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Planning for one last Antarctica cruise on the Quest


Ken the cruiser
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With the potential of the Quest doing one more season in Antarctica, due to the delay of the Venture, we are seriously considering booking one of those cruises once Seabourn posts the new 2021/2022 itineraries in the next couple of months.

 

Our question is for those who have sailed on an Antarctica expedition cruise on the Quest in the past. Which ports of call were you wowed the most at? The reason we ask is because if there are variances in the upcoming 2021/2022 itineraries, we want to make sure we pick the itinerary that has the most to offer. I might also add this will be our first sailing with Seabourn. Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated. 

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No port of call is 'wow' in itself, though Castro is particularly charming because of all the colourful houses on stilts.  From Punta Arenas you can do a pricey excursion to the Torres del Paine NP which, if the weather is kind, is truly 'wow.'  But mostly this is cruise is all about scenery and wildlife which passes by, either in the water or overhead.

 

My main pieces of advice are these - try and book a  cruise which starts in Santiago and ends in BA.  That way you build up to the climax of Antarctica and then wind down with sea days.  And think seriously about the cruises which go to South Georgia which is the true, unmissable highlight down there in the freezer.  Its 'wowness' is off the scale.

 

 

Edited by Fletcher
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The independent websites I use just deleted the Quest's 2020-21 Antarctic schedule but Seabourn still has their 2020-2021 brochure online, open it then download the PDF while you can. A quick glance says all the trips are identical except for direction and whether they go via the Falklands or South Georgia.

 

We took the Pride all the way around South America in 2009 and enjoyed all the Chilean and Argentinian stops, one of our best trips.

 

Bill

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I think the only choice you have, if you stay with Seabourn Quest, is whether you visit South Georgia or Port Stanley. The South Georgia cruise would be the one to take. South Georgia was out of our price range.

 

Our wow port was an unscheduled stop at New Island at the far west of the Falkland Islands, best wildlife experience of the trip, close encounters with more bird species than I could document and an incredible setting to boot. I have to believe that New Island was a better stop than our missed day in the South Shetland Islands.

 

My other wow moment was on an excursion from Puerto Montt. The view over Lake Llanquihue of snow capped conical Volcan Orsono was magical. I assume that others feel the same way about Mt. Fuji, which I haven't seen. Now that I've built it up, Orsono will be a disappointment to you. Orsono was hidden in clouds during our Quest cruise.

 

I regret that we haven't had the time or budget to add Easter Island and Iquazu Falls to our Chile and Argentina visits.

 

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We had a February 2021 trip booked and they have delayed it exactly one year.  The dates are correct, but the days of the week will change in 2020.  Here is the itinerary:

 

It includes the South Georgia Islands. We are taking a post cruise tour of Iguazu falls.

 

 

Wed, Feb 24 Santiago (San Antonio), Chile   5:00pm
 Thu, Feb 25 At Sea    
 Fri, Feb 26 Puerto Montt, Chile 10:00am 8:00pm
 Sat, Feb 27 Castro, Chile 7:00am 3:00pm
 Sun, Feb 28 Chilean Fjords (Cruising)    
 Mon, Mar 1 Sarmiento Canal / El Brujo Glacier (Cruising)    
 Tue, Mar 2 Strait of Magellan (Cruising)    
 Tue, Mar 2 Punta Arenas, Chile 6:00am 6:00pm
 Wed, Mar 3 Beagle Channel (Cruising)    
 Wed, Mar 3 Ushuaia, Argentina 3:00pm 9:00pm
 Thu, Mar 4 At Sea    
 Fri, Mar 5 At Sea    
 Sat, Mar 6 Antarctic Peninsula (Expedition Cruising)    
 Sun, Mar 7 Antarctic Peninsula (Expedition Cruising)    
 Mon, Mar 8 Antarctic Peninsula (Expedition Cruising)    
 Tue, Mar 9 Antarctic Peninsula (Expedition Cruising)    
 Wed, Mar 10 Antarctic Peninsula (Expedition Cruising)    
 Thu, Mar 11 Antarctic Peninsula (Expedition Cruising)    
 Fri, Mar 12 At Sea    
 Sat, Mar 13 At Sea    
 Sun, Mar 14 South Georgia Island (Expedition Cruising)    
 Mon, Mar 15 South Georgia Island (Expedition Cruising)    
 Tue, Mar 16 At Sea    
 Wed, Mar 17 At Sea    
 Thu, Mar 18 At Sea    
 Fri, Mar 19 Montevideo, Uruguay Noon 8:00pm
 Sat, Mar 20 Buenos Aires, Argentina 7:00am
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2 hours ago, scottjeanne said:

We had a February 2021 trip booked and they have delayed it exactly one year.  The dates are correct, but the days of the week will change in 2020.  Here is the itinerary:

 

It includes the South Georgia Islands. We are taking a post cruise tour of Iguazu falls.

