Sorting Through Various Cruises

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#1
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,305 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
We've decided to cruise to Antarctica for milestone birthdays in 2021. (Yes, I know it's pretty far off, but it seems to be a trip that requires a lot of research and planning.)

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.

Thanks!
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Past Cruises...
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.
#2
Nova Scotia Canada
4,731 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
I have not gone yet, but am booked for 2016. I made a comparison chart and found some compromises had to be made. I also got help from several tour companies who listed the possibilities.

The more luxurious ships are the larger ones. Some of the smaller ships were more expensive and the other small ones were very spartan.

We ended up choosing G Adventures Expedition. It is comfortable, and you can get a queen bed though you will pay more. However it has more than 100 passengers.

We are in a twin room with a window. There are good reports of lecturers and there is a resident photographer. The restaurant and lounge area have windows. Another feature is its mudroom which many of the ships do not have. As for laundry we will handwash and dry in our room. Apparently it is very dry there so things dry quickly. I cannot remember if the expedition has a laundry.

Some people will be kayaking which will give more shore time to the rest of us. They lend boots and give you parkas.

If you are interested you can find me on Trip Advisor (Nova Scotia forum), send me a message with your email and I will send the chart. You can edit it for your criteria as you continue your research.
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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
#3
France
761 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by maryann ns
The more luxurious ships are the larger ones. Some of the smaller ships were more expensive and the other small ones were very spartan.
Exactly what I was going to say. I think a compromise may have to be found between size, degree of luxury and budget.
Ponant might cover all your requirements except number of passengers.
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My travelblog : http://voyageterremer.blogspot.com Hurtigruten, Antarctica, Svalbard, Norway (and other places...).
#6
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,305 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
We are willing to up the budget to get the sleeping accommodations and level of luxury we seek.

Have any of you done Lindblad/NatGeo to Antarctica? In looking at the various options, and realizing we'll need to make some choices, the Explorer looks like it might be a good choice for us.
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Past Cruises...
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.
#7
9,721 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by ducklite

Have any of you done Lindblad/NatGeo to Antarctica? In looking at the various options, and realizing we'll need to make some choices, the Explorer looks like it might be a good choice for us.
I have, with my spouse, Jan/Feb. 2013. Absolutely extraordinary, I can't say enough good things about our expedition. You can find my very detailed journal at the link in my signature below. I started keeping it when we began preparing for the trip (more than a year out), so there's a great deal of info that I hope will be helpful, regardless of who you eventually decide to go with.

There are 148 pax on board the Explorer, divided into 6 landing groups. When it's not your turn to go ashore, you are typically out on a zodiac cruise, which was just about as phenomenal as being ashore (sometimes more so). On a few occasions, you could also kayak.

At the time we booked, you had to bring your own boots, but you can rent them now. And they "give" you the parka. (Most expensive "free" piece of clothing I've ever received!

Very comfortable cabin with a huge window, queen sized bed.

Happy to answer any specific questions you may have, if I can.
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RCI Anthem of the Seas -- Florida and Bahamas (R/T NY) (Feb. 2018)
HAL Zuiderdam -- Viking Passage WB Transatlantic (Copenhagen to NY)(Aug./Sept. 2018)
Sailed
NCL Jewel -- Panama Canal (Miami to LA) (Jan./Feb. 2017) review & photos
NCL Gem -- Caribbean (R/T NY)(Feb. 2016)
RCI Anthem of the Seas -- WB Transatlantic (inaugural TA) (Southampton to Cape Liberty) (Oct./Nov. 2015) review & photos

NCL Gem -- Florida and Bahamas (R/T NY) (May 2015)
Celebrity Silhouette -- WB Transatlantic (Rome to Ft. Lauderdale) (Nov. 2014)
Celebrity Infinity -- WB Transatlantic (Harwich to Miami) (Oct./Nov. 2013, with Pied Piper)
Lindblad/National Geographic Explorer -- Antarctica (Jan./Feb. 2013) photo journal here

