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Antarctica Cruise Suggestions

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Haboob- Most places we landed were small islands. We flew from Punta Arenas, Chile to King George Island. During our cruise we stopped at many islands Paulet Island, Gourdin Island, Wilhelmina Bay,Deception Island, Livingston Island and our stop at Brown Bluff was on the Antarctic continent.

 

"Fly the Drake" sounded like you flew to Antarctica and the plane landed there...?

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"Fly the Drake" sounded like you flew to Antarctica and the plane landed there...?

That is what they do on some trips, but it is very weather-dependent.

Going to Antarctica and South Georgia on a small ship is a totally different experience from going on a cruise ship. On the one I was one we had two landings on 'shore days' days and only a small number of sea days (21 day trip). It is a strenuous trip and very expensive. The scenic cruising part is quite good (in my opinion) but landing in penguin colonies with around 400,000 king penguins is absolutely amazing. By the way, we didn't have time to count the penguins, but I took the guide's word for it! If this is not feasible for either of these reasons, going on a cruise ship and having a 'drive-by' is better than nothing.

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"Fly the Drake" sounded like you flew to Antarctica and the plane landed there...?

 

That is what they do on some trips

 

One more try ;)

 

Where do the planes land?

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One more try ;) Where do the planes land?

Here is a 'cut and paste' from one company's website on the fly-cruise option.

 

(Quote) An increasingly popular way to visit Antarctica in recent years is the Fly-Cruise option whereby passengers board a charter flight in Tierra del Fuego and fly to King George Island in the South Shetland Islands in about two hours where they then board their ship. This avoids the traditional way of getting to and from Antarctica by ship which takes about two days each way to cross the Drake Passage.

 

The return journey can be the same, or there the possibility of making one leg by air and the other by sea. Either fly down and sail back or sail down and fly back. The South American airport for the journey/s is Punta Arenas in Chile while the seaport is Ushuaia in Argentina.

 

Fly - Cruises voyage around the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, the most accessible regions of Antarctica, where spectacular scenery abounds as well as all kinds of Antarctic wildlife, penguins, whales, seals and all manner of sea-birds. There are also many opportunities for landings ashore to visit wildlife colonies and walk amongst spectacular landscapes, you can expect daily landings once in Antarctica. (end quote)

 

By the way, I loved seeing the wildlife on South Georgia and felt it was the highlight of my trip. Yes - it was great to see the Antaractic Peninsula and to set foot on Antarctica, but I didn't go on the trip just to tick off another milestone.

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While a ship with 200 passengers is better than 600, my suggestion is less than 100 passengers so you have the option of participating in every landing. The ship will go to one place in the morning, everyone can explore and then a different landing in the afternoon.

 

Once the number of passengers exceeds 100, you limit the number of landings you can participate in and places you go.

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While a ship with 200 passengers is better than 600, my suggestion is less than 100 passengers so you have the option of participating in every landing. The ship will go to one place in the morning, everyone can explore and then a different landing in the afternoon.

 

Once the number of passengers exceeds 100, you limit the number of landings you can participate in and places you go.

 

Been told that all 200 will go ashore, but in batches off 100 each taking turns who goes first, while the others explore the waters along the landing site.

 

For us the best compromise between relative comfort on an expedition cruise.

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Been told that all 200 will go ashore, but in batches off 100 each taking turns who goes first, while the others explore the waters along the landing site.

 

For us the best compromise between relative comfort on an expedition cruise.

That is what happened on my cruise with Quark. An hour ashore and an hour on a zodiac cruise were enough for the half day. Repeat in the afternoon at a different site. Everyone could participate in every landing. We had three on the last day on South Georgia. I was very glad to have a couple of sea days after that to recover!

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Yes we were the same on our Quark expedition this year. Loved it but we were glad to enjoy a couple of days at sea afterwards.

 

The doctor gave us tablets on board and they were amazing as I was not sick at all and we had 9 metre swells...

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Been told that all 200 will go ashore, but in batches off 100 each taking turns who goes first, while the others explore the waters along the landing site.