 

 

Wed, Feb 24 Santiago (San Antonio), Chile   5:00pm
 Thu, Feb 25 At Sea    
 Fri, Feb 26 Puerto Montt, Chile 10:00am 8:00pm
 Sat, Feb 27 Castro, Chile 7:00am 3:00pm
 Sun, Feb 28 Chilean Fjords (Cruising)    
 Mon, Mar 1 Sarmiento Canal / El Brujo Glacier (Cruising)    
 Tue, Mar 2 Strait of Magellan (Cruising)    
 Tue, Mar 2 Punta Arenas, Chile 6:00am 6:00pm
 Wed, Mar 3 Beagle Channel (Cruising)    
 Wed, Mar 3 Ushuaia, Argentina 3:00pm 9:00pm
 Thu, Mar 4 At Sea    
 Fri, Mar 5 At Sea    
 Sat, Mar 6 Antarctic Peninsula (Expedition Cruising)    
 Sun, Mar 7 Antarctic Peninsula (Expedition Cruising)    
 Mon, Mar 8 Antarctic Peninsula (Expedition Cruising)    
 Tue, Mar 9 Antarctic Peninsula (Expedition Cruising)    
 Wed, Mar 10 Antarctic Peninsula (Expedition Cruising)    
 Thu, Mar 11 Antarctic Peninsula (Expedition Cruising)    
 Fri, Mar 12 At Sea    
 Sat, Mar 13 At Sea    
 Sun, Mar 14 South Georgia Island (Expedition Cruising)    
 Mon, Mar 15 South Georgia Island (Expedition Cruising)    
 Tue, Mar 16 At Sea    
 Wed, Mar 17 At Sea    
 Thu, Mar 18 At Sea    
 Fri, Mar 19 Montevideo, Uruguay Noon 8:00pm
 Sat, Mar 20 Buenos Aires, Argentina 7:00am

Our Antarctica Expedition has been changed from Dec 2020 to Dec 2021.  When I check the Seabourn site, they are still showing Venture cruises and not the Quest cruises.  Where did you get your itinerary for Feb 22?

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1 hour ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Thank you all so much. All of your comments were very helpful. We'll definitely focus on the South Georgia Islands itineraries.

 

Very much agree.  In 1997, we took an expedition cruise aboard World Discoverer to Falklands, Antarctica Peninsula and South Georgia.  The entire trip was a highlight but our most memorable moments are from South Georgia.  Standing amidst literally thousands of King Penguins is definitely a wow.

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15 hours ago, Fletcher said:

try and book a  cruise which starts in Santiago and ends in BA.  That way you build up to the climax of Antarctica and then wind down with sea days. 

 

My experience as well.

 

10 hours ago, whogo said:

My other wow moment was on an excursion from Puerto Montt. The view over Lake Llanquihue of snow capped conical Volcan Orsono was magical.

 

I remember the tour that I took where we visited this area.  Beautiful?  Yes.  Magical?  Such would be in the eyes of the beholder.

 

My experience on such a cruise was on the Zaandam, but the itinerary was much the same as the one posted above.  It's a great cruise experience without the zodiac excursions.  

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46 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

My experience as well.

 

 

I remember the tour that I took where we visited this area.  Beautiful?  Yes.  Magical?  Such would be in the eyes of the beholder.

 

My experience on such a cruise was on the Zaandam, but the itinerary was much the same as the one posted above.  It's a great cruise experience without the zodiac excursions.  

We went on the Zaandam in Jan 2018 on a "drive by" cruise to Antarctica and had a great time! There was just so much wildlife to see, not only in Antarctica, but also in Argentina, the Falkland Islands and Chile, that we had to go back. And now that the Quest is being called upon to do one more expedition season, at hopefully a fairly reasonable price, we just couldn't pass up the opportunity to do some Antarctica land excursions as well. 

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1 hour ago, Ken the cruiser said:

No, I think our cruise for 22 days started Jan 18th from Buenos Aires and wound up in Santiago. 

 

You probably got on after I got off.  