Celebrity Eclipse -- EB Transatlantic (Miami to Southampton) (April/May 2012, with Pied Piper)
NCL Gem -- Bermuda (R/T NY) (Oct. 2011)
Viking River Cruises Emerald -- China (May 2011)
NCL Jewel -- Florida and Bahamas (R/T NY) (Oct. 2010)
NCL Jade -- Eastern and Western Med (R/T Barcelona) (Jan./Feb. 2010)
NCL Majesty -- Florida and Western Caribbean (R/T Charleston) (Feb. 2008)
NCL Dynasty -- Alaska (Seward to Vancouver) (Aug. 1998, with Olivia)
Dolphin Cruise Lines Dolphin IV -- Florida and Bahamas (July 1992 (?), with Olivia)
USNS Wilkes -- Spain and British Isles (summer 1974)
USNS Kane -- Spain and Canary Islands (summer 1973)
USNS Wilkes -- Caribbean (summer 1972)
USNS Bartlett -- Transpacific (San Diego to Jakarta) (summer 1971)
Italian Line Leonardo da Vinci-- Eastern and Southern Caribbean (R/T NY) (Dec. 1968)















#8
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,305 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by Turtles06
I have, with my spouse, Jan/Feb. 2013. Absolutely extraordinary, I can't say enough good things about our expedition. You can find my very detailed journal at the link in my signature below. I started keeping it when we began preparing for the trip (more than a year out), so there's a great deal of info that I hope will be helpful, regardless of who you eventually decide to go with.

There are 148 pax on board the Explorer, divided into 6 landing groups. When it's not your turn to go ashore, you are typically out on a zodiac cruise, which was just about as phenomenal as being ashore (sometimes more so). On a few occasions, you could also kayak.

At the time we booked, you had to bring your own boots, but you can rent them now. And they "give" you the parka. (Most expensive "free" piece of clothing I've ever received!

Very comfortable cabin with a huge window, queen sized bed.

Happy to answer any specific questions you may have, if I can.
Wonderful--thank you!!
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Past Cruises...
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.
#9
Gold Coast
10,197 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
After years of research, I found you have to compromise. First, we had to find a suitable cruise in December, when my daughter had holidays.

She had already been on a basic small expedition cruise to the Falkland and South Georgia Islands and Antarctica, so she knew the advantages of cruising on a small expedition ship. She also wanted to include the Falkland and South Georgia Islands again and go kayaking.

As a senior, I wanted more comfort, such as an inside observation lounge and polar circle boats, with rigid hulls, and handles for ease of transfer to the boat and wet landings. Having cruised on Norwegian Coastal Voyage, I trust the safety of Hurtigruten. Hurtigruten carries over 200 passengers, divided into 8 groups, I believe.

We have just booked a 19 day cruise on Hurtigruten's Fram to the Falkland and South Georgia Islands and Antarctica, departing 1st December. If you google the ship you will see how comfortable it is and you can follow its daily blog. It offers camping, kayaking, snow shoeing and small boat cruising, depending on the weather.

Fram is now on its way to Buenos Aires to start the 2014/2015 Antarctica season.

Of course, no-one knows which ships will be cruising to Antarctica in 2021.
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Marion
Hurtigruten - Fram - 2014 - Ushuaia to Antarctica, via Falkland Islands and South Georgia Islands.
Princess - Ocean Princess - 2013 - Dover to Iceland and Norway, via Shetland and Faroe Islands.

Princess - Ocean Princess - 2012 - Singapore to Sydney
Fred Olsen Black Watch - 2012 - The Baltic, with Norway. Dover to St. Petersburg, via Kiel Canal.
Celebrity Century - 2011 - Auckland to Sydney

CTMA Vacancier - 2011 - Montreal to Magdalen Islands. Amtrak - Toronto to New York
MSC - Poesia - 2010 - Kiel, Germany to NY. Amtrak NY to Niagara Falls, VIA Rail Toronto to Vancouver
MSC - Lirica - 2008 - Genoa, Italy to Fort Lauderdale
Royal Caribbean - Rhapsody of the Seas - 2007 - Honolulu to Sydney
Rivers of Holland Cruise - 2003 - to Amsterdam
Alaskan Marine Highway - 2003 - to most Alaskan ports of call
Star Cruises - Superstar Leo - 2003 - Sydney to Darwin
Norwegian Coastal Voyage - Naruik - 2002 - Bergen to Kirkenes
Angelina Lauro - 1971 - Sydney to Perth. Indian Pacific - Perth to Sydney (Put me off cruising for 30 years!)

