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Arctic Cruising Without Zodiacs

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I'm trying to find ships that do Arctic cruising but don't use Zodiacs for the landings.

 

I've sailed in the Antarctic and on the Amazon on ships that use small hard bottomed skiffs for the excursions. They have seats, are very stable, and easier to get in and out of.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thank you

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I'm trying to find ships that do Arctic cruising but don't use Zodiacs for the landings.

 

I've sailed in the Antarctic and on the Amazon on ships that use small hard bottomed skiffs for the excursions. They have seats, are very stable, and easier to get in and out of.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thank you

 

Might you be referring to the little "polarcirkel" (sp?) boats that Hurtigruten's Fram uses?

We are considering an Antarctic trip with them for this reason.

 

Note: We recently sailed one of the Round Trip Norwegian Coastal cruises (on the Trollfjord), and we were SO impressed with everything, although it is different from a regular cruise line is some ways. The Antarctic cruise will be different from the regular Norwegian Coastal for several reasons.

 

You might want to check the Hurtigruten and the Antarctic sub-forums here on CC.

 

 

GC

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Might you be referring to the little "polarcirkel" (sp?) boats that Hurtigruten's Fram uses?

We are considering an Antarctic trip with them for this reason.

 

Exactly. Very easy to get into from the ship. From the shore, they use a little two step footstool for getting in and out.

 

Note: We recently sailed one of the Round Trip Norwegian Coastal cruises (on the Trollfjord), and we were SO impressed with everything, although it is different from a regular cruise line is some ways. The Antarctic cruise will be different from the regular Norwegian Coastal for several reasons.

 

Absolutely. We had lectures. And announcements when whales were spotted. And the food was very good. (I never saw herring and salmon smoked/seasoned so many ways lol)

 

You might want to check the Hurtigruten and the Antarctic sub-forums here on CC.

 

I learned recently that Hurtigruten also does the Arctic with one of its ferries. I'm going to check that out for 2020. :)

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Might you be referring to the little "polarcirkel" (sp?) boats that Hurtigruten's Fram uses?

We are considering an Antarctic trip with them for this reason.

 

Exactly. Very easy to get into from the ship. From the shore, they use a little two step footstool for getting in and out.

 

Note: We recently sailed one of the Round Trip Norwegian Coastal cruises (on the Trollfjord), and we were SO impressed with everything, although it is different from a regular cruise line is some ways. The Antarctic cruise will be different from the regular Norwegian Coastal for several reasons.

 

Absolutely. We had lectures. And announcements when whales were spotted. And the food was very good. (I never saw herring and salmon smoked/seasoned so many ways lol)

 

You might want to check the Hurtigruten and the Antarctic sub-forums here on CC.

 

I learned recently that Hurtigruten also does the Arctic with one of its ferries. I'm going to check that out for 2020. :)

 

Fram comes north for the "Antarctic winter", but I'm not sure what her itinerary is.

Our TA ended up being offered a Canada/New England trip on Fram as it started back south to Antarctica a few months ago.

 

I'm not sure if other "cruise" ships use this, or even if other Hurtigruten ships do. It was discussed briefly in the Antarctic sub-forum, where most other mention seemed to be in more of a "working" context.

I'm not sure the Midnatsol, which also goes south for the Antarctic summer, has those. It might use zodiacs.

 

Did you actually *use* those polarcirkels?

They look *so* much easier in several ways.

 

Thanks!

 

GC

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Diane -

 

Just looked at your blog. Terrific!

Lots more to read, so thanks in advance!

 

And... **LOVE** that photo of the "friends" (penguins).

 

DH just left for an overnight business trip, so it was perfect timing to email a copy to him.

He sent back a photo of what appear to be puffins "kissing".

 

:)

 

GC

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Diane -

 

Just looked at your blog. Terrific!

Lots more to read, so thanks in advance!

 

And... **LOVE** that photo of the "friends" (penguins).

 

DH just left for an overnight business trip, so it was perfect timing to email a copy to him.

He sent back a photo of what appear to be puffins "kissing".

 

:)

 

GC

 

lol But did he take that picture? :D Pleased to say the penguin picture is mine. :)

 

Yes, we used the polarcirkel and a lot easier to get in and out of than a zodiac. Plus they have actual seats instead of sitting on the 'rim.'

 

Looking at Hurtigruten for Spitsbergen or vicinity for summer of 2020. And will need to make sure the ship uses the polarcirkels.

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lol But did he take that picture? :D Pleased to say the penguin picture is mine. :)

 

Yes, we used the polarcirkel and a lot easier to get in and out of than a zodiac. Plus they have actual seats instead of sitting on the 'rim.'

 

Looking at Hurtigruten for Spitsbergen or vicinity for summer of 2020. And will need to make sure the ship uses the polarcirkels.

