Magellan Discoverer is Antarctica21's new ship and will debut in the 2026- 2027 season. Credit: Antarctica21

Antarctica 21 set to change expedition cruises with new Magellan Discoverer

Author: Sarah Riches

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Construction has begun on a new vessel for Chilean-based expedition line Antarctica21

A sister ship to Magellan Explorer, new Magellan Discoverer will debut in the 2026- 2027 season, reflecting increased demand for the company’s fly-and cruise expeditions, which avoid the long sea voyage to Antarctica.

Magellan Discoverer will share the yacht-like character of its sister ship but with enhanced features including larger guest cabins with private balconies, and there will be a wraparound deck offering 360º views of the polar landscape.

Like most expedition cruise ships, it is built to polar class six (PC6) specifications – the highest rating, PC1, is reserved for the toughest ice conditions – and its green credentials include a heat-recovery system and compliance with the strict emission controls governing polar sailings.

As well as a dining area, bar and gift shop, the ship will have a fully equipped gym and a sauna with panoramic windows. Guests will also have the use of meeting rooms, an observation lounge and a ‘wet science’ laboratory to support Antarctic research programmes.

Magellan Discoverer's observation deck will allow guests to view the breathtaking landscape of Antarctica . Credit: Shutterstock

Antarctica21’s president, Jaime Vasquez, said: “This ship is born out of our unwavering commitment to meeting the rising expectations of our guests. Equipped with the latest technology, Magellan Discoverer supports our dedication to sustainability while offering seamless comfort for our travellers.”

The ship will welcome up to 76 guests on each cruise and will offer seven categories of accommodation, including single cabins – most with private balconies – as well as more affordable porthole cabins.

There will also be triple suites with two bedrooms, reflecting the trend for multigenerational families cruising together, and grand suites aimed at luxury cruisers.

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About Sarah Riches

After a five-year stint living in Asia, Sarah was inspired to become a travel journalist. Sarah has freelanced for Condé Nast Traveller and National Geographic Traveller and is the author of London Almanac (2010) and Culture Smart! The Essential Guide to British Customs & Culture (2024). She was also the deputy editor of Time Out Abu Dhabi, Where London and London Planner, digital editor of Wanderlust – the UK’s oldest travel magazine.