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  #1  
Old August 6th, 2010, 06:27 PM
cambriah cambriah is offline
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Default cruise To Antartica

Thinking about a South America cruise from Buenos Aires to the Falkland Islands and a few of the Islands in Antartica. It would be a 14 night cruise on Celebrity Cruise Line (Infinity), or possibly The Princess cruise line.

We are more into nature than touring big cities. We loved our Alaska cruise, and are now looking for something similar but at a different location. Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated. We are Seniors, in generally good health and we were wondering if such a cruise would be too strenuous for us?
Thanks so much!
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  #2  
Old August 6th, 2010, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by cambriah View Post
Thinking about a South America cruise from Buenos Aires to the Falkland Islands and a few of the Islands in Antartica. It would be a 14 night cruise on Celebrity Cruise Line (Infinity), or possibly The Princess cruise line.

We are more into nature than touring big cities. We loved our Alaska cruise, and are now looking for something similar but at a different location. Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated. We are Seniors, in generally good health and we were wondering if such a cruise would be too strenuous for us?
Thanks so much!
If you are doing the "drive by" cruise, with no landings, you should be fine. Only the "expedition" type ships have landings in Antarctica. Landings on the Continent require some mobility, but you mention using Celebrity or Princess, both do not make landings. AA was very special for us and not to be missed if you are into the nature type views. Not sure if Princess will be allowed to sail past the 2011 season, but HAL has the Veendam doing the drive-by through many of the most scenic places in AA, as well as a few others. I think Azamara will also be doing AA routes.
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  #3  
Old August 7th, 2010, 09:42 AM
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If you are doing the "drive by" cruise, with no landings, you should be fine. Only the "expedition" type ships have landings in Antarctica. Landings on the Continent require some mobility, but you mention using Celebrity or Princess, both do not make landings.
The best Antarctica experience is an expedition on a small ship. This can be more strenuous than a typical cruise and also much more expensive. If you are physically fit and can afford it, go for an expedition with landings in South Georgia and Antarctica. Search this board for your many options.

It will be a trip of a lifetime.
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Ocean Nova in Antarctica Dec 2012: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1739893
Egypt Land Trip Review http://www.independenttraveler.com/t...-all-one-world
Swan Hellenic Minerva Antarctica - January 2010 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1083945
Galapagos http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...ight=galapagos
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Celebrity Millennium - South America, 22 January 2006. Review at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=293376
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  #4  
Old August 8th, 2010, 06:12 PM
bellybutton530 bellybutton530 is offline
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My mother and I were on the Marco Polo (no longer in service) in Dec 1999 for their Grande Millennium cruise. We sailed from South Africa to South America, then down the east coast of South America to the Falklands; and then on to Antarctica, where we had 6 landings along the peninsula. She was 79 years old.

This was our last continent to land on; and she did it. She made ALL of the landings. We loved the expertience so much that we returned the following year and repeated the experience.

It was the trip of a lifetime. There were only 350 passengers, which allowed for longer landings. The cruise was uber-expensive, and most of the passengers were elderly. I would estimate that the average age of the 350 pax was around 65.

Some passengers opted to pass on the landings; not Mom. She was a trooper.... In the year leading up to the cruise, we started walking 3 miles a day in the mall to build up her endurance. She did great!!!!

She never regretted taking those 2 cruises. And our passports are stamped with all 7 continents. What a keepsake....

Cheryl
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  #5  
Old August 21st, 2010, 06:11 AM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is offline
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Originally Posted by cambriah View Post
Thinking about a South America cruise from Buenos Aires to the Falkland Islands and a few of the Islands in Antartica. It would be a 14 night cruise on Celebrity Cruise Line (Infinity), or possibly The Princess cruise line.

We are more into nature than touring big cities. We loved our Alaska cruise, and are now looking for something similar but at a different location. Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated. We are Seniors, in generally good health and we were wondering if such a cruise would be too strenuous for us?
Thanks so much!
We have done this cruise on various cruise lines and it is wonderful. I would take the one that begins in Buenos Aires so you can spend a few days there prior to the cruise and then sail to Valparaiso. Find one that includes sailing off of Antarctica for a few days.

Keith
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  #6  
Old August 23rd, 2010, 01:00 PM
willis willis is offline
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Default Antarctica cruise compared to Alaskan cruise

Hi,!

My Dad and I did the South America / Antarctica cruise on the Celebrity Infinity on its January 31, 2010 sailing. I've also done an Alaskan cruise on the Celebrity Mercury ( June, 2000 ). I think there are some similarities, but also some differences between the two cruises.

Our Alaskan cruise was much more port intensive. South America / Antarctica had a lot more sea days. Also, because the sea conditions can be very rough near the Falklands and Antarctica, you need to consider that the itinerary can change on short notice, as it did on our cruise. Port Stanley ( The Falklands ) was dropped entirely, and our two day visit to Antarctica was reduced to a half day ( and almost dropped entirely ). These types of cruise ships are really not designed for the Antarctic region, so their captains are understandably cautious.

