Cruises To Antarctica Are A Wonderful Opportunity
A cruise to Antarctica is a serious and expensive venture. It should be planned carefully, and you should check out all the options available to you before committing to an expedition. But there are plenty of state-of-the-art, seaworthy vessels available for you to look into if youre thinking of tackling the frozen landscapes of the worlds southern pole.
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The average polar voyages will still cruise 10 days, with six spent in Antarctica and four days crossing the Drake Passage. Most expeditions begin in Buenos Aires or Santiago, Chile, with a hotel overnight before a chartered flight, usually to Ushuaia, Argentina, where most ships set sail.
Before you commit, carefully check the new COVID-19 protocols. Does the expedition require vaccinated crew and passengers? Which vaccines are accepted and how is the travel bubble maintained? Will the medical team provide testing and treatment capabilities? Examine refund and insurance policies, including evacuation options. While pricey, remember that these expeditions are mostly or completely all-inclusive, with chartered flights, hotel overnights, expedition team-led excursions, polar jackets, gratuities, Wi-Fi, and alcohol built into fares.
With so much pent-up demand for cruisingand especially, for small-group bucket list voyages to open spaces void of humanscruisers are already booking fourth quarter sails, especially for solar eclipse itineraries. Cruise lines may reduce passenger capacity for increased social distancing, adding to limited availability.
This Antarctic season promises so much that’s new. Several new purpose-built, ice-class vessels will debut that are more environmentally sensitive, may provide smoother sails in rough seas, and offer an exciting array of novel exploration possibilities, like polar diving.;
Even If Youre Not A Rule Follower Youve Still Got To Follow Them
Although Silversea prioritizes guest service in everything it does, the cruise line is very strict about enforcing the rules of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators , a self-regulatory group that promotes environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic. Following the guidelines is critical to preserving the worlds most pristine ecosystem.
Were very conscious of our responsibility to the destination, says Combrink. We support the IAATO mission 100 percent. We brief the guests with very detailed information about security measures and the dos and donts according to the IAATO protocols. We need to create ambassadors for Antarctica and like to think everyone is touched by the continent and by the preservation of the place.
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Review: Cruise To Antarctica And South America
Have you been considering a cruise to South America or Antarctica, or both?; In this review, we go on to describe our entire trip that we call a trip of a lifetime. Notably, we started planning for this incredible cruise almost two years prior.; We were onboard the Island Princess in May of 2018 when we heard that Princess cruises were introducing Antarctica in their South American itineraries for the first time in nearly ten years. No surprise, but we booked this cruise right away.
The itinerary was quite intriguing, with the right mix of ports of call in South America.; Additionally, there were to be four scenic cruising days in Antarctica.; Our departure date, January 5th, 2020.
Types Of Cruise Ships
Choosing the right cruise ship is very important and will impact how you experience Antarctica. Ship sizes will vary significantly and understanding what size ship you want will make your Antarctica journey all the more enjoyable. Ship sizes range from 45 passengers to over 500!
Larger ships are generally better appointed and have a more luxurious feel. Large Antarctica cruise ships are also more sturdy when crossing the Drake Passage and, if you suffer from sea sickness, a large ship is probably the way to go.
However, smaller ships often have much more landing opportunities as bigger ships will be restricted to certain larger landing points. The largest ships of all are not even allowed to land at all. Smaller ships also mean smaller queues. Often there will be a rota to go ashore and youll find yourself waiting hours to go on-shore, this is not the case on small cruise boats.
Small yachts are another option, however, this is a more specialist option and is not common for tourists. There are a number of registered yacht tours and most leave from Ushuaia. Yacht tours have great versatility in terms of landing locations, however, they are far more susceptible to rough seas and cost in the region of a US$1,000 per day.
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What To Expect On A Cruise To Antarctica
For avid travellers or adventure chasers, the idea of reaching the southernmost continent is a dream that can feel far away. From observing emperor penguins to leaving fresh snow prints in uncharted territory, there are dozens of reasons why people put Antarctica at the top of their travel list. Thankfully, more and more tour operators have begun offering organised tours and cruises to this elusive, snow-covered desert.
But if youre not a scientist, a polar explorer, or a penguin, what do you actually do in Antarctica? Whats the weather like? Will there be much wildlife? Are the ships comfortable? There are so many things to consider before planning an Antarctic expedition, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start. ;
Whether youve already booked your cruise or youre just entertaining the idea, heres what you can expect during a cruise to beautiful Antarctica.
Cruise Timing Makes A Difference
Travelers can always have a memorable experience on an Antarctic cruise. However, like many parts of the world, the dates you select for Antarctic cruise provide different experiences. You’ll see more snow in November and December . Penguins will be on their nests in December, but you’ll see baby chicks in January and February. ;Early and late shoulder seasons cruises might be less expensive than in the high season of late January and February when the weather is warmer.
