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Antarctica cruise question

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I really like the Vista class ships (Westerdam) and have done the Zuiderdam and Oosterdam within the last year.  We sailed the Veendam in Alaska in 2009 and are booked again on the Veendam in January 2020 for the Caribbean.  The Veendam is a very nice ship but I think I would prefer a little larger ship under me for Antarctica and the Drake Passage. I am reserving comment for the Pinnacle class Nieuw Statendam that we sail in October.

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1 hour ago, Vineyard View said:

I am curious if there is a preferred direction on this route, or any of the other SA itineraries that travel Argentina-Chile route. 

I have done both directions, and found pros & cons for each. Going from Buenos Aires to Santiago gives you the thrill of seeing Iceberg Alley, and the bergs grow larger and larger, until you get gob-smacked by the huge ones.
But going that direction makes the glaciers of Chile seem so 'meh', anti-climactic.
It comes down to giving up one for the other.

1 hour ago, Vineyard View said:

We have been contemplating whether to take the traditional SA routing or adding on the Antarctica piece, and whether to do Antarctica on HAL or expedition. This does make for a greater sense of urgency in the decision, so I appreciate the information 

It would be a shame to fly all that way (it's grueling) and not see Antarctica. Whether by larger ship or expedition, you must get to see the 7th continent if you are so close.

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25 minutes ago, RuthC said:

I have done both directions, and found pros & cons for each. Going from Buenos Aires to Santiago gives you the thrill of seeing Iceberg Alley, and the bergs grow larger and larger, until you get gob-smacked by the huge ones.
But going that direction makes the glaciers of Chile seem so 'meh', anti-climactic.
It comes down to giving up one for the other.

It would be a shame to fly all that way (it's grueling) and not see Antarctica. Whether by larger ship or expedition, you must get to see the 7th continent if you are so close.

Thank you Ruth. I was under the impression you sailed the Chilean Fjords regardless of direction, and also thought you would sail Iceberg Alley each direction as well, so good to know. Yes, the length of the journey is an arduous one, and seeing Antarctica is on the list for us, we just weren’t looking at it quite this soon! I appreciate your input! 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, I like vacation said:

I really like the Vista class ships (Westerdam) and have done the Zuiderdam and Oosterdam within the last year.  We sailed the Veendam in Alaska in 2009 and are booked again on the Veendam in January 2020 for the Caribbean.  The Veendam is a very nice ship but I think I would prefer a little larger ship under me for Antarctica and the Drake Passage. I am reserving comment for the Pinnacle class Nieuw Statendam that we sail in October.

Well that is a point I hadn’t considered! Thank you. We just tend to enjoy smaller ships. We are sailing NA in May and are a bit anxious about the size but excited for the itinerary.  Hopefully this Antarctica itinerary still has a decent selection after our May trip. 

 

Another thought. The 22 day itinerary is available only in late 2020. You would give up seeing baby penguins. The 20 day in Jan would provide babies, but missing the extra ports. Thoughts? 

Edited by Vineyard View

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17 minutes ago, Vineyard View said:

Thank you Ruth. I was under the impression you sailed the Chilean Fjords regardless of direction, and also thought you would sail Iceberg Alley each direction as well,

You see both, regardless of the direction. It's just the impression each makes after seeing Antarctica itself is different. Whatever comes after Antarctica suffers in comparison to coming before it.

On one of my trips there I was up 33 hours coming home. Another trip was 39 hours (delayed flights). 'Grueling' is an understatement.

I would be concerned about a larger ship acting as a wind sail if caught in a storm crossing the 'Drake Shake'. I've done that cruise on the Ryndam, Rotterdam, and Veendam, and we had some pretty rough seas on each of them. But even a friend who always wears a patch thought it wasn't so bad.

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3 minutes ago, RuthC said:

You see both, regardless of the direction. It's just the impression each makes after seeing Antarctica itself is different. Whatever comes after Antarctica suffers in comparison to coming before it.

On one of my trips there I was up 33 hours coming home. Another trip was 39 hours (delayed flights). 'Grueling' is an understatement.

I would be concerned about a larger ship acting as a wind sail if caught in a storm crossing the 'Drake Shake'. I've done that cruise on the Ryndam, Rotterdam, and Veendam, and we had some pretty rough seas on each of them. But even a friend who always wears a patch thought it wasn't so bad.

Ahh, thank you. Now I get what you are saying and it totally makes sense. Thank you Ruth. 

From the West Coast Europe can be grueling depending on flights, and Africa was the ultimate!  From the East Coast Chile would be no fun! So yes, we will be prepared for long travel to do this and it’s just so exhausting. 

Well, we are booked for 2020 so if we go to Antarctica on HAL looks like the Westerdam is our only option. Need to ponder this but all the information is sure helpful. 

