What to think about when planning a cruise to Antarctica...
For many, the chance to sail south on a cruise to Antarctica is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Whether you’re going for the incredible icescapes, the great abundance of wildlife or to trace the steps of famous expeditionists, an Antarctica cruise can satisfy a number of different interests. However, with a number of different cruise chips offering a variety of different itineraries, deciding on one can be a challenge, which, is why we are here to help.
In this section, we have tried to break things down to help you focus on the main things that you want to get out of your cruise:
The main thing to consider about an Antarctica Cruise is how long you would like it to be. For those with limited time on their hands, then a 10-night Fly and Cruise itinerary might be more suitable, or if you’ve got lots of time to play with and want to see as much as possible, then a longer 3-week cruise is the better option. The other thing to consider is where you want your cruise to start and end. Cruises start from a number of different cities in Chile and Argentina and are therefore very easily combined with a trip to mainland South America.
In addition to logistics, it’s worth considering what type of activities you want to do as part of the cruise. For example, do you want your cruise to be activity and expedition focussed, or do you want a luxury boat with lots of amenities and an exceptionally high level of service on board.
It’s worth bearing in mind that smaller cruise ships are able to get guests off the boat and onto zodiacs more quickly, which means landings on these boats are longer and more frequent. Ships are also increasing the number of activities they offer, so some will offer the chance to kayak or even spend a night camping on the ice!
Deciding on when to go to Antarctica is quite straightforward as the season is fairly short and runs from the end of October through to the beginning of March. Nevertheless, visiting at the beginning as opposed to the end of the season will give you a different experience, as you will witness a different stage in the breeding process of the wildlife in Antarctica.
Please have a look at our When to go section for a breakdown of the months to visit and the different things you will see.
Anyone who has looked into the price of Antarctica cruises will know that they don’t come particularly cheaply. How much the cruise costs will ultimately come down to which boat you choose, how long the cruise is and on which date you travel so it’s worth considering the points above to get you started.
We’d also recommend having a look at a few of our example itineraries, which will help to give you more of an idea of costs and the different boats and their facilities.
We appreciate that the number of different factors and combinations to consider can be slightly overwhelming, so with the above in mind, we would suggest having a chat with you to talk over the different options and find out what you are looking to get out of your cruise. Are you mainly focused on seeing the ice-covered Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands? Or, are looking to see as much wildlife as possible and want to include The Falkland Islands and South Georgia with their incredible bird and penguin colonies? Are you looking for an activity-filled trip or are you looking for a luxury cruise ship with great facilities on board to relax after a busy day of landings?
With years of experience of creating tailor-made itineraries for clients travelling to South America, we understand the importance of getting these things right and know that while one cruise may be perfectly suited to one person, it may not be the ideal cruise for another. With this in mind, we have put together overviews of each key area, the range of activities you can do, when to travel and a few of our favourite Antarctica cruise itineraries which are suitable for a range of different time scales and budgets.
If you’d like to speak to us about finding the right itinerary for you, then give us a call any time or send us an email and we’ll be more than happy to help!