While Poseidon Expeditions prides itself on having a nimble ship, the 114-passenger Sea Spirit is still a boat of substantial size.
And, polar cruising is all about getting there. To the spectacular iceberg. Into narrow channels. Going ashore and reaching sites that aren't accessible by ships even the size of the Sea Spirit.
That's where Zodiacs come in.
Because of their size, stability, and speed Zodiac landing crafts – inflatable boats with rigid bottoms – are an integral part of polar cruising. In fact, without Zodiacs, shore landings, particularly in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, would not be possible.
Popularized by their presence in the documentary series "The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau," and brought to the public in the 1960s, these rugged, inflatable boats are safe and quick, and the flat bottoms of the boats are perfect for navigating onto beaches and small coves where no docking infrastructure exists.
The Sea Spirit carries a fleet of 10 Zodiac cruisers, strategically positioned just above the aft marina platform where passengers can easily embark on extended sea voyages or adventures ashore.
The beauty of inflatable Zodiac vessels is that they can be deployed by the polar cruise ship’s two cranes on a moment’s notice, allowing for quick, up-close access to wildlife that might otherwise be missed.
Unless you’ve traveled the icy polar waters of the Arctic or Antarctica in a Zodiac landing craft, you haven’t really been expedition cruising!