Cruise ShipsPast and PresentResearch Vessel

MV Akademik Ioffe – Past and Present

IMO Number: 8507731

MV Akademik Ioffe

© Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton (Dover)

Steel twin screw ” P-2788 (Finland), type Academician Sergey Vavilov design” motor vessel built in 1989 by Hollming Oy, Rauma (Yard No 266) as a Research Vessel for the Russian Academy of Science

Technical Data

  • Length: 117.93 m (overall) m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 18.22 m
  • Depth: 10.01 m
  • Draught: 5.901m
  • Tonnage: 6321 – 6450 gross/1869 net/6718 deadweight
  • Engines: 2 Oil 4Sa 6 – cylinder Semt Pielstick/Russkiy 6 CHN 40/46 diesels
  • Power: 5152 kW/7004 HP
  • Speed: 16 knots
  • Passenger Decks: 3
  • Staff & Crew: 53
  • Capacity: 110 passengers
  • Call Sign: UKLP, UAUN
  • MMSI Number: 273413400
  • IMO Number: 8507731
  • Official Number: M-17591
  • Port of Registry: Kaliningrad/Soviet Union – Russia
  • Sister-Ship: Akademik Sergey Vavilov (265)

Current AIS Location

Please note that this specific vessels AIS position data may be over an hour old and that the vessels position will only be displayed when it is within range of the VesselFinder AIS system. The AIS transponder/ship position data featured on this page is intended for information purposes only and it is in no way related to the 'Safety of Navigation at Sea'. All the AIS ship position data featured within this article is provided by VesselFinder and we are therefore not responsible for its content or its accuracy.


Akademik Ioffe and Akademik Sergey Vavilov were built as a joint project. Both ships feature a vertical shaft about two meters in diameter, which opens from the main deck into a special room, from which an acoustic receiver or a transmitter can be lowered to below the waterline by means of a winch. The vessels were used for experiments on the long-range propagation of sound in the ocean.

February 27th 1987: Keel laid.

August 28th 1987: Launched.

February 10th 1989: Completed.

Both vessels are modified versions of the Akademik Mstislav Keldysh type, a single vessel completed in 1980. AKADEMIK IOFFE differed from her sister in that she was fitted with two multi-sectional sails on the aft end of her bridge deck to provide thrust when conducting silent acoustic research operations.

© Fotoflite Ref 131515

© Fotoflite

1989: Entered service for USSR Academy of Sciences as a ice-strengthened passenger-oceanographic research vessel.

1991: Operated by Russian Academy of Science.

1995: Peregrine Adventure-Quark Expeditions.

© Mikkel © Mikkel 

© Mikkel

2003: Refit.

2008: Leased by One Ocean Expeditions(OOE)

© Capt Jan Melchers

© Capt Jan Melchers

2009: Converted to a passenger/cruise ship.

2012: Refit.

© Edson de Lima Lucas

© Edson de Lima Lucas ( Rio, 07/04/2017)

August 24th 2018: “All the passengers and some crew members and luggage were taken off grounded vessel on August 25th and transferred to sister vessel, AKADEMIK SERGEY VAVILOV in northern Canada while en route to Kugaaruk. Other crew members on the damaged vessel stayed behind following the transfer of passengers. The transfer operation took place after the vessel was ref-floated late on August 24th. The ship was floating free, but anchored, in a stable situation. No pollution has been observed. Owned and managed by the Shirshov Institute, Moscow, Russia.”.

September 25th, 2018: Arrived Les Méchins Shipyard, Quebec, Canada for prolonged refit.

December 29th 2018:  Left Les Méchins Shipyard showing destination as Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to pick up passengers for an Antarctic cruise.

© Edson de Lima Lucas

© Edson de Lima Lucas ( Rio, 14/01/2019)

May 2019: “Canada-based OOE has leased Russian ships the MV AKADEMIK IOFFE and the MV AKADEMIK SERGEY VAVILOV since 2011 and 2012 respectively, using them to take travellers on cruises through the Arctic and Antarctic. However, in late May, following the end of this year’s Antarctic travel season and ahead of the Arctic season, the Russian government seized the ships from OOE. Russia claimed the IOFFE and VAVILOV had to be taken to Kaliningrad for works as part of a “modernisation project”. OOE rejects the claim the ships needed work and has launched legal action”.

Russian Statement on Akademik Ioffe and Akademik Sergey Vavilov

May 29, 2019

The P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IO RAS) has issued a statement regarding the Akademik Ioffe and Akademik Sergey Vavilov, a pair of expedition ships that were set to operate for One Ocean Expeditions this summer before the charter contract was seemingly cancelled.