P & O - Chusan - 1970 - London to Brisbane, via Africa, India and Sri Lanka (Suez closed).
Chandris Lines - Queen Frederica - 1969 - Sydney to London, via Panama, New York and Rotterdam
#10
ExPerth, Now Melb Aus
652 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by MMDown Under

Of course, no-one knows which ships will be cruising to Antarctica in 2021.
Exactly.

Ships move from operator to operator, charter to charter. They get refurbished, renamed, recalled to Russia - anything. Fuel laws changed recently - they could well change again - reducing the amount or the size of vessels in the region. 7 years is eons in the travel industry - even more so in the polar world.

Planning to book 2 years to 18 months out is practical. I would simply start your savings program now and when you have enough - go on the voyage of your choosing. Dont put it off for "milestones" - people that do that rarely make it to the milestone event because so much emphasis is placed on a date so far in the future.
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Antarctica
Kapitan Khlebnikov Nov 2010 (West Antarctica, Weddell Sea, Riser Laarsen Coast, Sth Sandwhich & Sth Georgia Islands)
Kapitan Khlebnikov Dec 2011 (Final voyage - East Antarctica & Heard Island)
Sea Adventurer: Feb 2014 (East side of Antarctica Peninsular, South Georgia Is, Falkland Is).

Ortelius: Feb 2014 Bluff NZ, Ross Sea, West Antarctica, Peninsula, Peter 1st Island, Ushuaia
Other regions: too many to list so just the highlights:
P&O Oriana 1984 (Indian Ocean) and 1986 (Pacific Ocean), Superstar Virgo 2003 (Indian Ocean),
Radiance of the Seas: Nov 2014 Bravo Theatre Opera cruise - Noumea.

#11
France
761 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by MMDown Under
We have just booked a 19 day cruise on Hurtigruten's Fram to the Falkland and South Georgia Islands and Antarctica, departing 1st December. If you google the ship you will see how comfortable it is and you can follow its daily blog. It offers camping, kayaking, snow shoeing and small boat cruising, depending on the weather.
Having been twice to Antarctica with MS Fram, I couldn't agree more that she is a great ship (with a great crew) for this destination, and I would go with her again in a heartbeat. However I thought it wouldn't suit ducklite's request for several reasons : too many passengers, no queen beds in the cabin (although, maybe in the suites?) and while the crew is friendly and very helpful and the food is perfectly adequate, it is not maybe the level of luxury service and refined food that ducklite is looking for.
This being said, I hadn't noticed the timeline, and fully agree that it is way too soon now to single out a ship for a 2021 cruise. So much can change until then, so I would follow PerfectlyPerth advice and just start saving up.
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My travelblog : http://voyageterremer.blogspot.com Hurtigruten, Antarctica, Svalbard, Norway (and other places...).
#12
UK
1,542 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
We have been to Antarctica (twice), Spitzbergen and, in eleven months time, we will be gong to Greenland, all on Hurtigruten's Fram. It's comfortable, reasonable on price and, most importantly, has a great crew with highly qualified and experienced expedition staff who go out of their way to make sure everyone has the best possible time. That she carries around 200 passengers is not the problem it may sound to be. With the limit of 100 ashore at any one time, half of the passengers can be ashore with the other half either preparing to go or changing after returning. Any 'downtime' is easily eaten up on deck soaking up the truly incredible surroundings. We have never found ourselves short of time or rushed when ashore, or bored or looking for something to do when onboard.

As to some of your other 'requirements':
- boots are good and can be rented

- a windproof and waterproof jacket is provided 'free', ie included in the price

- research station visits can happen but are not regularly scheduled. We visited Almirante Brown, an Argentinian manned station, on our most recent trip but the staff there were 'otherwise busy'. The one time we did visit a research station was as a result of a passenger falling ill and having to be medivaced out. This involved sailing to Frei base overnight and most of the next morning. Once there, we were able to wander around Frei and Bellingshausen and to talk to some of the Chilean staff

- Fram was purpose built for the arctic regions so is stabilised (though any expedition-sized ship will 'move' when the Southern Ocean and Antarctica become restless) and has an ice-hardened hull (1B?) which enabled us to spend several hours on our last trip pushing our way through metre-thick sea ice: an experience we'll not forget!

