View Full Version : Antarctica cruising ?

cruising diva
December 28th, 2006, 11:00 AM
We are thinking of taking one of two cruises which cruise around Antarctica. One cruises takes about 3-4 hrs cruising each island and another takes closer to 6 hrs. cruising each island. How much time do you really need to cruise around Antarctica? THank you in advance.

December 29th, 2006, 11:09 AM
Are you talking about "big ship" cruising that does not use small boats to get on land ? or expedition type cruises ? To do Antarctica with landings & see a reasonable amount of the place you need 5 full days down there + the Drake passage crossing time. It is a fantastic experience, do not miss it!

cruising diva
December 29th, 2006, 12:33 PM
Thank you for your reply. I am talking about a large ship where you don't get off.

December 30th, 2006, 12:53 PM
We are thinking of going on a ship that holds 650 - 750 passengers. I'm not sure if that's a "big" ship or a "small" ship! It's all relative, isn't it?:D

December 30th, 2006, 09:29 PM
In January 2006, we took the Rotterdam from Valparaiso to Rio. We sailed 3 days within the Antarctic. Beautiful. We had excellent weather, unlike the prior cruise. I just read about a cruise on an icebreaker that I think was 2 weeks cruising the Antarctic, with getting off the ship, etc. At first we thought about doing that, but with all the gear we would have had to take and the extra expense, we opted out. Then when we saw the NASA scientists arriving on Zodiacs from Palmer Station to lecture on our trip, I was confirmed that that was not my style---cold, bumpy ride, etc., etc. I felt like we were within Antarctica for 3 days and although beautiful, it was fine. I won't say it was enough because it was so awesome, but to do the smaller ships, I'm not sure about that. Chances are that if it is frozen over as the Lemaire Channel was for us, the smaller ships won't get through and will have to go to plan C, D, E, etc. Often the Rotterdam might get down to plan M, but for us, I think we got to plan D based on the ice conditions. The Rotterdam had an ice pilot on board at all times along with the HAL captain. He made the decisions. When we returned last year, there were others on Princess, I believe that wrote in they were jealous of us on the Rotterdam because we got to go so much closer.

Aussie Gal
December 31st, 2006, 12:20 AM
We were on the Regal Princess this year in January and spent 4 days in Antarctica. We had very very rough weather going down the Drake Passage, besides a lot of the passengers being ill, a large percentage of the crew were as well, but once we got to the Peninsula we had perfect weather, sunny days and very little wind.

We also had an ice pilot on board as well as 5 Scientists who gave us wonderful lectures each day. I have taken some fantastic photos of this pristine area of the earth.

I have read reports of people going on the smaller ships and not being able to land due to the conditions. One does not know how they will be, we were unable to tender into the Falklands due to the weather but gladly forfeited that for beautiful weather we had down south. It is the luck of the draw. You could spend the entire time down there in fog where you wouldn't see a thing or in a blizzard.

When it was time to leave, we really left in a hurry as another low was coming close and the Captain did not want us to go through the same conditions we experienced on the way down.


December 31st, 2006, 11:15 AM

How large is the Regal Princess?

Aussie Gal
December 31st, 2006, 05:59 PM

The Regal Princess held around 1700 passengers and was 77000 tons.

Since being on her and then just recently the Veendam which has 1200 passengers and is around 55000 tons, we have decided not to cruise on the larger ships again so our next three cruises are all on ships with 650 passengers.

The ship you are looking at would be the perfect size for us. Is it an Oceania ship by any chance as we have booked a cruise on the Nautica for 2008, though to a different destination altogether. I have been on one of the sister ships to this (Tahitian Princess) and I must admit that I thought it moved more than the bigger ships. Luckily I don't get seasick so I am fine with whatever size ship I am on.