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Oceania in Antarctica, do you set foot on the continent?


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I'm looking at the Marina, 8th Jan 22 from Buenos Aires down to Antarctica and onto Santiago which looks a great itinerary. My question is do you actually get to set foot on Antarctica though or is it more a "scenic cruise"? I'm not expecting it to be an expedition style cruise but after travelling to the end of the earth I would hope to at least set foot on the continent once. I Did ring O and asked the question and was given "I think its just cruising" as an answer. No offer of finding out for sure. I Have also tried finding youtube videos but to no avail. Any help with this greatly appreciated.

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Thanks for that pinotlover, what a shame. The itinerary and timing would have been perfect for me but I don't fancy an 18,000 mile round trip and not actually setting foot on the destination.  I'm sure they could manage 1 landing during her time there without too much inconvenience. 

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Landing rules on Antarctica are really tough.

--No more than 100 ppl on shore at once

--Need to file your landings plan years in advance.

 

Not sure if a large ship could go there and just land a few people.

Seabourn has a ship (450 pax) and that is the largest ship, by far,. that I've heard of that does landings.

There are a few in 100-300 pax range (Lindblad, Hurtigruten, Ponant...) and some smaller still.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Daveywavey70 said:

Thanks for that pinotlover, what a shame. The itinerary and timing would have been perfect for me but I don't fancy an 18,000 mile round trip and not actually setting foot on the destination.  I'm sure they could manage 1 landing during her time there without too much inconvenience. 

No   no ship really does....  most that say they do really stop on islands not part of the central continent.........  However, There is a special 2 day over night flight from Punta Arinas that lets you spend the night in a tent /sleeping bag at one of the IGS bases...       There is a  quarantine for years of what is a sterile  environment and needs to be maintained in order to conduct research with out contamination .......   

 

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9 minutes ago, Shawnino said:

Landing rules on Antarctica are really tough.

--No more than 100 ppl on shore at once

--Need to file your landings plan years in advance.

 

Not sure if a large ship could go there and just land a few people.

Seabourn has a ship (450 pax) and that is the largest ship, by far,. that I've heard of that does landings.

There are a few in 100-300 pax range (Lindblad, Hurtigruten, Ponant...) and some smaller still.

 

 

IIRC the total pax can't exceed 500, maybe even 400. We did it on Hurtigruten (400 pax) and it was incredible. When we weren't going ashore we were taken out in zodiak-equivalents and could practically touch whales, seals, etc. I wouldn't have gone if we had to 'settle' for a sail-by.

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1 hour ago, Daveywavey70 said:

Many thanks guys, expedition cruise it is then by the looks of it. 

 

You won't regret it. Drive-by is, at best, half a loaf.

 

We went with Lindblad and they were good, but I don't recall a stack of reviews saying anyone was bad.

Be sure to check out the Antarctica board for the latest advice.

 

One last piece of advice from me: Antarctica is nice, but South Georgia is The Show. By all means go to both, but if you can only do one, I'd go to South Georgia instead. You don't get the icebergs. You do get 100x the wildlife.

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1 hour ago, Daveywavey70 said:

Many thanks, Ive never heard of Lindblad. I'll check them out.

 

They co-brand with National Geographic.

They are among the most expensive lines but we felt well taken care of on our Antarctica trip.

The Galapagos trip was less value for money...would use Lindblad going forward if and only if it's a very-hard-to-reach destination.

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I went on Quark's OCEAN DIAMOND five years ago, and would use them again. The food was very good along with the service. Handling the passengers to get on and off the mainland or the Zodiacs was done without a hitch.

 

But like the OP I would make sure to be on a trip where you actually step on land and explore the sea from a Zodiac.

FB_IMG_1579974652277.jpg

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For the OP, just know that many of the current ships that have sailed to Antarctica in the past, even some "expedition" ships, will no longer be allowed to operate south of 60*S, after 1 Jan 2021.  The new Polar Code makes all past "polar class" ratings obsolete, and are sufficiently strict to make retrofitting mostly prohibitive.  Lindblad does have some brand new ships that were built to the Polar Code, but as stated, even these generally go to islands off the Antarctic Peninsula, not the continent itself.

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20 hours ago, Shawnino said:

 

They co-brand with National Geographic.

They are among the most expensive lines but we felt well taken care of on our Antarctica trip.

The Galapagos trip was less value for money...would use Lindblad going forward if and only if it's a very-hard-to-reach destination.

Lindblad's been around a long time with a great reputation. Yes, expensive but....