 

For us the best compromise between relative comfort on an expedition cruise.

That was also our experience on Ponant. There was always something going on, whether it be going ashore, or going on scenic cruising, or talks from the naturalists, and so on. It is a very active cruise, especially if you join in the hikes that are offered.

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Haboob- As stated in post #29 We flew to King George Island in the South Shetland Islands where we got on a zodiac transfer to our ship just off shore. From there we cruised around to different islands sometimes landing sometimes just doing a scenic cruise in a zodiac inflatable boat. We had less than 100 people on board so we all would do the landings at the same time.

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That was also our experience on Ponant. There was always something going on, whether it be going ashore, or going on scenic cruising, or talks from the naturalists, and so on. It is a very active cruise, especially if you join in the hikes that are offered.

 

Yes, already have our muck boots (about the same cost to rent vs buy) and plan to bring my trekking poles.

 

Already ordered our complimentary parka and shell. They are bright red so we are easily seen on the ice? Lol

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As Coral mentioned I did this back in 2009 on the Star Princess and am again booked for 2020 (not sure if it will happen) I don't think either side of the ship matters much, there is a lot to see and you will be moving around for different views.

 

 

 

Highly recommended and book now is the Falkland Island penguin tour with Patrick Watts. Best tour I've done anywhere in 70+ cruises. He was sold out 18 months in advance on my cruise

 

 

 

Is that Falkland Island penguin tour with Patrick Watts a Princess Excursion or a private tour?

Thanks!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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We are booked on the Coral Princess January 20/20. I never dreamed I would even be anywhere near Antarctica in my life. I agree if we had unlimited funds I am sure I would enjoy going on a landing cruise. We priced this for myself & DH it would be $40-$50,000 to do that cruise. We can visit a lot of places for those$$. I am really looking forward to "viewing" Antarctica.

 

Where did you come up with the 40K - 50K figure. Are you looking for a really long 15 day + cruise with landings. Or else a cruise to Antarctica on a luxury expedition ship? There are a lot of cruises w landings that cost around 15K and with a bit of work, you can find ones that cost 10K. II found a Hurtigruten cruise going in 2020 for 9114 USD. Also one on a better date for $10,092.

 

If you do Antarctica, you are there for the places that you visit and not the ship you use to get there.

 

DON

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Yes, already have our muck boots (about the same cost to rent vs buy) and plan to bring my trekking poles.

 

Already ordered our complimentary parka and shell. They are bright red so we are easily seen on the ice? Lol

Make sure you bring fleece buffs to keep neck and face warm. I made mine with a small piece of fleece fabric and I added elastic at the top to hold it better to my face. Especially if you are doing a scenic cruise as it can be very cold.

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Is that Falkland Island penguin tour with Patrick Watts a Princess Excursion or a private tour? Thanks!

 

It is a private tour. But when I went with him I was not impressed. Since I was traveling solo, he had me wait until the last possible moment (I was one of the first off the ship as he requested). He made me wait with the hope of another single person just walking up asking him for a booking. I was just about ready to leave and find another operator, and told him so, before he finally put me into a vehicle.

 

If I travel alone I would never use him again. He was not up front with how he operates with solo customers. If he had told me in advance that he would make me wait, I would never have booked. But of course, that is why he doesn't tell single travelers such information in advance.

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We did a lot of research on various cruises that actually made landings in Antarctica and chose a 21 day cruise on Seabourn. We paid around $30,000.00 total for 2 and that included verandah cabin ( larger than a mini suite on Princess), all inclusive beverages, gratuities and all expedition excursions (2 per day) during the 7 days in Antarctica. The experience was amazing with the 20 person expedition team giving twice daily lectures during the days cruising to Antarctica, with a stop in the Falklands, and the days cruising from Ushuaia via the Chilean Fjords to Santiago. It priced out the same as a 10-11 day expedition cruise out of Ushuaia in a small cabin with drinks, gratuities, extra. We had the same expedition experience but in more comfort..

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