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Recoleta Cemetery In Buenos Aires
It is quite an In the evening we decided to go for a drink in Plaza Dorrego. T is probably my favorite place in Buenos Aires. In this beautiful little piazza, friendly and calm, where it is possible to sit outside and have a drink while watching dancers dancing the Tango.
For dinner, we decided to go to the Puerto Madero area. Here, you will find the old port docks area that is now getting converted into an area with restaurants and nightlife. It is the perfect spot for a night stroll.
Antarctic Cruises From New Zealand
New Zealand’s Heritage Expeditions has three voyages to the Ross Sea from New Zealand over the 2022 season. The “In the Wake of Scott and Shackleton: Ross Sea Antarctica” voyage runs for 30 days and departs January 10, February 8, or February 10, 2022 aboard either Akademik Shokalskiy or Spirit of Enderby. The voyages sail from Invercargill, NZ and returns to either Invercargill or Christchurch.
There are also a few voyages to and from New Zealand that are semi-circumnavigations of Antarctica. Oceanwide Expedition’s Ortelius sails from Ushuaia, Argentina to Bluff, New Zealand and returns on a 33-day journey departing Ushuaia on January 13, 2022; or Bluff, NZ on February 16, 2022. The small, nimble ship also offers onboard helicopters for further exploration of the Ross Sea region.
Lindblad Expeditions’National Geographic Endurance offers a similar 35-day voyage between Argentina and New Zealand, with departure dates in December 2021; January and December 2022; and January 2023. Because of how rare these sailings are, expect them to fill up quickly despite the $50,000 USD per person price tag.
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Day 1: The Final Stop On Our Cruise In South America Buenos Aires
We disembarked in Buenos Aires around 9 am. The weather was warm but with a little rain. After checking in at the hotel, we decided to go out and explore the city.
Our hotel wasnt too far from Plaza de Mayo and the Casa Rosada.
Just 10 minutes of walking. In the same piazza, we took a good look at the Catedral Metropolitana de Buenos Aires. The church where the Bishop Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, used to be.
We then hopped in a taxi to go to a restaurant that was recommended us by a friend.;The restaurant was just across the street from the famous Recoleta Cemetery. After lunch, we decided to have a look at it. Wow, the cemetery was not at all what I expected. The cemetery features ornate mausoleums with statues and columns. We walked to the most famous grave of all, the Eva Peron one.
Valuable Work In The White Continent
On the other hand, the work that researchers and scientists do while living on the White Continent is exceptionally valuable. Wildlife migration, sea currents and global warming issues are all studied in detail and the findings are often breathtaking. The unspoilt environment allows glaciologists to extract tubes of ice deposits, thousands of years old, which can reveal climatic patterns and cycles in order to predict future climate changes.
Kevin Hughes, environmental research and monitoring manager for the British Antarctic Survey , states that, Until all Antarctic Treaty nations engage with their monitoring obligations and develop a co-ordinated, continent-wide view of human impacts, the environment of Antarctica will remain under threat.
While tourism is expected to grow in Antarctica over the coming years, few people are concerned by this. We think this is sustainable, with some room for further growth, says Amanda Lynnes, IAATO communications and environmental officer. Over the past 50 years, there has been virtually no discernible impact on the Antarctic environment by tourism. Continued monitoring is vital, however, and IAATO continues to work with Antarctic Treaty parties to improve it.
One of the main reasons for the lack of concern is the fact that tourists are actually restricted to a total area of just two square km .
For now though, the future of Antarctic tourism seems strong
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Viking Expeditions: Antarctic Explorer
Viking Expeditions, from Viking, launches in January 2022, with new-build 378-passenger Viking Octantis. New amenities include a trio of pools at different temperatures, and a terrace with heated lava stone firepits. Count on about 25 experts onboard, including biologists and resident scientists working in the onboard laboratory, where guests learn about, and participate in, research. In the Hangar marina, guests easily and comfortably enter and debark RIBS and Zodiacs inside, rather than outside, the ship, avoiding ladder-climbing and boarding bouncing boats. Departs January 23, February 3, 14, and 25, 2022; prices begin at $14,995.
When To Book A Cruise To Antarctica
There is only one season for Antarctica which is between late October and late March, with December through February considered to be high season.; You can book anywhere from months in advance to days before in Ushuaia. We even heard of people booking their cruise in Ushuaia and departing the same day.
In November the winter sea ice is still breaking up so some landings may not be possible which is what we encountered at times during our cruise. Its still a great month to go as the penguins will be courting each other, building their nests, and mating with wild abandon, while the whales will only just be moving south.
