A completely unique experience for one night to include during any trip to the Arctic; whether before or after a luxury cruise or on an adventurous trip around the island, it has something for everyone to enjoy.
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Although starting life as a cruise ship in the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, the Hebridean Sky is now one of the leading small ships operating in Antarctic waters.
With 59 suites for 118 guests, plus room for 70 crew, it underwent a ten-million-dollar refurbishment in 2016, becoming one of the safest and most comfortable ships in her class. All suites and public spaces were redecorated, as well as new state-of-the-art stabilisation, an ice-strengthened hull, improved fuel efficiency, and upgraded communications systems.
The atmosphere on board the Hebridean Sky is more akin to a country hotel than some of the much larger cruise ships which share its waters. You will not find organised entertainment, an endless buffet or constant people management here; instead, the operator behind the ship stresses a peaceful, high-quality service where attention to detail is key.
The daily schedule on board depends on the day and the itinerary which you have chosen, but the programme is in the experienced hands of the expedition leader, who coordinates with the other staff to make the most of each day. Educational lectures and briefings are provided throughout the voyage, and a daily programme is distributed each evening outlining the next day’s activities.
The 59 suites include a variety of different types, but since the refit, they are all outward facing, relatively spacious in that they are all at least 21 square meters in size, and all feature a sitting area. The cabins are arranged over five decks, with the 14 on the top Scott and Shackleton decks featuring private balconies.
The very top-end cabin is the Hebridean Suite on the Shackleton Deck, which features a separate bathroom and sitting area, an extra-large balcony which stretches the length of the suite and even a complimentary mini-bar and laundry.
The design of the suites harks back to a time gone by and the golden age of exploration with wood panelling and brass features, soft colours and muted tones that invite a sense of relaxation and calm. Also within the rooms are a flat-screen TV, a telephone, independent temperature controls, a marble appointment bathroom and a minibar.
The communal areas of the deck include a lounge, a bar, a panoramic top deck observation platform, a library with computers, a movie library, a small gym and a spacious exterior deck running around the whole ship.
Facilities on the boat include a small gym, libraries, an observation deck, a lounge, a bar and an extensive exterior deck.
As this is a small ship, dining is possible in one sitting, and guests can choose their own seating arrangements to enjoy high-quality cuisine. Breakfast is normally a buffet, and lunch and dinner are an a la carte 5-course meal.
The operator behind the Hebridean Sky’s voyages in the Antarctic understands just how important it is to support the organisations that protect Antarctica. Each year they support several charities, this includes a charity working to protect whales and dolphins in Antarctic waters to an organisation working to preserve the historical heritage of South Georgia. They do this in a number of ways, from running auctions on board to their sponsorship of an annual local music festival.