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3 hours ago, Vineyard View said:

Another thought. The 22 day itinerary is available only in late 2020. You would give up seeing baby penguins. The 20 day in Jan would provide babies, but missing the extra ports. Thoughts? 

We cruised Valparaiso to Buenos Aires (no Antarctica) in 2014, from 23 Nov to 8 Dec. We definitely saw baby penguins (SO CUTE) in Punta Arenas and Stanley Falkland Islands. There was at the time a private excursion company that was telling us there were no babies, possibly no nesting penguins at all, at that time. They were wrong! We booked with HAL and saw plenty in both places. My thoughts are to research the penguin lifecycle on scientific webpages, not excursion ones.

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Thank you crystalspin. I did some research that said the baby penguins are born in December/January and it wasn’t on an excursion website. These were penguins in South America so maybe there is a window where this is just an average. It sounds like your experience was very cool. 

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Stopping at the Falkland Islands in early January, I saw baby Penguins and parents-to-be sitting on their nest.

 

I also saw--very interesting indeed--the reaction of a parent Penguin to another adult or baby coming too close to her baby.  

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We did like seeing the Gentoo with the chubby little chicks on the Falkland Islands

 

IMG_5267_zpsxnh6c4um.jpg

 

 

Video clip of  a penguin pair waddling through the crowd  :

 

 

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Happy to hear the positive experiences to view Antartica.  We sailed from Santiago to B.A. in 2014 which did not included Antartica.   Amazing trip!!!   Now booked the cruise including Antartica Jan 10 2021 on the Westerdam.  Very excited to hear so many positive experiences!  The glaciers in Chile made me want to go back.  Thank you all for sharing blogs,  photos, experiences and memories.  Want to visit them..  

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Chicks may hatch earlier up "north" at Punta Arenas and Stanley, than on the Antarctica Peninsula. Just a guess.

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On 8/15/2019 at 12:50 PM, chengkp75 said:

Book a cruise to Antarctica as soon as you can, as in late 2021, none of the current ships from any line will be allowed south of 60* south (about 80 miles north of the northernmost point of the peninsula).  Very few new cruise ships will be Polar Classed, so these cruises will get very expensive.

 

Does this mean that the cruise lines that are already selling 2022 will cancel those cruises, or is there something in play where existing itineraries can continue? Azamaran and Seabourn are both offering Antarctica in 2022. 

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11 hours ago, bluesplayer said:

Happy to hear the positive experiences to view Antartica.  We sailed from Santiago to B.A. in 2014 which did not included Antartica.   Amazing trip!!!   Now booked the cruise including Antartica Jan 10 2021 on the Westerdam.  Very excited to hear so many positive experiences!  The glaciers in Chile made me want to go back.  Thank you all for sharing blogs,  photos, experiences and memories.  Want to visit them..  

 

Congratulations on your upcoming trip to SA and Antarctica . Do you mean these glaciers ?

 

Romanche

 

A2_zpsduimpvrl.jpg

 

A1_zps4zpnz2rc.jpg

 

 

 

 

Glacier Italia

 

A3_zps3sm4ah6l.jpg

 

IMG_9363-002_zps5fb6d8a9.jpg

 

And don't forget the Beagle Canal

 

IMG_2197-001_zps4e9bfa78.jpg

 

 

 

Our most intimate glacier experience was not in Antarctica but in Argentina

 

4f3cda6c-3793-4560-88fb-5e9a2dbc37d1_zps

 

IMG_3031-002_zps702d70f0.jpg

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

Does this mean that the cruise lines that are already selling 2022 will cancel those cruises, or is there something in play where existing itineraries can continue? Azamaran and Seabourn are both offering Antarctica in 2022. 

It has been said that the implementation of the PC-6 Polar standards will essentially end "drive by" (similar to what is done by HAL) arctic and Antarctic cruises.  As to Seabourn,  by 2021they will do their last Antarctic cruise on the Quest (which is not a PC-6 certified vessel.  But Seabourn is building two new exploration ships (about 220 passenger) that will fully comply with the PC-6 requirements and at least one of these will continue the Seabourn Antarctic tradition.  Unlike HAL, on Seabourn you do go ashore (via Zodiacs) and the ship has an onboard staff of experts including Marine Biologists and other exploration staff trained to captain zodiacs and conduct tours ashore.   Yes, I am aware that the Maasdam is doing some work with Zodiacs, but they are only used for a small percentage of passengers paying for the expensive excursions.  On Seabourn, we were told that most of the Zodiac excursions in Antarctica will be included in the cruise price and open to all passengers.  They also talked about some optional excursions that will be quite expensive.  The future build Seabourn exploration ship will also have it's own submarine that will be used for passenger excursions.  

 

I do not know about Azamara other then the fact that their old Renaissance vessels do not currently meet PC-6 standards.   Because of the extra cost of building and certifying a ship to PC-6 standards one would expect that, in the future (2021) nearly all ships visiting Antarctica will be smaller vessels.

