the awe-inspiring waters they sail.

Jaime Vásquez, President of Antarctica21, emphasizes, “This ship is born out of our unwavering commitment to meeting the rising expectations of our guests. Equipped with the latest technology, Magellan Discoverer strengthens our dedication to sustainability while offering seamless comfort for our travelers. With its modern elegance and advanced technical features, it supports our ongoing effort to provide unparalleled experiences in the spectacular Antarctic region.”

Shipboard accommodations are designed to encapsulate the essence of adventure and comfort on an Antarctic expedition. The ship features twelve Suites, including two Family Suites for four guests each and two Triple Deluxe Veranda Suites, twenty-two Deluxe Veranda Cabins, and six Single Deluxe Veranda Cabins. Every cabin on board Magellan Discoverer offers a choice of a king-size bed or two twin beds, comfortable sitting areas, and private balconies, ensuring personal vistas of the Antarctic expanse. The ship introduces a wet science lab to support Antarctic research programs and a wraparound walking deck, providing 360-degree views of the breathtaking Antarctic landscapes. For those seeking relaxation and reflection after a day of exploration, a sauna with wide panoramic windows offers a serene refuge. The convenience of an elevator serving five decks adds to the comfort.

Claudio Bobadilla, Fleet Director at Antarctica21, shares his enthusiasm for the new project: “Leveraging our experience with Magellan Explorer and our fruitful collaboration with the shipbuilder ASENAV, I am thrilled to embark on the Magellan Discoverer project. We are committed to innovating and setting new standards in expedition cruising. Several design enhancements have been developed, reflecting our learnings from building Magellan Explorer together. Our goal is to exceed the high standards expected by our guests. Magellan Discoverer will set a new standard of excellence in the Antarctic tourism industry, and be a point of pride for our team.”

Magellan Discoverer sails ahead with its cutting-edge hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system and active stabilizers, boasting two powerful MAN main engines, ABB’s innovative Azipod propulsion units and Energy Storage System with Battery Bank from Corvus. This advanced setup promises a smoother, quieter journey through the icy wonders.

The announcement of the new Magellan Discoverer follows the recent opening of the company’s Explorers House private lounge, the only Antarctic pre-departure lounge in the industry and an Antarctica21 exclusive. Located in the historic center of Punta Arenas, it offers a restaurant, bar, coffee station, library, and presentation space where guests can relax and meet fellow travelers as well as attend pre-departure briefings.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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