Antarctica21 Unveils Plans for Magellan Discoverer, a Cutting-Edge Vessel Designed for Antarctic Exploration

Antarctica21 Unveils Plans for Magellan Discoverer, a Cutting-Edge Vessel Designed for Antarctic Exploration

15 February 2024, Punta Arenas, Chile: Antarctica21, leader in boutique Antarctic expeditions, has announced the construction of its latest vessel, Magellan Discoverer, set to join its fleet for the 2026-27 Antarctic season. The new vessel reflects the company’s commitment to excellence in small ship and specialist expeditions while strengthening its position in the premium segment of the Antarctic travel market.

Antarctica21’s decision to build a sister ship to its Magellan Explorer is a result of the increasing demand for their unique fly and cruise Antarctic expeditions, a model of polar travel pioneered by the Chilean company in 2003.  With Antarctica21 travellers have the opportunity to skip over the notoriously rough seas of the Drake Passage to join their ship directly at the White Continent.

Magellan Discoverer has an innovative design built to high environmental standards. Sharing the yacht-style of its sister ship, Magellan Discoverer has been enhanced with features including larger guest cabins, all with private balconies, and a wraparound walking deck offering 360-degree views of the polar landscapes.

Built to meet the stringent PC6 ice class specifications and welcoming up to a maximum of 76 guests on each Antarctic air-cruise, Magellan Discoverer will provide the perfect platform for Antarctica21’s small ship, fly-and-sail operations.

Magellan Discoverer supports environmental responsibility, is equipped with a Heat Recovery System and complies with Tier III emission control standards. The vessel features a spacious dining area, versatile meeting rooms, an observation lounge and bar, a well-equipped gym, a wet science lab to support Antarctic research programs, a gift shop, and a sauna with wide panoramic windows.

Jaime Vásquez, President of Antarctica21, said, “This ship is borne 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. With its modern elegance and advanced technical features, it provides an unparalleled travel experience in the spectacular Antarctic region.”

The onboard accommodation has been designed to combine the essence of adventure and comfort on an Antarctic expedition. The ship features twelve Suites, including two Family Suites for four guests each and two Triple Deluxe Veranda Suites, twenty-two Deluxe Veranda Cabins, and six dedicated Single Veranda Cabins. Every cabin on board Magellan Discovereroffers king-size beds, comfortable sitting areas, and private balconies, ensuring personal vistas of the Antarctic expanse.

Magellan Discoverer will have a cutting-edge hybrid-electric propulsion system, boasting two powerful MAN main engines, ABB’s innovative Azipod® propulsion units and Energy Storage System with Battery Bank from Corvus. This advanced setup promises a smoother, quieter journey through the icy waters. Like its predecessor, it will be constructed at the ASENAV shipyard in Valdivia, Chile, strengthening the already successful relationship between Antarctica21 and the shipyard.

Claudio Bobadilla, Fleet Director at Antarctica21, added: “Leveraging our experience with Magellan Explorer and our successful collaboration with ASENAV, we are thrilled to embark on the Magellan Discoverer project. We are committed to innovating and setting new standards in expedition cruising. Several design enhancements have been developed, reflecting our learnings from building Magellan Explorer together. Our goal is to exceed the high standards expected by our guests. Magellan Discoverer will become a point of reference in the Antarctic tourism industry, and a point of pride for our team.”

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For images of the Magellan Discoverer’s 3D Render and Deck Plan please visit:

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact: Debra Taylor at toucanmoon on +44 7956 852197,


About Antarctica21

Antarctica21 specialises in fly-and-sail expeditions to the White Continent. The company was founded in 2003 by adventurers who believed there was a better way to travel to the Antarctic Peninsula. Before Antarctica21, travellers who wanted to reach the Peninsula had only one option: a two-day cruise across the notoriously rough seas of the Drake Passage. Since then, however, the company’s boutique expeditions have offered a more comfortable alternative. A two-hour flight takes guests from Punta Arenas, Chile, directly to King George Island, where they then board their expedition ship. No stormy crossing. No seasickness. Just quick, total immersion in the Antarctic experience. The company’s ships accommodate a maximum of 76 guests, offering flexibility and access that larger vessels cannot match. Guests embark and disembark efficiently, so time ashore is focused on savoring every moment of a travel experience unlike any other.

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ASENAV, a leading shipbuilder on the Pacific coast of South America, is renowned for its exceptional craftsmanship in the domain of specialized shipbuilding, a staunch dedication to innovation, and an unwavering adherence to delivery schedules. With a legacy spanning nearly half a century, ASENAV has successfully delivered over 190 vessels, catering to a diverse array of industries including aquaculture, tourism, and offshore support. As a forerunner in integrating advanced technologies, ASENAV’s design philosophy is deeply rooted in ecological sustainability and the diminution of its environmental footprint. In the forthcoming construction of Magellan Discoverer, ASENAV is set to harness state-of-the-art technological solutions from world-class partners MAN, ABB, and Corvus, ensuring that the vessel meets the highest innovation and environmental requirements.

For more information please visit


About the Author

Founding director of toucanmoon, Debra has many years’ experience in the travel industry and has held director-level positions in several high-profile international companies.

View all posts by Debra Taylor

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