Polar Regions – Why Take The Same Old Cruise To A Tropical Destination When You Can Go On A True Adventure?
Travelling to one of the Earth’s Polar Regions – the Arctic or the Antarctic – is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience that will instill wonder in any visitor intrepid enough to make the journey, while still being comfortable and safe.
If you are looking for a vacation that is well off the beaten path, but also like the organization and comforts that come with a cruise, then look no further than a trip to one of the Earth’s Polar Regions. Whether you head north to the Arctic or south to the Antarctic, you will experience an adventure that is breathtaking and unique.
Antarctica is the continent that straddles the South Pole. It is large – about two times the area of Australia – and is covered with thick sheets of ice that never thaw, even during the “summer” months. Antarctica is the coldest and windiest place on Earth. There is almost no land-based life there and no permanent human settlements, because the conditions are so extreme. All in all, not a great place to live – but a fascinating place to visit.
The many Cruise Ships Antarctica attracts are filled with tourists that are more adventurous than your typical suntan set. They can see past the chilly conditions to the remarkable landscape and unique sea-based animal life, such as whales, seals, and water birds. Of course, no trip to the Antarctic is complete without taking a good close look at the penguins. You will be guided on either day trips or multi-night stays as you observe these curious creatures from close at hand.
In the other direction, Arctic Cruises will show you not only the same types of magnificent landscapes and animal life (such as polar bears), but also a glimpse of a distinct human element. The Arctic, as typified in Northern Canada and Greenland, is actually home to many intrepid outposts of human civilization. Experience the culture of people who live and work in areas most people would find inhospitable in the extreme.
There are lots of Polar Cruises Antarctica Cruise ships that will surely help you enjoy these activities.
For example, the Earth’s South Pole is a known ship that will help you get the best experience as it cuts down icebergs as you cruise in the area. This will allow you to fully explore the area especially if you’re looking for ways on how to get the best from its vacation. Other cruise ships are popular for their fine cuisines that you can enjoy in the area.
With the help of the internet, you’ll find a lot of Polar Cruises Antarctica Cruise offers that will be suitable for your needs especially if you’re looking for different cruise duration. A lot of them are offering a wide array of itineraries that will match your preferences so you can go online and compare them. Apart from the itinerary, you may also check out the introductory cruises or in-depth look at the place in terms of its natural resources. Antarctica is a vast location that has wildlife and natural resources that never fail to amaze different life science experts and oceanographers. They will visit the area and see what it has to offer for their studies and to the world of sciences.
That said, one of the most popular destinations on the Antarctic Peninsula is the Port Lockroy harbour on Goudier Island. This harbour has a long and colourful history, which started in 1903 when the whaling expeditions arrived. Tourists can, in fact, still marvel at the full fin whale skeleton that has been preserved at the old whaling base.
The South Sandwich Islands can only be reached by sea and lie 750km south east of South Georgia in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean. There are twelve islands in the group and their total area is 337sq.km. If a cruise ship does visit this small, curved island chain, it will stop at Zavadovski Island, which was first visited by Fabian von Bellingshausen, the famous Russian explorer, in 1819.
Other options in terms of itineraries is the departure area of the Polar Cruises Antarctica Cruise. Some of your port options in traveling going to the area are Australia, Falkland, New Zealand and a lot more. They will be helpful for you in terms of achieving the best Polar Cruises Antarctica Cruise as they introduce the location with a wide array of activities you can do for adventure ad full enjoyment.
Individuals who decide to take a trip to the amazing polar regions are encouraged to visit between the months of November and March. These are considered the spring and summer months for the country and is the best time of the year to take in everything that Antarctica has to offer.
Recommended Cruise Ships To Explore Polar Regions With
Be notified, the tourist season for Antarctica is restricted only to the months of December through February when it is the peak of summer in the southernmost part of the world. Only vessels equipped for the icy waters cruise to one of the coldest areas of the earth. Three major cruise lines offer Antarctic cruises: Celebrity Cruises, Orient Lines, and Radisson Seven Seas. Smaller specialty expedition companies also offer other trips to this destination.
Celebrity Cruises travels to Antarctica with the polar icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov, a refitted 1980’s Russian polar research vessel. This ship takes a fortunate 106 passengers to the polar region with the amenities expected from Celebrity Cruises such as pool, sauna, and gym. Accommodations are small by comparison to a cruise ship; staterooms can be as small as 135 square feet while a suite with private bath is only 285 square feet.
The cruise usually originates and returns to Ushuaia Tierra Del Fuego, the southernmost town in South America near Cape Horn. As with all cruises in the frozen waters, destinations depend upon actual weather conditions during the cruise.
Another one is the Orient Lines which provides several Antarctic cruises each year aboard its world traveler ship Marco Polo. This ship was originally built in Germany in 1965 and was rebuilt in the early 1990’s. It has twelve decks and carries 826 passengers, a cruise ship not a research vessel like the Kapitan Khlebnikov. Accommodations vary from deluxe and regular suites to a full complement of cabin categories to choose from. Orient Lines has a high reputation for quality and the Marco Polo is a full service ship with many restaurants and amenities.
