Posted December 30th, 2006, 10:29 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.