We saw at least one humpback whale every day that we were in the Peninsula, but the expedition that had just returned only saw one whale during their sailing.
In December and January, the temperatures are the warmest,; penguin chicks start to hatch, and the seals and sea birds are all at their most active. This is considered high season so its best to try to book in advance, and last minute rates wont be as competitive, but you can still use the sign up for the email list trick described below.
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Day : The Charming Town Of Ushuaia The Last Stop Before Reaching Antarctica On Our Cruise
The following morning we woke up in the Argentian town of Ushuaia.; Indeed, Ushuaia was our last port of call on the West side of South America before cruising to Antarctica.
We disembarked first thing in the morning and proceeded to take a nice walk in town.; Also, we reserved an excursion for later in the afternoon to the end of the world.
Ushuaia is the capital of the La Tierra Del Fuego district.; Also, in the past, Ushuaia was used as a penal colony.; Then, the prison closed in 1947. Nowadays, the prision has a new life as a museum.
Walking in the streets of Ushuaia is both pleasant and exciting.; Moreover, it reminded me of walking in Juneau, Alaska.
Adventures By Disney: Antarctica & Patagonia Expedition Cruise
On Disney, programming is devised for children, teens, and adultstogether, and in age-group-specific activities. Specially trained adventure guides work alongside expert naturalists, catering to all ages. Tuck into family-friendly food and Disney-themed activities like movie nights, pool parties, talent shows, and trivia contests. On Junior Adventure Night, parents dine without the littles as adventure guides host children, who learn to read nautical maps alongside crew. Departs January 30 and February 20, 2022; prices begin at $11,209 per child and $12,459 per adult.
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How Do I Get To Antarctica
You can get to Antarctica by boat or plane. Sailing the Drake Passage from the tip of South America to the Antarctic Peninsula takes 48 hours. Flying to Antarctica takes 2 hours. Approximately 54,000 visitors make the journey each year, with around 50 expedition vessels sailing Antarctic waters each season.
How To Get The Best Price
Armed with the above information, in late 2018 I began searching for an affordable seven to 12-day cruise in December or January 2019, departing from either Punta Arenas or Ushuaia. Initially I was very discouraged by the high prices. The average cost of Antarctic cruises is $600 per day per person, with the average cruise package being $10,000 per person, based on double occupancy. Put in plain English, that means if you want a cabin all to yourself, the average price will be $20,000. And this price is usually exclusive of flights and accommodations before and after the cruise. But dont panic. Im going to show you how to shave thousands of dollars off the average price.
One way to save is to share a room with a stranger. Most cruise companies offer double and triple shared cabins. You book a bed in a cabin and the company puts you together with one or two strangers of the same sex. While I was willing to share with one person, I was not willing to share with two strangers. It was a good call. I later learned that the triple cabins on my ship were all on the lowest deck, with only a single porthole that offered a partially blocked view. One woman who had chosen the triple room told me her room was so small that she could barely walk around the bed.
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How Hard Is It To Go To Antarctica
How hard is it to get to Antarctica? With a little planning it is not hard at all. The easiest way to get to Antarctica is to fly to Ushuaia, Argentina and take an;Antarctica cruise. Indeed 90% of all visitors to Antarctica get there this way. You can also fly to Antarctica as part of a tour or cruise.
There are many ways to get to Antarctica. Read on to learn how to go to Antarctica from South America, U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand the U.K and Europe.;
Rough Seas & Seasickness
Travelers to Antarctica should be prepared for the possibility of rough seas. Cruises to the Antarctic Peninsula cross the Drake Passage, which is known as one of the roughest seas in the world. From Ushuaia it takes 2 days to cross the Drake Passage each way.
Once ships arrive in Antarctica, seas tend to be calm as ships cruise in protected waters close to shore. Longer expeditions that include the Falkland Islands, South Georgia or Ross Sea require additional days at sea, which can also cause seasickness, depending on current conditions. Read our;tips to combat seasickness.
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You Can Mail A Postcard Home And Get Your Passport Stamped
Some cruise travelers love to shop for souvenirs, and they love to send postcards back home. Shopping is limited to onboard the ship and at a few research stations like Port Lockroy, which is a UK historical site.
The staff at Port Lockroy comes onboard cruise ships and talk about their experiences working at the research station. They also stamp passports and sell souvenirs and postcards and/or stamps.
Be sure to date any postcard you mail back home. A supply ship picks up the postcards at Port Lockroy and takes them to the Falkland Islands. From there, they go to the UK before coming back across the Atlantic to the USA. It takes about 6-7 weeks to reach the UK and another week to reach the USA. Your friends and family will love getting a postcard with an Antarctic stamp