- beds, as opposed to 'bunks' (convertible seating), are available in the superior level cabins and suites though, typically on such ships, these are on the higher decks and anyone using them may regret their decision to pay to sway, especially if the Drake lives up to its reputation. We found that we spent minimal time in our cabin: just sleeping, bathing and changing. The rest of the time we were either on shore, in lectures, eating or on deck being mesmerised

- dress code is casual. Some wore jeans in the dining room, the majority didn't. You should be aware that the odd 'item of interest', live or landscape, doesn't have a list of onboard events or mealtimes and so you need to be ready (camera under the table!) to get out on deck, reasonably suitably clothed, at no, or very short, notice

Anything else that's important? The itinerary! If you're going to make this trip just the once you should seriously consider an itinerary which includes South Georgia and the Falklands. They are simply amazing and offer a different, but complimentary, experience to Antarctica. With just 10-14 days you would struggle to find such an itinerary (Fram, from memory, needs 19 days) but I would urge you to see if you are able to find the extra days.

I would also urge you to bear in mind MMDown Under's and PerfectlyPerth's observations: now is much to soon to choose a ship for 2021. 18 months before, or when the appropriate brochure is released, are probably optimal. And don't wait any longer than you need to: we have missed 'events' that we were waiting for because, when the time came, the event was no longer available. Friends have also missed milestone events because they didn't make the milestone or became too unfit. Save up and go!

I hope that has helped but the one word that is cropping up in responses so far is 'compromise' and that is almost certainly what you will have to do.
#13
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,305 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
We will still be employed at the time we cruise. Considering the time it takes to get there and back, we will not have time to extend to the Falklands. If we can extend, Easter Island would be more to our interests anyhow.

We don't need to save, we have the funds now. However we have other travel plans already in place (or soon to be) for the next 3-5 years. As we are only in our early 50's, we aren't all that concerned about making it to 2021. Of course anything could happen, but you can't live your life waiting for a shoe to drop.

I realize that ships change, but we wanted to start looking at cruise lines and providers so that in a few years when it's time to book, we will be ready. We also want to research getting there and back. Does anyone know if the LAN charter has first class's eating available?

We would rather have a lower category cabin on a luxury ship than a suite on a non-luxury vessel. Convertible beds/bunks are a show stopper. Game over. Same with a non-luxury/luxury-lite ship. Our best cruise ever was a lower cat cabin in the WindSurf, worst cruise ever was the Royal Suite on Royal Caribbean. As they say, you can't put lipstick on a pig.

We considered L'Boreal, but after a poor experience on a "French" ship earlier this year, we lost interest. It's also too big.

At this point I think we are leaning towards Linblad/National Geographic. They seems to offer what we are looking for, albeit at a slightly higher price, but we would rather spend an extra $5K for a couple weeks and be happy than be disappointed with the service, accommodations, and food on a different ship. As I said, these are things that are important to us. We wouldn't be good candidates for freighter travel, LOL!
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Past Cruises...
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.
#14
Abruzzo, Italy
188 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
I'd like to thank everyone for their very wise answers.

Just like ducklite I'm planning way in advance for a 2020 'milestone' event. The reason being, I will need 6 years to save for it. I want to include South Georgia and the Falklands, ideally I'd also like to cross the circle (although I understand that it's only a marker). Getting an idea of what's possible now will help me motivate myself to putting away in the region of €500 per month ($650) that it will cost for a couple including flights. And just like others have said, sometimes we may not make those milestones so if some 'grave' news comes my way I'll at have a little research under my belt to make a good decision, not a rush one.