Also, as a poster above mentioned, these big cruise ships, like the Infinity, do not let passengers off the boat at the Antarctica "ports of call". These are strictly "drive-by" type cruises. If you're interested in actually setting foot on the Antarctica continent, you will need to line yourself up on a much smaller, expedition style ship. Most of these leave out of Ushuaia, Argentina ( although I think there are a few that leave out of Australia and / or New Zealand ).

I don't think this cruise would be too strenuous for most travelers. Dad is 81, and has a brace on one leg, and uses crutches to walk. The only difficulty he encountered was getting on and off the tender in Ushuaia, Argentina, but tenders are always a problem for him because of his brace. Celebrity's crew members who ran the tenders were always willing to assist Dad any way they could. If we had been able to stop at the Falklands, Dad thinks he would not have been able to get on and off the tenders because of the choppy waters that are often encountered there.

Dad and I had a great time on our Antarctica cruise. We had beautiful, sunny weather during our half day in Paradise Bay, Antarctica. We were able to "round the Horn". Beautiful Ushuaia reminded me of some of our Alaskan ports. The area around Puerto Madryn seemed barren, but the town itself was nice. Dad and I had a wonderful tour there, including a "tea" in the nearby Welsh village of Gaiman. Montevideo was a nice city, but it's a big city... much different than your typical Alaskan port. We did a city tour and a winery visit there.

Our cruise started and ended in Buenos Aires. Dad and I spent four days there prior to the cruise, and loved every minute of it, even though it got rather warm and humid at times. We took in a tango show, visited a ranch, had some great beef, did a city tour, among other things. It's a great city. If you do this cruise, consider having Madi Lang of BA Cultural Concierge ( baculturalconcierge.com ) help plan your time in Buenos Aires, and even guide you around town. She's a delightful and interesting young lady who hails from Maryland. She planned all of our activities and transportation with my Dad's age and disability in mind.

All in all, even considering the itinerary changes and rough seas, I give our Antarctica cruise experience very high marks.

If you'd like to see our pictures, here's the link:

http://picasaweb.google.com/10189629...Antarctica2010#

Also, if you haven't been there already, you might also consider a cruise that includes the Norwegian fjords. I did a cruise on P&O Cruise Line's beautiful Aurora ( part of the Carnival family ) back in 2001. The itinerary included sailing in and out of Southampton, England, with stops in Amsterdam, Invergordon ( Scotland ), two stops in Iceland, and four stops in Norway. This cruise, I think, was much more comparable to the Alaskan cruise in terms of scenery, ports, sea days, etc..

Hope this helps!

Bill Hjort
Maplewood, Minnesota
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  #7  
Old October 10th, 2010, 03:13 PM
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Small ship (less than 200 passengers) is the only way to go if you want to see something. We actually felt sorry for those folks On the Celebrity who had to stay offshore while we were anchored in a bay.
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  #8  
Old October 11th, 2010, 10:59 AM
Mary Ellen Mary Ellen is offline
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Small ship (less than 200 passengers) is the only way to go if you want to see something.
We sailed to Antarctica on HAL's Rotterdam. We saw plenty. Not only did we see plenty, we smelled the the penguins too. We are planning on returning to Antarctica. It will NOT be on an "expedition" ship as those aren't the best for our needs. The HAL ships are smaller than the X and Princess ships and can get closer. Thankfully, HAL is still having ships to Antarctica in the next few years. They will be using the appropriate fuel for those sailings.

We LOVED what we did. NO need to feel "sorry" for us.
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  #9  
Old November 6th, 2010, 03:37 AM
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We sailed to Antarctica on HAL's Rotterdam. We saw plenty. Not only did we see plenty, we smelled the the penguins too. We are planning on returning to Antarctica. It will NOT be on an "expedition" ship as those aren't the best for our needs. The HAL ships are smaller than the X and Princess ships and can get closer. Thankfully, HAL is still having ships to Antarctica in the next few years. They will be using the appropriate fuel for those sailings.

We LOVED what we did. NO need to feel "sorry" for us.
that is great. so the ship did not land, but you can get very close to see the penjuns? i will love that.
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  #10  
Old November 9th, 2010, 12:56 PM
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that is great. so the ship did not land, but you can get very close to see the penjuns? i will love that.
Take a good pair of binoculars and a good zoom lens for your camera.
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Swan Hellenic Minerva Antarctica - January 2010 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1083945
Galapagos http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...ight=galapagos
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Celebrity Millennium - South America, 22 January 2006. Review at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=293376
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  #11  
Old December 6th, 2010, 11:54 AM
Mary Ellen Mary Ellen is offline
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that is great. so the ship did not land, but you can get very close to see the penjuns? i will love that.
We saw lots and LOTS of penguins. Some spots we were closer than others, but I would still recommend binoculars to get more detail.
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  #12  
Old February 15th, 2011, 12:33 AM
donaldsc donaldsc is offline
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Originally Posted by cambriah View Post
Thinking about a South America cruise from Buenos Aires to the Falkland Islands and a few of the Islands in Antartica. It would be a 14 night cruise on Celebrity Cruise Line (Infinity), or possibly The Princess cruise line.