 

Not good thoughts about Buenos Aires due to the crime; constantly on alert.  The disembarkation experience went well until arriving at the terminal when we were to board the transportation to the airport.  Wait---wait---wait---; some labor strike was taking place.  When we got to the airport for a flight that left during the evening, seats at the Delta terminal (which was the Areolinas Argentina terminal) were scare with many sitting on the floor waiting for a check-in that didn't occur for many hours.  

 

I was a Delta One passenger and that made NO difference.  Could not get checked-in and get to the Business Class Lounge.  Even when check-in did start, there was no dedicated Business Class line and I got lots of "evil eyes" trying to "muscle my way" into the Business Class check-in desk when I saw that it was open.  Then, the flight attendant's service on my aisle in Business Class was less than stellar.  

 

My South America/Antarctica cruise was memorable for so much:  penguins, ice, scenery, watching the Indonesian and Filipino crew members reactions when we were experiencing snow, and the travel to/from the ship.  It was a great cruise!

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1 hour ago, rkacruiser said:

 

You probably got on after I got off.  

 

Not good thoughts about Buenos Aires due to the crime; constantly on alert.  The disembarkation experience went well until arriving at the terminal when we were to board the transportation to the airport.  Wait---wait---wait---; some labor strike was taking place.  When we got to the airport for a flight that left during the evening, seats at the Delta terminal (which was the Areolinas Argentina terminal) were scare with many sitting on the floor waiting for a check-in that didn't occur for many hours.  

 

I was a Delta One passenger and that made NO difference.  Could not get checked-in and get to the Business Class Lounge.  Even when check-in did start, there was no dedicated Business Class line and I got lots of "evil eyes" trying to "muscle my way" into the Business Class check-in desk when I saw that it was open.  Then, the flight attendant's service on my aisle in Business Class was less than stellar.  

 

My South America/Antarctica cruise was memorable for so much:  penguins, ice, scenery, watching the Indonesian and Filipino crew members reactions when we were experiencing snow, and the travel to/from the ship.  It was a great cruise!

BUT flying home definitely sounded less than stellar. Sorry to hear that. Since the Zaandam was in BA for an extra day and walking around BA was not recommended for the reasons you suggested, we booked a HAL excursion to the Pampas area outside of BA and had a wonderful time, to include going on a horseback ride. 

 

We have been on quite a few cruises over the past 8 years, but this Antarctica cruise was by far one of our favorites. That's why we got so excited when we heard the Quest might be doing one more season of Antarctica expedition cruises.

 

Edited by Ken the cruiser
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20 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

we booked a HAL excursion to the Pampas area outside of BA and had a wonderful time, to include going on a horseback ride. 

 

That was an option for me as well.  I did book a HAL excursion from the pier that was a tour of the city and a boat ride; basically a half day tour.  I enjoyed it.  Dropping me off at the airport, that's when I saw the "issues" with the lack of seating and no possibility of an early check-in.  

 

Those that arrived from the tours that took longer either had to stand or sit on the floor until the check-in began.  

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On 9/4/2020 at 11:32 AM, jjs217 said:

Our Antarctica Expedition has been changed from Dec 2020 to Dec 2021.  When I check the Seabourn site, they are still showing Venture cruises and not the Quest cruises.  Where did you get your itinerary for Feb 22?

We got this itinerary since we were booked on the Feb 2021 Antarctica cruise.  They pushed it back exactly one year.  I know it is not on their website yet.  I am sure they will publish it and have availability.  It is so much cheaper than the Venture cruises.

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On 9/6/2020 at 9:03 AM, scottjeanne said:

We got this itinerary since we were booked on the Feb 2021 Antarctica cruise.  They pushed it back exactly one year.  I know it is not on their website yet.  I am sure they will publish it and have availability.  It is so much cheaper than the Venture cruises.

Thank you.  Maybe Seabourn hasn't figured out the exact dates yet for Dec 21, but if yours is exactly one year to the day, mine probably is too.  

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On 9/3/2020 at 8:07 PM, Ken the cruiser said:

I might also add this will be our first sailing with Seabourn. Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated. 

I blogged about our experiences as first time Seabourn cruisers here: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2724452-the-grouch-on-seabourn-quest-january-12-2020-san-antonio-to-buenos-aires-via-antarctica/

 

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2 hours ago, whogo said:

Thanks! That was quite informative. We’re just hoping there will be a couple of verandas left when they post the Quest 2021/22 replacement cruises in a few months. 