Here's to dreams and good health for us all
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Then.....P&O Azura Norwegian Fjords - August 2019

PLANNING
Antarctica - 2020

SAILED...
P&O Ventura - Bruges Mini Cruise with my lovely MUM - November 2017
MSC Magnifica Eastern Med from Venice April 2015
MSC Splendida Western Med from Civitavecchia December 2014
NCL Sun - Glacier Bay from Vancouver September 2014
RC Splendour of the Seas - Argentina & Uruguay January 2012
Costa Serena - Atlantic Isles January 2010
RC Rhapsody of the Seas - Jewels of Asia February 2008

RC Voyager of the Seas - Mediterran October 2006
P&O Aurora - Altlantic Isles December 2005
P&O Aurora - Bruge Short Break August 2003
P&O Oriana - Spain & Canaries June 2001
#15
UK
1,542 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
A further thought, which may be obvious to some but not to others, do fly in a couple of days early. This is one cruise that you can't join at 'one of the other ports'. There are no other ports!
#16
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,305 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by digitl
A further thought, which may be obvious to some but not others, do fly in a couple of days early. This is one cruise that you can't join at 'one of the other ports'. There are no others!

Definitely! This is one reason that we can't afford the time to add in the Falklands, etc. We figure it will take a full day to get to BA, and would like to arrive there 2-3 days before we have to take the charter to Uruaisha for the ship. 10-12 days on board, a day to get back to BA and another day to fly home. Then hopefully a day at home to sleep and catch up on laundry before we return to work. That's almost three weeks, and we can't take more than that until we retire--and we don't want to wait that long as we might work until 67 as we both enjoy what we do.
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Past Cruises...
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.
#17
9,721 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by ducklite
I realize that ships change, but we wanted to start looking at cruise lines and providers so that in a few years when it's time to book, we will be ready. We also want to research getting there and back. Does anyone know if the LAN charter has first class's eating available?


Originally posted by ducklite
At this point I think we are leaning towards Linblad/National Geographic. They seems to offer what we are looking for, albeit at a slightly higher price, but we would rather spend an extra $5K for a couple weeks and be happy than be disappointed with the service, accommodations, and food on a different ship. As I said, these are things that are important to us. We wouldn't be good candidates for freighter travel, LOL!
Nat Geo/Lindblad provide an amazing, first rate Antarctic adventure. But first rate adventure should not be confused with "luxury" in the way you seem to be using that term. E.g., on my blog about our extraordinary expedition on the Explorer, I mentioned the food. What I wrote was: "What can I say, except that you don’t go on a trip to Antarctica for the food, and that the food on board the Explorer was adequate. We were never hungry, and meals weren’t about the dining but about sharing amazing experiences with new friends."

Nat Geo/Lindblad in Antarctica is about the experience, not the food or first class cabins on a charter flight. And they knock it out of the park. But perhaps it will not be "luxury" enough for you. Given your focus there, have you considered Silversea? I know little about them,but don't they bill themselves as "luxury"?
#18
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,305 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by Turtles06
Sorry, I was having coffee with my iPad, which sometimes has a mind of it's own. I meant first class seating (or business, or even premium economy.)

Nat Geo/Lindblad provide an amazing, first rate Antarctic adventure. But first rate adventure should not be confused with "luxury" in the way you seem to be using that term. E.g., on my blog about our extraordinary expedition on the Explorer, I mentioned the food. What I wrote was: "What can I say, except that you don’t go on a trip to Antarctica for the food, and that the food on board the Explorer was adequate. We were never hungry, and meals weren’t about the dining but about sharing amazing experiences with new friends."

Nat Geo/Lindblad in Antarctica is about the experience, not the food or first class cabins on a charter flight. And they knock it out of the park. But perhaps it will not be "luxury" enough for you. Given your focus there, have you considered Silversea? I know little about them,but don't they bill themselves as "luxury"?
Hmm, I hadn't thought of them, but yes, they are a luxury ship and might be a great choice for us. I still appreciate the information in your blog, as much of it would be useful regardless of which Antarctica cruise one is on.

Thanks!
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Past Cruises...
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.
#19
San Antonio, Texas
4,339 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Just posting to subscribe. I'm also looking at Antarctica as a retirement present to myself (in 16 years ) but have done a little web browsing just to see what's out there and what the cost is

By the time I retire, Antarctica will be the only continent I haven't visited. I have five now, and will get to South America in 2017 (I don't count my stop at Margarita Island, even though it belongs to Venezuela).

