Antarctica itinerary - trying to decide

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#1
Mid-Atlantic, USA
558 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
I'm trying to choose between two itineraries offered by Hurtigruten on the Fram & wonder if anyone would have any advice.

The first is a "Weddell Sea Adventure" -- 15 days - Jan. 21, 2012
The other is "Polar Circle Quest" - also 15 days, Feb 2, 2012.

The PCQ would stick to the western side of the peninsula and attempt to cross the circle. That appeals to me but the later date makes me wonder if we'd sacrifice seeing penguin chicks at a 'good' age. I've read that there is a better chance of seeing whales then, however.

The WSA in Jan. would be on the eastern side and also land on the peninsula, God & weather willing. There would be larger icebergs, I assume more ice & snow in general than the Feb. trip, penguins would be younger, but I think there is more time in open sea and possibly rougher seas so that is a detraction.

Unfortunately we can't be away for more than that time frame at this point so no South Georgia or Falklands on this trip.

There is also a shorter trip, Antarctic Discovery, which is 12 days and the dates are earlier in January (3rd,12th) which appeals but I think if we're going that far we should at least take the 15 day trip.

I've asked Hurtigruten for more information on the two longer itineraries but haven't heard back yet. In the meantime if anyone thinks either of them sounds better because of the time of year or location please let me know. Thanks!
#2
Texas Gulf Coast
1,169 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Originally posted by Sparky333
I'm trying to choose between two itineraries offered by Hurtigruten on the Fram & wonder if anyone would have any advice.

The first is a "Weddell Sea Adventure" -- 15 days - Jan. 21, 2012
The other is "Polar Circle Quest" - also 15 days, Feb 2, 2012.

The PCQ would stick to the western side of the peninsula and attempt to cross the circle. That appeals to me but the later date makes me wonder if we'd sacrifice seeing penguin chicks at a 'good' age. I've read that there is a better chance of seeing whales then, however.

The WSA in Jan. would be on the eastern side and also land on the peninsula, God & weather willing. There would be larger icebergs, I assume more ice & snow in general than the Feb. trip, penguins would be younger, but I think there is more time in open sea and possibly rougher seas so that is a detraction.

Unfortunately we can't be away for more than that time frame at this point so no South Georgia or Falklands on this trip.

There is also a shorter trip, Antarctic Discovery, which is 12 days and the dates are earlier in January (3rd,12th) which appeals but I think if we're going that far we should at least take the 15 day trip.

I've asked Hurtigruten for more information on the two longer itineraries but haven't heard back yet. In the meantime if anyone thinks either of them sounds better because of the time of year or location please let me know. Thanks!
I would vote for the Weddell Sea, but you already knew that. At least that way there would be at least the two of us on the rollcall.

Ron
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#3
Mid-Atlantic, USA
558 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Glad to know we'd be welcome!

dpro - I didn't want to bug you again with more questions but can you help me understand the Weddell Sea itinerary? I know it depends on weather but are there the same number of scheduled landings each day or is some of the time spent sailing all day?

Is there such a limited # of landings that we'd feel we were missing out?

Is it less about wildlife and more about the icebergs?

And have you heard anything about it being rougher on that side of the peninsula?

I'm still waiting to get a call back from Hurtigruten - I think the day before a holiday is not the time to get or expect an immediate response!

Any more light you can shed would be wonderful.
#4
Texas Gulf Coast
1,169 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Originally posted by Sparky333
Glad to know we'd be welcome!

dpro - I didn't want to bug you again with more questions but can you help me understand the Weddell Sea itinerary? I know it depends on weather but are there the same number of scheduled landings each day or is some of the time spent sailing all day?

Is there such a limited # of landings that we'd feel we were missing out?

Is it less about wildlife and more about the icebergs?

And have you heard anything about it being rougher on that side of the peninsula?

I'm still waiting to get a call back from Hurtigruten - I think the day before a holiday is not the time to get or expect an immediate response!

Any more light you can shed would be wonderful.
I can relate to your dilemma.

As I look at the Weddel Sea route, we have all of the landings we had on the Shackleton Route, except for the Falklands and South Georgia, and have scheduled at least 4 to 5 more landings on the Weddell Sea Peninsula. On our last trip we made all of the landings advertised, except for one on South Georgia. After crossing the Drake, the waters are much calmer in between the islands and in the Lemaire channel. Even on the days the ship is sailing in or around the protected waters, we experienced jaw-dropping sights with loads of wildlife, (seals on small ice patches, killer whales, humpbacks, penguins swimming, many birds around the ship, etc.)

I see more landings on the Weddell Sea Route and I think getting up close to the huge icebergs in the Weddell Sea is icing on the cake.
You are going to see lots of ice no matter which itinerary you choose.

No matter which you choose, I am pretty sure you won't be disappointed.

Have you seen the Hurtigruten photostream on Flickr?

RonC
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Grand Canyon by Raft 2000
Universe Explorer May 2000
Grand Princess Mediterranean May 2005
Carnival Elation October 2005
Carnival Conquest April 2006
Star Princess September 2006
Emerald Princess October 2007
HAL Zuiderdam TA March 2008
Dawn Princess May 2008
Pacific Princess Holy Land October 2008
Diamond Princess Bangkok - Whittier April 2009
Crown Princess - London - NYC September 2009
India by Land with Imtrav
Hurtigruten Fram Antarctica February 2010
Royal Princess - Alaska May 2010
Crown Princess - East Coast Oct 2010
April 2012 Disney Dream
April 2012 Celebrity Solstice TA
May 2012 Caribbean Princess British Isles


Coming

Feb 2013 - Diamond Princess Auckland to Syd
Jan 2014 - Hurtigruten Polar Quest Antarctica
#5
Mid-Atlantic, USA
558 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Just checked the Flickr pictures - just beautiful.

Thanks again for the input. I think I'm leaning in the Weddell Sea direction so I'll let you know if we'll be shipmates!