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jjs217 -Seabourn has planned their exact dates already, the announcement said that the Quest's winter 2021-22 cruises will be same as winter 2020-21. The day of the month will be the same, just change the year. As I mentioned in post #3 above you can get the 2020-21 brochure from Seabourn's website. This is what the plan now looks like:

 

Nov 7 2020 2021 43 days Miami-Santiago-Falklands-BA

Nov 29 2020 2021 21 days Santiago-Falklands-BA

Dec 20 12 2020 2021 24 days BA-South Georgia-Santiago

Jan 13 2021 2022 21 days Santiago-Falklands-BA

Feb 3 2021 2022 21 days BA-Falklands-Santiago

Feb 24 2021 2022 24 days Santiago-South Georgia-BA

Feb 24 2021 2022 45 days Santiago-South Georgia-BA-Manaus

Mar 20 2021 2022 21 days BA-Manaus

Mar 20 2021 2022 36 days BA-Manaus-Miami

Apr 10 2021 2022 15 days Manaus-Miami

Apr 25 2021 2022 no announcement yet

 

Bill

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20 minutes ago, Two4Sea said:

jjs217 -Seabourn has planned their exact dates already, the announcement said that the Quest's winter 2021-22 cruises will be same as winter 2020-21. The day of the month will be the same, just change the year. As I mentioned in post #3 above you can get the 2020-21 brochure from Seabourn's website. This is what the plan now looks like:

 

Nov 7 2020 2021 43 days Miami-Santiago-Falklands-BA

Nov 29 2020 2021 21 days Santiago-Falklands-BA

Dec 20 12 2020 2021 24 days BA-South Georgia-Santiago

Jan 13 2021 2022 21 days Santiago-Falklands-BA

Feb 3 2021 2022 21 days BA-Falklands-Santiago

Feb 24 2021 2022 24 days Santiago-South Georgia-BA

Feb 24 2021 2022 45 days Santiago-South Georgia-BA-Manaus

Mar 20 2021 2022 21 days BA-Manaus

Mar 20 2021 2022 36 days BA-Manaus-Miami

Apr 10 2021 2022 15 days Manaus-Miami

Apr 25 2021 2022 no announcement yet

 

Bill

Thanks Bill! Hopefully we'll be able to book a couple of cabins on one of the new itineraries as I'm sure most folks on the original itineraries will want to transfer their bookings over to them.

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Today, we were able to coordinate with a Seabourn PCC to hopefully let us know when the Quest replacement 2021/22 itineraries are  posted. If we are actually able to book one of our desired itineraries through him, does anyone know what the timeframe is (e.g., 30 days, 60 days) to subsequently transfer the booking to our TA to reap their benefits as well?

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38 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Today, we were able to coordinate with a Seabourn PCC to hopefully let us know when the Quest replacement 2021/22 itineraries are  posted. If we are actually able to book one of our desired itineraries through him, does anyone know what the timeframe is (e.g., 30 days, 60 days) to subsequently transfer the booking to our TA to reap their benefits as well?

 

Reservations have to be transferred within 60 days of being created. 

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On 9/3/2020 at 6:07 PM, Ken the cruiser said:

With the potential of the Quest doing one more season in Antarctica, due to the delay of the Venture, we are seriously considering booking one of those cruises once Seabourn posts the new 2021/2022 itineraries in the next couple of months.

 

Our question is for those who have sailed on an Antarctica expedition cruise on the Quest in the past. Which ports of call were you wowed the most at? The reason we ask is because if there are variances in the upcoming 2021/2022 itineraries, we want to make sure we pick the itinerary that has the most to offer. I might also add this will be our first sailing with Seabourn. Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated. 

Ken, sorry for the late response on this. I can't begin to rave enough about our Antarctica experience on the Quest. My husband and I sailed the Buenos Aires to Santiago route in January 2017. All the ports were fascinating, from the big cities to the remote Patagonian towns. Highlights in addition to Antarctica itself were the Falklands (journey to Volunteer Point to see the magnificent King Penguins), Punta Arenas (Magdalena Island expedition) and the charming town of Castro, Chile (walking on our own).

We hired a wonderful guide for a city walking tour in Buenos Aires and also did a wine tour at the end of the trip in the Casablanca Valley near Santiago. Please feel free to email me if you'd like contact information.

Here's a link to my blogs from Antarctica which you might find helpful. I also have stories and photos from every port listed under their respective countries on the Destinations page.

https://www.themodernpostcard.com/category/antarctica/

Whichever itinerary you choose, you will have a fabulous trip!
Mary

Travel Blog: https://www.themodernpostcard.com

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