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Balcony in Antarctica?


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Not sure it's "Necessary", as on our Antarctic expedition I spent a lot of time out on the open deck at the front. Nevertheless, we loved our balcony and made good use of it. The balcony was fairly sheltered and at times I sat outside relaxing, reading and photographing.


I guess it depends on the depth of your pocket. Be aware not all balconies are equal. On Roald Amundsen deck 9 we had a glass sided balcony. I understand some of those on deck 8 have the balcony enclosed not by glass but by the metal red band on the side of the ship, and you would need to stand to see over it. I expect Fridjof Nansen would be similar but you would need to check.

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I have done 3 trips to Antarctica regions.  Most of us spent all of our time on deck so we could move around.  Also, a lot of your photos will be of birds flying overhead.  Try taking those pictures from a balcony.  IMHO, a balcony is a total waste of money.



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I respect donaldsec's view, but we clearly had different experiences.  I've only done one trip so far, though with a second booked (same cabin as previously, with a balcony).


I spent hours out on the front observation deck, and there was a nice camaraderie amongst those of us who did, both with other passengers as well as with leaders of the expedition teams, but I also spent quite a bit of time shooting from the balcony. We got quite a long way south, just beyond 70 degrees, but I didn't see so many birds flying overhead, they were mostly to the sides or across in front of the bow. I have countless bird images shot from the balcony of birds which flew alongside and then veered off, or swooped down to skim the water by the side of the ship. 


After strenuous expedition landings there were times we wanted just to sit and rest for a while, and the balcony was a great place to be to read, have a cup of coffee, but with my camera at the ready. 


If the sea is very rough there is a huge amount of movement at the front on the observation deck. Though I found it exhilarating, not everybody did, and in those conditions the balcony might be a better place to be,


BTW, I also got some great views and photos through the panoramic windows of the sauna, especially as we sailed through the pack ice.


It's got to be down to your pocket and preference. If I can afford a balcony cabin I will always go for one, but I'd sooner have a window cabin than not go at all.



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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/4/2021 at 3:29 AM, Paul S said:

spent hours out on the front observation deck,

Here's Bob on the aft deck after breakfast most mornings.


BTW were you on Hurtigruten?

bob on after deck.jpg

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18 hours ago, clo said:

BTW were you on Hurtigruten?

We were on Roald Amundsen to  the Chilean Fjords, Antarctica and Falklands February 2020. I’m still post-processing the photos including from 4 days pre and 2 days post in Santiago.

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