About a year ago I started hearing a new name in the cruising world which I hadn’t ever heard before.
Their marketing clearly said luxury. Adventure. Gourmet cuisine. All-inclusive, including premium drinks, some excursions, and prepaid gratuities. Butler service. No inside cabins; 72 out of the 98 are balcony cabins.
This new small-ship cruise line is called Atlas Ocean Voyages.
Brand new cruise lines are rare, especially ones that debut during a pandemic. But Atlas Ocean Voyages did just that. They introduced their first ship, the World Navigator, in August 2021, and are ready to launch their second ship, the World Traveller, in November 2022.
Where do they sail?
Atlas sails to Antarctica (Iceland & Greenland) and the Arctic (including the Norwegian fjords), with some options in the British Islands, South America and the Mediterranean. Their shortest cruises are 8 days; most of them average between 12-14 days.
Photo courtesy of Atlas Ocean Voyages
What makes Atlas Ocean Voyages different?
For one thing, their size sets them apart. They only have 98 cabins TOTAL. For an ocean-going cruise ship, that is tiny. That’s intentional: Atlas wants to be able to get to out-of-the-way destinations and places, AND they want to do it with a small group of adventure-loving travelers. The World Navigator carries several Zodiac boats onboard, so guests can get up close with unusual scenery and wildlife.
Atlas offers one included excursion per port, with additional excursions available to add on if you’d like.
Atlas Ocean Voyages doesn’t require formal wear onboard; they’re pretty casual. A polo shirt and nice pants or shorts are fine for dinners. The food is exceptional, mostly served in the main restaurant called Porto. Porto serves regionally-inspired food, plus some classics like salmon and filet mignon. There’s also a grill next to the pool, the 7Aft Grill, which serves a variety of grilled food including chicken, lobster, New York Strip Steaks, and black Angus filet mignon. There’s a café called Paula’s Pantry which serves pastries, soup and sandwiches, and every afternoon there’s a tea (complete with cookies, cakes, and other treats) available in the lounge.
The daytime entertainment includes a lot of adventurous excursions combined with enjoying the pool deck, a spa, sauna, and fitness center, as well as a jogging track. The pool deck has a pool and two hot tubs, plus lounge chairs. In the evenings, there are two main lounges and a small auditorium. The nightly entertainment is often singers or piano players, combined with dancing.
Atlas offers L’Occitane bath products onboard—the first cruise line to offer them. And I’ve already mentioned several other wellness inclusions: the beautiful scenery, the spa and sauna, the fitness center and jogging track. Connection with nature, pampering, and fitness are all available on these ships.
· All meals and drinks (there are a few surcharges for high-end liquors)
· Round-trip flights from select U.S. cities
· Shipboard Wi-Fi
· Prepaid gratuities
· Shore excursions in every port
· Onboard entertainment
· Insurance for every guest which includes emergency medical evacuation insurance—just in case
Atlas Ocean Voyages are pretty great, if you dream of traveling to far-flung places like the Arctic and the Antarctic, and don’t like huge crowds. They’re all about exclusivity and adventure, and will be adding three additional ships to their fleet over the next three years, so that their destinations will be even more accessible.
I’m pretty excited about this new cruise line. I love that they can get to such small, out-of-the-way places. I love that they highlight so much great wildlife and scenery, and with such an amazing luxury feel. Let me know if you’re interested in more information; their itineraries are available into 2024 already!