The SEA SPIRIT was formerly Cruise West's SPIRIT OF OCEANUS, shown here at Canada Place in Vancouver, B.C. Photo by Peter Knego c.2003.
The renamed SEA SPIRIT, which until September had been sailing for the now defunct Cruise West as the SPIRIT OF OCEANUS (ex. RENAISSANCE V, HANSEATIC RENAISSANCE, SUN VIVA, MEGASTAR SAGITTARIUS) has been chartered to Toronto-based Quark Expeditions for cruises in Antarctica from December until March 6, 2011. The ship abruptly terminated a 335-day World Cruise at St. John’s, Newfoundland when Cruise West ceased operations. The Columbia Bank of Washington State forced the sale of the ship to the Danish group TN Cruise K/S, with International Shipping Partners of Miami handling the management aspects. The ship sailed to the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas where upgrades have been carried out to give the 4,200 gross ton, 120-passenger vessel an ice certification. Hull strengthening, technical upgrades and interior refurbishments are nearly complete to ready the ship for it’s new expedition service in polar regions. The hull has also been repainted from white to blue. Quark Expeditions operates a chartered fleet of eight unique expedition vessels, but the SEA SPIRIT will be the most luxurious of them. The first voyage will depart December 22, 2010 from Ushuaia, Argentina to South Georgia Island and the Antarctic Peninsula.
For more information see the related post on Cruise West.
Shawn J. Dake, freelance travel writer and regular contributor to MaritimeMatters, worked in tourism and cruise industry for over 35 years. A native of Southern California, his first job was as a tour guide aboard the Queen Mary. A frequent lecturer on ship-related topics he has appeared on TV programs. Owner of Oceans Away Cruises & Travel agency, he served as President of the local Chapter of Steamship Historical Society of America. With a love of the sea, he is a veteran of 115 cruises.
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