Grand Circle entered Antarctica cruising with Corinthian, an ice-strengthened ship bought in 2014 from Travel Dynamics International. The 98-passenger vessel received a $5-million renovation after the acquisition, which aimed to give the expedition ship a more intimate feel. In Antarctica's off-season, the ship sails the British Isles, the west European coast, the Baltic Sea and Morocco.
The 290-foot ship has 49 nonsmoking, outside cabins -- each at least 215 square feet in area. All suites feature a queen-size bed that can be converted to two twins, individual climate controls, mini-fridge, safe, telephone, TV, DVD/CD player, a sitting area and a private bathroom. Single supplement fees range from $59 to $100 per day, although the cost is higher in Antarctica at $172 per day.
Onboard features include a restaurant, a boutique, a sun deck with Jacuzzi, an outdoor cafe and two lounges -- including one with panoramic windows and a library. There is no fitness room, but the ship does have a small medical clinic. An elevator serves all five passenger decks. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship, including in cabins.
As with most Antarctica cruises, passengers should expect Zodiac tendering, as well as wet landings. Grand Circle advises that gangway inclines can be steep.
Passengers tend to be Americans over 50. The majority are couples; the line says one in four passengers traveling alone. (A roommate-matching service is available.) Guests are generally well traveled and many are repeat cruisers.