 

Hank

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Tabular icebergs

 

IMG_0768_zpsrj3leqxf.jpg

 

 

 

 

IMG_8112_zpsrbf9pp6b.jpg

 

Antarctica from our balcony

 

 

 

 

IMG_1928_zps4synameq.jpg

 

It was snowing when this penguin took the plunge

 

IMG_2039_zpsxallzbym.jpg

 

The Hurtigruten MS Midnatsol

 

IMG_3050%20-%20Copy_zpsdd3ue3g3.jpg

 

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Now I'm intrigued.

 

Looked at the Westerdam cruise and Coral Princess. I love Coral princess.

 

Itinerary appears comparable. Why would Princess be about $1000 less pp?

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Jammu2 said:

Now I'm intrigued.

 

Looked at the Westerdam cruise and Coral Princess. I love Coral princess.

 

Itinerary appears comparable. Why would Princess be about $1000 less pp?

 

 

At first glance, 16 days vs 20 days, fewer ports of call and appears to be less scenic cruising along the Chilean coastline. 

 

 

princess.PNG

haljan2021antarctica.PNG

Edited by I like vacation
add info

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Posted (edited)

Right you are. I'm going to have to recreate my search to see where I went wrong.

 

On the ine hand...better for work. On the other hand...will we ever get back to the Chilean fjords? Hmmm..

 

Thanks. 

 

ETA today on a certain popular site the prices are more comparable. Something to think about. 

Edited by Jammu2
Eta

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10 hours ago, I like vacation said:

At first glance, 16 days vs 20 days, fewer ports of call and appears to be less scenic cruising along the Chilean coastline. 

 

 

princess.PNG

haljan2021antarctica.PNG

 

 

It seems to show 3 days in the open sea from San Antonio to Punta Arenas and we encountered some very rough seas there until we ducked into the fjords .

 

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13 hours ago, I like vacation said:

At first glance, 16 days vs 20 days, fewer ports of call and appears to be less scenic cruising along the Chilean coastline. 

 

 

princess.PNG

haljan2021antarctica.PNG

 

We did this itinerary on HAL in February which was a 22-day cruise. Looks like Castro (Chile) and Puerto Madryn (Argentina) are the two ports being eliminated for the 2021 cruise on the Westerdam. These were both enjoyable ports so glad we were able to experience them. 

 

I agree with scubacruiserx...we also encountered very rough seas after leaving San Antonio but luckily it was only one day for us. We also skipped our first port of Puerto Montt due to large swells which prevented the tenders from being operated, but after that we were sailing in protected waters and had a much smoother ride.

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2 hours ago, AryMay said:

 

We did this itinerary on HAL in February which was a 22-day cruise. Looks like Castro (Chile) and Puerto Madryn (Argentina) are the two ports being eliminated for the 2021 cruise on the Westerdam. These were both enjoyable ports so glad we were able to experience them. 

 

I agree with scubacruiserx...we also encountered very rough seas after leaving San Antonio but luckily it was only one day for us. We also skipped our first port of Puerto Montt due to large swells which prevented the tenders from being operated, but after that we were sailing in protected waters and had a much smoother ride.

 

Hi, AryMay, nice to 'see' you (we were on the Zaandam with you this past February). Castro was one of my favorite port stops! It probably helped that we had an evening there (due to skipping Puerto Montt) AND the whole next day. We went ashore by tender evening and day and had a great time on both visits.

 

Antarctica as a 'drive-by' was enough for us (early 60's, not as mobile as I used to be). And it was worth every cent. I'd debated on whether DH should try for the landing, but ultimately decided we could cruise again for the cost. And it was canceled anyway, due to fog? on the Antarctic runway. So happy we did the cruise, it was just amazing. I remember some rough seas during the night before we were at Palmer Station to pick up the crew for the lectures, and a bit when re-crossing Drake Passage and heading towards the Falklands, but our crossing over to Antarctica was awesomely smooth.

 

Best wishes, have a wonderful cruise!

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On 8/18/2019 at 7:57 AM, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

Does this mean that the cruise lines that are already selling 2022 will cancel those cruises, or is there something in play where existing itineraries can continue? Azamaran and Seabourn are both offering Antarctica in 2022. 

The have special built small  expedition ships..... expect to pay $1000 a day pp.  or more   ALL the other lines without expedition ships  under 400 PAx I think, will  be prohibited .     It will be supply and demand cutting the available cabins from thousands a month  to a few hundred $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$  Your pockets will have to be pretty deep in 2020

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4 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

The have special built small  expedition ships..... expect to pay $1000 a day pp.  or more   ALL the other lines without expedition ships  under 400 PAx I think, will  be prohibited .     It will be supply and demand cutting the available cabins from thousands a month  to a few hundred $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$  Your pockets will have to be pretty deep in 2020

 

I was unaware that azamaran already had the special built ships. Do you know which ship it is?

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