Posted July 14th, 2017, 09:41 PM
I am thinking of going on one of the 2 mainline cruise lines that go to South America/Antarctica - Holland America for 22 days or Celebrity for 14 days.
Holland America spends 4 days in the area called the Antarctic Experience which goes to the Palmer Archipelago, Danco coast and Antarctic sound.
Celebrity spends 2 days in the area and goes to Schollart channel, Paradise bay, Gerlache strait and Elephant island.
Are the locations for these 2 cruises the same or does HA go to more locations?
Does anyone have an opinion what one is the best cruise? Since HA spends 4 days in Antarctica and Celebrity only spends 2 days there, thus on the surface it appears that HA is the best choice if you want the most time there. If you are going to spend a lot of money and time on these cruises, it would seem that the one with the most time in Antarctica would be the best choice (HA spends extra time going up to Santiago vs Celebrity goes back to Buenos Aries).
Any opinions on these cruises would be appreciated from people who have been on them.
I can't speak for the HAL trip, but we did the Celebrity trip this past February. I've not done any expeditionary cruises down there, but, for me, I felt the "drive-by" was a great experience. What made it particularly nice is that our weather was amazing. Smooth crossings of the Drake both ways. We had two fantastic onboard lecturers/naturalists that provided wonderful information and daily programs.
I have no doubt that an expedition ship is
the true and best way to explore Antarctica, but since DW and I have never been to South America either, we liked the X itinerary in that we got to experience several different ports. If you are interested, here is a link to a youtube video that I posted of our trip. It is rather long, but does include footage of the entire voyage. Hope you enjoy it and find it helpful!
The only thing I highly suggest is to please view it in HD (720p) format. Otherwise the clarity is considerably compromised at lower resolution.