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We did a sail by on HAL 8 years ago and really liked it. Two years ago we went there on an expedition ship from Silver Seas. The best part of going on the expedition ship was stopping at some unusual spots on the Falkland Islands and spending several days at South Georgia  Island. South Georgia has lots of Penguins and fur and elephant seals that you can walk among. At one stop we stood at the edge of a group of King Penguins that numbered in the tens of thousands. We were able to land in the Antarctic on the expedition ship, and it was great to be able to say you have actually set foot on the continent, but we saw mostly the same places we saw on the sail by, just a little closer.

Expedition ships are very expensive. If you can afford  one, that is the way to go, but if not, a sail by is worth doing.

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12 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

For the OP, just know that many of the current ships that have sailed to Antarctica in the past, even some "expedition" ships, will no longer be allowed to operate south of 60*S, after 1 Jan 2021.  The new Polar Code makes all past "polar class" ratings obsolete, and are sufficiently strict to make retrofitting mostly prohibitive.  Lindblad does have some brand new ships that were built to the Polar Code, but as stated, even these generally go to islands off the Antarctic Peninsula, not the continent itself.

thanks for the validation.... I have friends who worked at Mc Murdo and Fletchers ice Island   To my knowledge no non military/ govt  ship for any nation, gets to tie  up at any station.  Its not set up to receive either ships or RIB's   Strict science precludes all but a handful of people with special permits from getting ashore ever... 

 

  Ain't no one on a cruise going to actually get or be let on the continent proper...Can not risk the contamination that sets apart research projects.

 

  It may look  like its the continent but its a detached island ... same rock ... same ice ... same sea .... same critters....    Your in the Antarctic " region"  which ought to be good enough     Bring along your GPS and a "pilot chart"  and you will see what you assume is the mainland is not

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55 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

  Ain't no one on a cruise going to actually get or be let on the continent proper...Can not risk the contamination that sets apart research projects.

 

Nope. The Antarctic Peninsula is part of the mainland and one can visit.

 

https://vivaexpeditions.com/tours/antarctica/antarctic-peninsula

 

You may want to check the facts before you get quite so pedantic.

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20 hours ago, clo said:

Nope. The Antarctic Peninsula is part of the mainland and one can visit.

 

https://vivaexpeditions.com/tours/antarctica/antarctic-peninsula

 

You may want to check the facts before you get quite so pedantic.

You might too....check chengyp75's post which said the same thing... ( a merchant  marine officer)  You go to islands off the Peninsula and there are many......   not on it.     What the tours say and do are 2 different things.... As I said check a pilot chart and gps

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1 hour ago, Hawaiidan said:

You might too....check chengyp75's post which said the same thing... ( a merchant  marine officer)  You go to islands off the Peninsula and there are many......   not on it.     What the tours say and do are 2 different things.... As I said check a pilot chart and gps

Oh please. You're wrong. Period.

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4 minutes ago, clo said:

Oh please. You're wrong. Period.

In case you're confused, a ship doesn't dock there. They anchor and then take zodiak-equivalents ashore. BTW a peninsula isn't an island.

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2 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

You might too....check chengyp75's post which said the same thing... ( a merchant  marine officer)  You go to islands off the Peninsula and there are many......   not on it.     What the tours say and do are 2 different things.... As I said check a pilot chart and gps

You will note that I said "generally", not exclusively.  "Normal" people are allowed on the continent of Antarctica, I remember that as part of their claim building for jurisdiction over Antarctica, Argentina had a hotel there for a few years.

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In November, 2001 on cruise on the Clipper Adventurer out of Ushuaia we sailed to Antarctica.  We visited a number of islands but one day the Captain requested, and was granted, permission for a Zodiac landing at Argentine Base Esperanza where we spent a interesting and wonderful afternoon.  The inhabitants even had a makeshift “souvenir shop” set up in the gym.  Argentine Base Esperanza is located in Hope Bay, Trinity Peninsula on the Antarctic Peninsula. 
 

Oceanwide Expeditions in their online brochure states  “An occasional landing site during our Antarctica cruises, Esperanza Base is a fascinating location for a friendly visit. The base was built in 1953 and houses about 55 scientists, roughly 10 families and two school teachers, and has 43 buildings. Upwards of 1,100 tourists visit Esperanza each year.”  They hope to visit on their November 2021 cruise aboard the M/V Ortelius.

https://oceanwide-expeditions.com/to-do/experiences/esperanza-base

 

 

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16 minutes ago, RetiredLifer said:

where we spent a interesting and wonderful afternoon.  

That is SO fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing.

 

A little anecdote. A few years we were out to dinner in Bangkok and started chatting with an American woman who was living and working in Antarctica. She was on holiday and was going to be in Budapest where we had been. I referred her to a restaurant there where we had the best dinner of our lives. We've stayed a little in touch via FB and she continues to work - in season - down there. A great life. Thanks for reminding me.

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