Antarctica Adventure

Old Jul 26th, 2017, 04:30 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 3
Antarctica Adventure

Good day!

We are a family of 4 with extensive travel experience, and the next big stop on our bucket list is Antarctica!

I have started some preliminary research on the subject, and am getting some mixed reports on ideas of what is best. Topics such as ideal boat size, which companies offer the best packages, etc seem to get mixed reviews across the board.

We would ideally love to go kayaking and do an overnight on the continent if possible in our trip. And not yet decided on whether or not we'll be adding Patagonia to either end.

If anyone has some experience to share on their Antarctic adventure any pointers to get us started would be greatly appreciated!

Happy travels!
gervaika is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2017, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Actually, it's really clear what's best depending on the circumstances. If you want to look at Antarctic glaciers from a distance, then a big ship is fine. But large ships are simply not allowed to land or anchor and disembark passengers, so you are paying a premium for a drive-by. That works for some less adventurous souls but not for most.

If you want to disembark, then you MUST be on a ship that's small. There's a limit to the number of people who can disembark at a time in Antarctica (it's 100). So if your ship has 100 passengers, everyone can get off at every landing. If your ship has more than 100 passengers, then you have to take turns, and you won't be able to spend as much time on shore (or on a larger ship may not be able to go onshore at every landing). It's as simple as that.

You'll have the best experience on a ship with 100 passengers or fewer. But these are typically the most expensive cruises. There are only about 20 ships that actually go to Antarctica, and the largest holds 280 passengers.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2017, 09:08 AM
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Hi Doug,

Thanks for your quick reply. Based on my research that's what I've come up with. We are ideally hoping to find a ship at <100 pax.

Do you have any suggestions as to companies by chance?

Thanks in advance
gervaika is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2017, 05:22 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Ponant is a great luxury example, but I'm not really up on all the individual companies that cruise in Antarctica. Most of the luxury tour companies (A&K, Lindblad, etc.) offer Antarctica cruises. Some are on converted Russian or Norwegian icebreakers, so "luxury" is relative (there are shared baths on a few of the oldest ships still operating). I'd do a bit of searching and perhaps look at Cruise Critic for reviews of individual lines. There are a few threads here that discuss Antarctica cruises. I'm sorry I can't be of more help, though. I really don't have any personal experience in this area.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2017, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 45
Doug's response is spot on-you need to be on a smaller ship ideally. I've been working in Antarctica for the past 6 years on research vessels. I haven't been on a cruise ship passenger type voyage so no recommendations on companies but smaller is definitely better. Also, take a look at the itineraries, some of them will have loads of transit time and not much time in Antarctica. If you narrow down trip itineraries I would be happy to provide advice. For example, there's really no need to do an Antarctic Circle is a symbolic line and important for mariners in terms of ceremony, etc but not so much on a cruise ship and you can easily capture the beauty of Antarctica without going so far south. Highly recommend anything that takes you by Deception Island, Port Lockroy, Neumayer Channel, etc. The Neumayer Channel is probably the most beautiful strip of Antarctica that I have ever worked in, it's also near Palmer Station which a certain amount of cruise ships get to visit each season (the larger ones get station folks to come out and give them presentations). Anyways, give a shout if you need more specific Antarctica advice, sorry to not be more helpful with actual cruise ship info. Antarctica is amazing!
SicilianSailor is offline  
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