Too few Antarctic cruises out there?

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#1
New Jersey
128 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Hi all! Cruise Critic News Editor Dori here. The numbers of cruise ships visiting Antarctica just keep falling and I'm wondering if that's impacting any of our Community Members. Have any of you tried to find an Antarctic cruise only to find there was no space left or the prices were too high because the space is so limited? I'd really love to hear your thoughts on the subject.
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Dori Saltzman
Senior Editor
Cruise Critic
#2
Toronto
3,517 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I'm looking at HAL's Veendam December 20 sailing. There is plenty of availability and the price is very low. So it actually appears that demand is low relative to supply.
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49 nights with RCCL, 7 nights with Carnival, 11 nights with Disney, 14 nights with Princess, 45 nights with HAL
#3
Detroit, MI
125 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
It might be well to distinguish between expedition cruises that land passengers in Antarctica and larger cruise ships, like Veendam, that simply sail past for the view. I suspect that increasingly severe regulation of Antarctic visitation has had an effect on operators and might account for a reduction in the number of ships offering the expedition-tyoe trips. The only expedition sailing I'm familiar with is the Fram departing Buenos Aires on November 2 for the Falklands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula; this is marketed by Vantage Travel. It costs vastly more than the Veendam trip and is almost sold out. Only one suite and insides are shown as available; we're in an inside and a portgole would have cost the two of us $4000 additional...now it's not available.

I wonder if the Veendam on December 20 is suffering from people's desire not to be away for Christmas?
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#4
Glendale, CA
46 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
To me the Antarctic cruise is not that attractive unless you get to land; lots of sea days in rough water without that much of a payoff.

The expedition cruises took a hit from the economic crisis. ~30,000 passenger landings at the peak, now down to ~20,000.

The specialty ski mountaineering cruise I took in 2011:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...0#post31757800

That cruise will be offered in 2013, 2014 and 2015 but the price has increased $2,000 per person. I don't know if other Antarctic expedition trips have seen recent price increases.
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#5
39 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by Steamboat Bill
It might be well to distinguish between expedition cruises that land passengers in Antarctica and larger cruise ships, like Veendam, that simply sail past for the view. I suspect that increasingly severe regulation of Antarctic visitation has had an effect on operators and might account for a reduction in the number of ships offering the expedition-tyoe trips. The only expedition sailing I'm familiar with is the Fram departing Buenos Aires on November 2 for the Falklands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula; this is marketed by Vantage Travel. It costs vastly more than the Veendam trip and is almost sold out. Only one suite and insides are shown as available; we're in an inside and a portgole would have cost the two of us $4000 additional...now it's not available.

I wonder if the Veendam on December 20 is suffering from people's desire not to be away for Christmas?
This is a very very odd post. There seems to be no problem with the expedition type cruises! Remember that this is Cruise Critic: many sections simply do not consider these cruises! For example, there are very few expedition type ships for which one can write a formal "review", Fram
being one. For most small ships it is impossible.

However, they can be and extensively are discussed in the "ports" Forum
section under Antarctica. You just have to look in the right place.
I went on GAdventure's "Expedition" over Christmas and wrote a review there.

Its too late for this year, but no problem getting on a ship for
next year. Just search carefully to be sure you get on the right boat. Concerns are different than for big ships. Read lots of trip reports both here and on TripAdvisor. For example, I wanted to both land on the Continent itself and go camping and go south of the Antarctic Circle and see chicks hatching. This limited me to just one particular date on this particular ship! No other choice! And the cruise was a perfect success, all goals were met.
#6
Atlanta, GA - United States
97 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Hi Steamboat Bill. How was your Antarctic cruise on the Fram? Was working with Vantage Travel good?

We are contemplating an small ship trip as you described.
#7
Nova Scotia Canada
4,656 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
For more information about expedition ships going to Antarctica go here: http://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowForum-...dventures.html

And here to a wonderful spreadsheet with many details about ships and options: http://www.traveltothepoles.com/
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Sailed:
Eden (Navimag) four nights on ferry up inner west coast of Chile, March 2016
Expedition (GAdventures) Antarctica, Feb/March 2016
Dragon's Pearl Halong Bay, Vietnam 2014
Azamara Quest Far East, March 5, 2011
Victoria Empress, Yangtze River, March 25, 2011
Azamara Quest Ancient Empires, Nov. 14, 2009

Independent land tours:
Skiing in France, then drove to Tuscany, down to Sicily and back to Lyon: March/April, 2017
Argentina and Chile - cities and Patagonia, 2016
Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Seoul, 2014
New Zealand and Australia 2013
China 2011
Argentina and Peru, 2007
Europe, 1985, 91-92, 95, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2011
numerous in US and Canada
Guatemala and Mexico 1971, 1972
Haiti, 1970
Jamaica, 1968-71