Orient offers a variety of Antarctic cruises throughout the season from December to February with the option of 11 to 33 day cruises, depending upon point of departure. The longest trip begins in the Caribbean, passes through the Panama Canal and tours the west coast of South America before touring Antarctica. Once the ship reaches the Cape Horn area, regular 11-day cruises to Antarctica depart from Ushuaia Tierra Del Fuego. Other cruises are 15 or 18-day cruises that start in Santiago, Chile or Buenos Aires, Argentina. Prices start at around $5,000 per person for the 11-day cruise.
Radisson Seven Seas provides cruises to Antarctica aboard the ship Explorer II. Explorer II is designed to cruise safely in the polar region. While this vessel carries 300 passengers elsewhere, only 198 people can take the Antarctic cruise. Explorer II is a small cruise ship with all the amenities expected from a luxury and award-winning cruise line such as Radisson Seven Seas.
Radisson Seven Seas provides only two cruises per year in the Antarctic region, both in the month of January. Both cruises are round trip from Ushuaia Tierra Del Fuego and are 12-day trips. Prices start at around $7,500 per person for the 12-day cruise (please double check for exact prices at the cruise ships websites).
Still Unsure? Here Are Other Important Tips To Help You Make Better Decisions
When choosing how, when, and where to travel to in Antarctica aboard a luxury Antarctica cruise, expert advice is available to help you to make the right choice for this ultimate holiday.
You are likely to be on board somewhere between 6 and 22 days so you want to be sure that your cabin is comfortable and that the public areas suit your taste and requirements. All the ships I personally select have the very best state-of-the-art navigational equipment and ice-strengthened hulls suitable for travel in these remote waters. Size also does matter as all the ships I select operate with the Antarctic Treaty guidelines which limit shore landing to a maximum of 100 people at a time. By choosing a ship with around 100 passengers onboard or less, you will maximize the time spent on land among the colonies of penguins and seals.
How to get to Antarctica?
Access to Antarctica is usually from the southern tip of the South American mainland, either from Chile or Argentina, depending on your itinerary and the ship. Even the very closest tip of the Peninsula is some two days sailing across the Drake Passage from Ushuaia before you reach landfall again in Antarctica and its outlying islands. This sea journey is fantastic for spotting whales and seabirds such as albatross, and a great time to interact with guides and fellow passengers to learn more about the history, wildlife, and scientific research in the Antarctic. If, however, the thought of two days at open sea puts you off, other options are available that bypass this sea crossing by flying to King George Island close to the Antarctic Peninsula instead, or even into the interior of the continent itself.
What do I do on board?
Days are spent heading out by small inflatable zodiac craft from your ship to islands and the mainland, observing the incredible wildlife of Antarctica, whether a leopard seal lounging on an ice floe or a cute little Adelie penguin waddling down from her nest to the shore to fish. But it is important to remember that some cruise itineraries offer additional options as well as hiking ashore to see wildlife. If you are active and would like a chance to get under the skin of this spectacular continent, you can choose an itinerary that includes camping overnight on the ice, kayaking among stunning blue icebergs or snowshoeing across pristine snowfields in search of wildlife. We can even suggest an amazing journey by small sailboat where you can combine your adventures in Antarctica with a chance to sail in some of the world’s most challenging oceans.
What wildlife will I see?
Penguins of course, and lots of them! Seals, whales, and seabirds too. But there is much more to it than that. If you visit the Antarctic Peninsula, you will see many species of penguins but not the largest species, Emperor penguins, unless you visit very specific locations. There are whales present in these waters much of the austral summer, but when is absolutely the best time to see them and which types can you expect to see? Would you prefer to see the penguin colonies as the chicks are hatched, in which case you need to time your cruise just right? Everyone has their own reason for visiting such a magnificent destination for wildlife encounters. If there is a particular experience on your wishlist, it’s important to choose exactly the right cruise itinerary to maximize the chances of you getting your wish.
What are the guides like?
Your expedition leaders on board are the most crucial element of your holiday of a lifetime. They not only accompany you onshore and explain the wildlife, history, and geography of the regions you visit, they embellish these experiences with lectures in the evening, they join you for dinner to chat over the day’s encounters, and they enhance your special experience in every way they can. Make sure you choose the cruises that you know have the very best expedition guides. It’s important to check their profiles before you go so you know exactly which experts you are going to meet, from wildlife photographers to marine biologists and historians.
Overall, no matter which Polar Region you visit, you should bear in mind that these areas are vulnerable, and tourism has an impact on the environment if it is not done responsibly. These areas are typically protected by treaties, such as the Antarctic Treaty System (a series of international agreements that started with the Antarctic Treaty of 1959), designed to prevent nation-states from despoiling the land or sea, but tourism has its own problems and can be a source of environmental degradation (through pollution, wildlife disturbance, or some other ill effect). For this reason, it is crucial that you choose a tour company that is committed to preserving the Polar Regions in as pristine a condition as possible.
A cruise to the Arctic or Antarctic can be the thrill of a lifetime. Plan carefully and enjoy every minute.
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