“The IO RAS has no contractual relationships with and, consequently, not liable to the One Ocean Expeditions,” the IO RAS said in a statement sent to Cruise Industry News.

The agency said that the pair of expedition ships were on a time charter deal to Terragelida Ship Management Ltd. through fall 2019.

Terragelida Ship Management describes itself a vessel management company, specializing in technical and commercial management, ship brokering and crew management.The Cyprus-based company lists IO RAS as a partner on its website.

“The vessels have been properly maintained and are available in Kaliningrad,” the IO RAS said in its statement. “Terragelida Ship Management Ltd. duly fulfils its commitments assumed within the framework of the contract with IO RAS.

“The ships are time-chartered and the P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of Russian Academy of Sciences, the owner of the vessels, is not to be blame for cancellation of cruises, as announced by the One Ocean Expeditions.”

The agency said the vessels are ready to begin cruise operations immediately.

Source: Cruise Industry News

May 4th 2019: Arrived in Kaliningrad.

June 10th 2021:

The investigation report released on June 8, 2021, by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) on the ‘Akademik Ioffe’, which ran aground in the Canadian Arctic on Aug 24, 2018, identified a number of safety deficiencies, as well as risks to be addressed: The ‘Akademik Ioffe’ was sailing through a remote area where none of the crew had ever been before, and which was not surveyed to modern hydrographic standards. It deviated from its original voyage plan over concerns about the weather impacting a planned passenger excursion. In preparing a new voyage plan to accommodate this, the master relied on a Canadian chart but was not aware it contained only partial bathymetric data, and he thus took no additional precautions to mitigate the risks of navigating in this area. Meanwhile, the low-water depth aural alarms on both echo sounders regarded as a nuisance had been turned off. Just prior to the grounding, the Officer of the Watch was multi-tasking and the helmsman was steering the vessel. With no other crew engaged in monitoring the situation or navigation equipment, the under-keel water depth steadily decreased. The vessel ran aground on an uncharted shoal before evasive measures could be taken. With more than 85 percent of Canadian Arctic waters having inadequate hydrographic data information, the likelihood of a similar occurrence involving passenger vessels engaged in adventure tourism is high. When incidents do occur, the cold, vast, and sparsely populated region presents additional risks to passenger survivability. This is compounded by a lack of timely search and rescue response in the area. Given these risks and with passenger vessel traffic in the Arctic on the rise additional steps are needed. That’s why the TSB issued recommendation M21-01, urging the major change agents Transport Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to develop and implement ?mandatory risk-mitigation measures for all passenger vessels? operating in these waters. Although the recommendation is not prescriptive, the Board highlighted optional measures which could include requiring more detailed inspections of vessels prior to entering the Arctic or possibly prohibiting vessels from transiting Arctic waters not adequately surveyed. Other measures noted in the report include mandatory carriage of additional navigational aids, mandatory use of supernumerary navigational experts, or ensuring other vessels are always nearby. Regardless of what measures are taken, the TSB report is clear: more needs to be done to mitigate risks, improve passenger safety, and protect a fragile and susceptible Arctic environment.

November 1st 2021: Detained in a Danish port Skagen while refuelling.

This week at the request of a Canadian cruise operator pursuing litigation in Canada, court documents show. The move was requested by Canadian cruise operator One Ocean Expeditions as the vessel had avoided a previous attempt to detain it in Portugal.

One Ocean Expeditions has filed a lawsuit in Canada against the Akademik Ioffe’s owner seeking damages over the incident on Aug. 24, 2018, where the ship, then leased to the tour operator for Arctic cruises, ran aground during a trip in Canada’s north.

One Ocean Expeditions, which says that the ship’s crew had not “paid attention to nautical charts”, is seeking damages worth $6.14 million, the documents show.

December 7th 2021: Released from arrest and sailed to Kaliningrad.

December 10th 2021: Arrived in Kaliningrad

February – July 2023: Known to be in The Black Sea and  The Sea of Marmara.

May 12th 2024: Arrived Kaliningrad.

June 14th 2024: Left Kaliningrad.

June 19th 2024: Passed through the Dover Straits en-route for Recife, East Coast South America in Brazil.

🆕 © Nigel Scutt/Fotoflite (19/06/2024)

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Fotoflite, Edson de Lima Lucas, Capt Jan Melchers and Nigel Scutt for their assistance in producing this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button