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Ocean Explorer Review

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Ocean Explorer
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Jeannine Williamson
Cruise Critic Contributor

Ocean Explorer Overview

Vantage Deluxe World Travel, which offers coastal cruises off Greece and Croatia, is expanding its oceangoing offerings with a new luxury expedition ship. The vessel, Ocean Explorer, will sail global itineraries.

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Launching in 2021, the 341-foot ice-strengthened ship will accommodate up to 170 passengers in 77 cabins across eight different categories. In keeping with Vantage's focus on solo travelers, the ship will feature 15 cabins for single occupancy. Other stateroom choices will include "TriLuxe" suites designed for triple occupancy, as well as adjoining accommodation options suitable for families and groups.

The majority of cabins -- 80 percent in total, with the exception of Deck 3 cabins, which have portholes -- will have private step-out balconies accessed by sliding floor-to-ceiling glass doors. All cabins will have hotel-style beds (a king or two twins), a table and one or two armchairs, a spacious closet, desk/vanity area, individual climate control, mini-bar, safe, TV and bathroom with shower and premium toiletries. The three suite categories -- Captain's, Junior and Balcony -- will have additional amenities, including double-size balconies and in-room dining service.

Public areas include a restaurant offering fine dining, a multi-level observation lounge and lobby, swimming pool, outdoor movie screen, fitness center, spa, sunbathing area with two hot tubs, a shop, and a theater for lectures, musical performances and cultural events. There will be a "mud room" changing area for expedition trips and shore landings on the fleet of 20 onboard Zodiacs, as well as a water sports platform for sea kayaking, snorkeling and scuba diving programs. Ocean Explorer will also have a library, art room and medical center.

Ocean Explorer is being constructed in China by the SunStone company, which has also built vessels for Australia-based Aurora Expeditions. It will feature a patented X-BOW design by Ulstein Design & Solutions, allowing for smoother sailing in rough conditions and deeper exploration into packed ice. Other technical features will include state-of-the-art safety technology and an eco-friendly design to reduce emissions into the air and sea, combined with low fuel consumption.

Ocean Explorer is one of two sister ships on order for Vantage. Ocean Odyssey will be built by the same company and is slated to debut in 2022.

In its inaugural year, Ocean Explorer will circumnavigate the globe with 20 itineraries. Beginning in Asia, the vessel will sail through Europe and across the Atlantic to North America before heading down to Central and South America and on to Antarctica. Passengers will be offered back-to-back options to extend their voyages by putting two or more cruises together.

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Vantage Deluxe World Travel Fleet

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This 27-passenger small ship sails Croatia's Dalmation coast and features a swimming platform and top-deck Jacuzzi.

Ocean Explorer

Launching in 2021, this 341-foot ice-strengthened ship will accommodate 170 passengers and sail global itineraries.

MS Nebu

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MS Ocean Odyssey

Debuting in 2022, the 170-passenger vessel will sail on worldwide itineraries and continue to expand Vantage's ocean cruising program which previously covered coastal cruises around Greece and Croatia.

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