We are more into nature than touring big cities. We loved our Alaska cruise, and are now looking for something similar but at a different location. Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated. We are Seniors, in generally good health and we were wondering if such a cruise would be too strenuous for us?
Thanks so much!
What you are doing on a Princess or Celebrity cruise in Antarctica is the equivalent of visiting England by going up and down the Thames without ever getting off the ship or taking a Circle Line boat tour of New York and not getting off the ship.

It also makes as much sense as any of these choices; i.e., none.

DON
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Old April 15th, 2011, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bellybutton530 View Post
My mother and I were on the Marco Polo (no longer in service) in Dec 1999 for their Grande Millennium cruise. We sailed from South Africa to South America, then down the east coast of South America to the Falklands; and then on to Antarctica, where we had 6 landings along the peninsula. She was 79 years old.

This was our last continent to land on; and she did it. She made ALL of the landings. We loved the expertience so much that we returned the following year and repeated the experience.

It was the trip of a lifetime. There were only 350 passengers, which allowed for longer landings. The cruise was uber-expensive, and most of the passengers were elderly. I would estimate that the average age of the 350 pax was around 65.

Some passengers opted to pass on the landings; not Mom. She was a trooper.... In the year leading up to the cruise, we started walking 3 miles a day in the mall to build up her endurance. She did great!!!!

She never regretted taking those 2 cruises. And our passports are stamped with all 7 continents. What a keepsake....

Cheryl
Cheryl,

We also went to Antarctica aboard the lovely, and sorely missed, Marco Polo. Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to start in South Africa Although we did spend time in Buenos Aires, prior to boarding in Ushuaia. The landings were not very strenuous, and the crew members were extremely helpful to those having any difficulties. Like you, we most definitely did not need binoculars to see the penguins. The binoculars did come in habdy to see the packs of seals floating by the ship on the hotel sized icebergs.

Although it has been almost ten years now, the cruise to Antarctica, aboard the Marco Polo is still my favorite. We seem to have had a much more diverse age grouping on our cruise. There were all ages and even a nine year old.

Ray in NH
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  #14  
Old April 16th, 2011, 09:20 PM
cnbfrank cnbfrank is offline
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We had a fantastic trip January 2011 on HAL's Veendam. You can get very close to penguins at some of the South America ports, as well as the Falkland Islands, if you sign up for HAL's excursions or arrange private tours.
See Bescotti's blog with great pix here:
http://bescotti.blogspot.com/
her "final thoughts" about Antarctica echo ours. We really did not want to threaten that fragile landscape by landing and walking. We had wonderfully clear and sunny weather for 3 days slow, scenic cruising of Antarctica, spent most waking hours on various decks and the open bow, and felt only wonder and awe at the privilege of being in such a special part of the world.
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  #15  
Old May 6th, 2011, 06:18 PM
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FolksOfMeans - ByNoMeans FolksOfMeans - ByNoMeans is offline
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We really did not want to threaten that fragile landscape by landing and walking.
The landings in Antarctica are very similiar to the landings in the Galapagos Islands.

The number of visitors is very restricted.
Visitors only walk on predetermined paths.
Nothing is to be removed from either area.
What you take ashore with you - Comes back with you.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by FolksOfMeans - ByNoMeans View Post
The landings in Antarctica are very similiar to the landings in the Galapagos Islands.

The number of visitors is very restricted.
Visitors only walk on predetermined paths.
Nothing is to be removed from either area.
What you take ashore with you - Comes back with you.
Exactly ! It is extremely well controlled. And boots and pants are scrubbed in Zircon (or similar industrial grade disinfectant) before and after every landing, and pockets and camera bags and velcro on waterproof pants are all vacumned free of seeds and guano in between each landing. This ensures no cross contamination between landing sites.
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  #17  
Old May 13th, 2011, 01:25 AM
bellybutton530 bellybutton530 is offline
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Cheryl,

We also went to Antarctica aboard the lovely, and sorely missed, Marco Polo. Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to start in South Africa Although we did spend time in Buenos Aires, prior to boarding in Ushuaia. The landings were not very strenuous, and the crew members were extremely helpful to those having any difficulties. Like you, we most definitely did not need binoculars to see the penguins. The binoculars did come in habdy to see the packs of seals floating by the ship on the hotel sized icebergs.

Although it has been almost ten years now, the cruise to Antarctica, aboard the Marco Polo is still my favorite. We seem to have had a much more diverse age grouping on our cruise. There were all ages and even a nine year old.

Ray in NH
Hi Ray:

All three of my cruises on Marco Polo are among my all-time favorites.

1996: Kenya to Singapore
1999: Grand Millennium, South Africa to South America to Antarctica
2000: South America to Antarctica (once was not enough)
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