expedition-style cruising to Antarctica

Sep 27th, 2016, 03:32 PM
  #1  
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expedition-style cruising to Antarctica

Antarctica has been on my mind in the past several weeks. It's one of those places that's been on my dream list for awhile. I've done some reading on this and other websites and have ordered brochures from a few of the operators to the continent. Based upon our budget (probably under US$7500pp), we're taking closer looks at Hurtigruten's MV Fram, Poseidon's MV Sea Spirit, and G Adventures' MV Expedition. Is anyone able to compare the operators and / or the ships? Any insights into what to expect on Antarctica visits with these companies would be helpful as well. Thanks.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Sep 28th, 2016, 07:03 AM
  #2  
 
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I can't comment on these operators - we were on a Quark Cruise which was 33% off. I get emails from Quark and they just had a 2 for 1 sale for several sailings which would be around the $7500pp mark. We highly recommend Quark. You can sign up for emails on their website and/or like their Facebook page to be notified in advance of the deals.
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Sep 29th, 2016, 04:11 PM
  #3  
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Thanks Elizabeth. I've signed up for the email lists of about a dozen expedition companies and ordered their brochures. Part of the challenge is that I'm looking for late December / early January, as it's practically the only time of year that it's reasonable for me to be without Internet access for an extended period. I'm thinking about the 2017-18 or 2018-19 season.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2016, 03:27 AM
  #4  
 
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Re your timing --- for example that Quark sale about 10 days ago covered cruises for the 2016/17 and 2017/18 season (not every sailing but enough). You might want to phone them --- they might give a hint as to the timing of the next one. We purchased in November for a February cruise. It's a great adventure!
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Oct 11th, 2016, 02:06 PM
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We went to Antarctica for Christmas 2014 on Hurtigruten's Fram. I would highly recommend that ship. The crew and excursion leaders were wonderful, and the ship was very comfortable and a good size, with only 200 passengers. Although a rota system operated regarding when you were able to go ashore, we found we had plenty of time to observe the wildlife and wander around at each stop. The launches used are polar cirkel boats, which was one of the key points for me, as I did not like the idea of the ribs used by other cruise lines. These boats are like proper boats with sides, and you sit on seats. They felt very stable and safe to ride.

We had to book 18 months in advance for the Christmas cruise. We had an obstructed view room, but it was fine, and larger than the other staterooms of a similar price. The food was also very good.

We very much hope to travel to Antarctica on Fram again in the future.
Lady_Lyrico is offline  
Oct 11th, 2016, 03:14 PM
  #6  
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Thank you so much for your feedback on the Fram, Lady_Lyrico. Your feedback is welcome and reassuring as we bit the bullet last week and booked a sailing on her for December 2017. The 18-night voyage aims to call at the Falklands, South Georgia, and Antarctica.

Did you participate in any of the additional cost activities? We're interested in doing so and understand it's based upon a lottery system but have no idea what the capacity is for each.

We're super pumped!!
tripplanner001 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2016, 03:53 PM
  #7  
 
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Oh wow! I am so jealous. It sounds like you are doing the same voyage that we did. My husband took part in the lottery to spend a night camping on the Antarctic Peninsula and was lucky enough to be one of the 18 people drawn to be able to do so. It happened to be New Year's Eve and so extra special.
My photos are in a public album on my Facebook page. I would happily share the link with you if you would like to see them.
Lady_Lyrico is offline  
Oct 11th, 2016, 04:31 PM
  #8  
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Thanks again Lady_Lyrico. 18 only?! Camping on the ice would be amazing but with 4 of us I probably should not anticipate being selected; awesome if the stars aligned. Would love to see your photos although I don't have a FB account.
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