Polar Latitudes was formed by polar travel professionals with the goal of providing better travel for their passengers, for their partners, for the environment and for themselves—with this last component, the small company’s personal interest, being a key driver of their success: “Polar expedition cruising is what we love to do. It is all we intend to do, and we intend to do it better than anyone else,” their mission statement says.
Polar Latitudes History
In 2010 a group of very experienced polar specialists set about creating a new kind of expeditionary voyage company. “At the time the industry was trending towards larger ships with more berths” says John McKeon, Polar Latitudes President. “We bucked that trend because we wanted to preserve the atmosphere of adventure and camaraderie, as well as the level of service that can only be sustained on smaller vessels. We also wanted to provide our guests with comfortable accommodations, and the special touches that you’d find at a well-run boutique hotel.”
Polar Latitudes offers all-suite accommodations (some with private balconies), as well as special touches like complimentary wine and beer with dinner, live music and top-of-the-line commemorative voyage jackets from internationally renowned nautical gear provider Helly Hansen.
“Our focus will always be on adventure, which is why we offer sea kayaking on all voyages and camping on our Antarctic Peninsula expeditions,” says McKeon. “We’re also very focused on safety; it’s not as sexy as adventure, but it’s really important when you’re operating under extreme conditions. All of our leaders, guides and zodiac drivers have received SWTC proficiency training and certification. It’s not required by law, and the cost is significant, but it’s the right thing to do if you’re operating in polar waters.”
Why Choose Polar Latitudes
Polar Latitudes is entirely focused on polar expeditions, a fact that makes its operations quite specialized. They state, “The Polar Regions are not only where we travel, they are also why we travel.” Choose Polar Latitudes if you want an outfitter that is dedicated to its core region.
Their U.S. home base boasts an impressive team with deep experience in providing world-class polar adventures. AdventureSmith Explorations Founder and President Todd Smith has worked with Polar Latitudes Founder John McKeon on Antarctic cruises long before Polar Latitudes was formed. We are proud to support Polar Latitudes, and we believe in their mission of providing intimate experiences aboard smaller vessels. This is a philosophy we share and strive to implement in our small ships worldwide.