I'm very interested in the responses to this thread, even though Ducklite and I have different requirements. All links to anything having to do with Antarctica cruises will be much appreciated.

P.S. I wanted to respond to the OP on another (closed) thread (she knows which one ) to say thanks for the info on travel to Cuba - it's also something I'm considering post-retirement.
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Karen
156 Nights at Sea
7/97 Carnival Jubilee - Mex Riviera

12/04 Empress of the Seas - S. Caribbean Photos
12/07 Sovereign of the Seas - Bahamas Photos

4/08 Carnival Destiny - S. Caribbean
4/10 Serenade of the Seas - S. Caribbean
9/10 Majesty of the Seas - Bahamas Photos

1/11 Ruby Princess - E. Caribbean Photos
2/11 Navigator of the Seas - Cozumel Photos
8/11 Star Princess - E. Med/Greek Isles Photos
4/12 Jewel of the Seas - W. Caribbean
4/12 Caribbean Princess - S. Caribbean
3/13 Monarch of the Seas (farewell cruise) - Bahamas Photos
11/13 Caribbean Princess - W. Caribbean Photos
1/14 Jewel of the Seas - S. Caribbean Photos
1/14 Allure of the Seas - W. Caribbean Photos
4/15 Serenade of the Seas - Nola to Boston
10/15 Serenade of the Seas - Quebec to Ft. Lauderdale

4/16 Regal Princess - W. Caribbean
5/16 Coral Princess - Alaska
2/17 Coral Princess - Panama Canal Photos

4/17 Liberty of the Seas - W. Caribbean

Next cruise(s)
4/2018 Radiance of the Seas - New Zealand
5/2019 Celebrity Constellation - Europe

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
#20
Gold Coast
10,197 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by ducklite
Definitely! This is one reason that we can't afford the time to add in the Falklands, etc. We figure it will take a full day to get to BA, and would like to arrive there 2-3 days before we have to take the charter to Uruaisha for the ship. 10-12 days on board, a day to get back to BA and another day to fly home. Then hopefully a day at home to sleep and catch up on laundry before we return to work. That's almost three weeks, and we can't take more than that until we retire--and we don't want to wait that long as we might work until 67 as we both enjoy what we do.
As you have said you already have the money, why is not possible for you to take more than three weeks' leave?

When I read comments such as this, I'm reminded how fortunate we are to be living in Australia, where it is common to work to live, not live to work. During my career, I took several lots of a year off with no pay (to have children and to travel). My daughters have followed my lead, by taking leave without pay to follow their passions.
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Hurtigruten - Fram - 2014 - Ushuaia to Antarctica, via Falkland Islands and South Georgia Islands.
Princess - Ocean Princess - 2013 - Dover to Iceland and Norway, via Shetland and Faroe Islands.

Princess - Ocean Princess - 2012 - Singapore to Sydney
Fred Olsen Black Watch - 2012 - The Baltic, with Norway. Dover to St. Petersburg, via Kiel Canal.
Celebrity Century - 2011 - Auckland to Sydney

CTMA Vacancier - 2011 - Montreal to Magdalen Islands. Amtrak - Toronto to New York
MSC - Poesia - 2010 - Kiel, Germany to NY. Amtrak NY to Niagara Falls, VIA Rail Toronto to Vancouver
MSC - Lirica - 2008 - Genoa, Italy to Fort Lauderdale
Royal Caribbean - Rhapsody of the Seas - 2007 - Honolulu to Sydney
Rivers of Holland Cruise - 2003 - to Amsterdam
Alaskan Marine Highway - 2003 - to most Alaskan ports of call
Star Cruises - Superstar Leo - 2003 - Sydney to Darwin
Norwegian Coastal Voyage - Naruik - 2002 - Bergen to Kirkenes
Angelina Lauro - 1971 - Sydney to Perth. Indian Pacific - Perth to Sydney (Put me off cruising for 30 years!)

P & O - Chusan - 1970 - London to Brisbane, via Africa, India and Sri Lanka (Suez closed).
Chandris Lines - Queen Frederica - 1969 - Sydney to London, via Panama, New York and Rotterdam