We have looked at a number of ships and cruise tour providers, and have become more confused than clear.
I'm hoping that some who have cruised Antarctica in the past can provide some feedback. Here's what we want, and we are looking for providers that can deliver it.
Cabins don't need balcony but must have a window or porthole.
We want to put our feet on the ice. No "drive by's."
Must be a luxury or luxury-lite ship.
Prefer a ship with 100 passengers (ie no taking turns going to the ice)
Quality of food and service levels are important.
Quality of lectures and any "extras" such as a visit to a research station will be considered.
Cabins must have queen beds or twins which can be pushed together. No fixed twins or bunks.
Prefer 10-14 day max cruise length.
Need fully stabilized ship. (I am prone to seasickness and already expect to be in bed trying to keep down ginger ale the entire way back and forth across the Drake)
Budget up to $11K per person (today's dollars), not including tips, airfare, hotels, alcohol, etc.
Whether they provide or rent boots and parkas will also factor into our decision. The thought of trying to pack those in a suitcase with a 50 pound limit makes me shudder--and I'm a light packer.
Availability of guest laundry or laundry packages will be a factor.
No formal, semi-formal, theme nights. Dinner dress code along the lines of slacks (not jeans) and a sweater/turtleneck or collared shirt.
Anything else you felt was important in your decision and how well the ship or provider delivered would be appreciated as well.
April 2014--Paul Gauguin to French Polynesia
June 2012--Windstar Wind Surf Back-To-Back, Rome to Venice to Athens
October 2011--Disney Dream Bahamas
October 2005--RCCL Mariner Western Caribbean
August 2002--Disney Magic Eastern Caribbean
Three weeks in Europe (two on a ship) with a 20" roll aboard and a tote bag--packing list here.
My all in a 20" wheeled bag for a warm weather cruise packing list here
20" rolling bag packing list for two weeks in a cool/cold climate here.