 

No, he didn't take the puffin photo.

But... *I* didn't take the penguin photo, so it's all "fair" :D

 

That penguin photo is special!

 

I'm enjoying your photos of Churchill and the polar bears.

I'm thinking of surprising DH with a special "one day" charter flight there, specifically in search of polar bears (from one of 3 Canadian cities).

He seems to have developed a "thing" about polar bears, perhaps like mine with penguins.

 

It wouldn't be just "one day" for us, as we'd need to get to the departure city a day in advance, and leave a day later.

But I'm thinking of doing this as a "Surprise! Here is your suitcase, and we'll leave at ..."

Or maybe "Tomorrow we leave at x time, for a quickie surprise trip, no questions asked", and tell him to pack both snow parka, and bathing suit and sandals ;)

So he wouldn't know until we pull up at (or I tell driver) Air Canada, that at least it's probably not a beach vacation. And I think he'd figure out that we can't get to Antarctica for a 3-day weekend, start to finish...

He's already agreed to do a "surprise trip", and I think he's totally forgotten about it.

(I can't really keep it a total surprise; he agreed to "keep his calendar clear" if needed for this. Plus, I'll get travel insurance with CFAR, so "worst case", we'd get 75% back. I can't quite trust the scheduling, alas, if something truly urgent/important crops up on short notice, although that is very rare these days.)

 

The main "problem", so to speak, is that we have so many other trips "on the list", that at least until he (very belatedly) retires, I'd rather choose other destinations if it's more than a weekend. If it whets his appetite rather than satisfying it, well... we'll go back!

 

I thought it would be fun for him to tell friends/family/colleagues something like, "I went to see Polar Bears in northern Canada on Saturday [or Sunday/etc.]".

Not to mention the look on his face when he realizes what we are in fact doing! :)

 

GC

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The Hurtigruten ship we are taking to Antarctica in December 2018 uses Zodiacs. Believe this is the safer, flexible boat design that’s needed in the polar regions. A zodiac can handle waves from calving icebergs since it can flex.

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The Hurtigruten ship we are taking to Antarctica in December 2018 uses Zodiacs. Believe this is the safer, flexible boat design that’s needed in the polar regions. A zodiac can handle waves from calving icebergs since it can flex.

 

So you are taking the Midnatsol.

 

I thought I had read something recently that suggested they also used the polarcirkels, but then, I also had thought that only Fram used those :confused:

 

I'll make a joke, that because the big ships don't flex, they can't handle high seas. :eek:

 

Is that really a factor with the little boats?

I can imagine it being a different kind of "ride" over small waves/swells, of course, but presumably it's not like going down heavy whitewater on the Colorado river (??).

Actually, I've canoed down serious whitewater (don't ask how long ago!), and those aluminum canoes didn't flex, either, although the did bob around quite a bit. I'm not sure I'd ever want to do it again, however; I was young and foolish back then, I suppose. We were scouting out routes to take Girl Scout campers the next week.

 

Thinking about sitting on the sides of zodiacs in, er, "not smooth" water...??

 

GC

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So you are taking the Midnatsol.

 

 

 

I thought I had read something recently that suggested they also used the polarcirkels, but then, I also had thought that only Fram used those :confused:

 

 

 

I'll make a joke, that because the big ships don't flex, they can't handle high seas. :eek:

 

 

 

Is that really a factor with the little boats?

 

I can imagine it being a different kind of "ride" over small waves/swells, of course, but presumably it's not like going down heavy whitewater on the Colorado river (??).

 

Actually, I've canoed down serious whitewater (don't ask how long ago!), and those aluminum canoes didn't flex, either, although the did bob around quite a bit. I'm not sure I'd ever want to do it again, however; I was young and foolish back then, I suppose. We were scouting out routes to take Girl Scout campers the next week.

 

 

 

Thinking about sitting on the sides of zodiacs in, er, "not smooth" water...??

 

 

 

GC

 

 

I’ve been following the Hurtigruten Midnatsol ship as it sails around the Antarctic in 2017/2018 season and only saw zodiacs in their pictures. Possibly they have polarcirkels this upcoming season but I haven’t been given this option to select. A zodiac is better able to handle a rolling wave than another, more rigid small boat. But I doubt a Cruise or Navy ship could be built out of rubberized zodiac materials. :-) Also, a zodiac is easier to store and deploy. The polar ships are smaller - crew and passengers approximately around 400 people - so space onboard is more limited than on a regular cruise ship.

Check with Fram to see if they offer options other than zodiacs.

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BI'm thinking of surprising DH with a special "one day" charter flight there, specifically in search of polar bears (from one of 3 Canadian cities).

He seems to have developed a "thing" about polar bears, perhaps like mine with penguins.

 

 

Sounds like it would be a great surprise.

 

And thanks for reading my blog. :D

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