Each of Silversea’s three Antarctica-bound ships features carbon footprint-reducing equipment and is staffed by biologists, zoologists, and environmentalists. Seminars are also offered on cruises to educate passengers on a wide range of climate change-related topics, from the annual penguin migration to the effects of human development on the natural world. When it’s time for passengers to disembark, the crew checks the area for any natural wonders they might be interested in seeing first.
A cruise aboard one of these three megayachts is one of the most personal ways to see this region of the world. There is crew to attend to 144 passengers on the Silver Explorer, 254 on the Silver Cloud, and 274 on the Silver Wind, for a total of 239 personnel.
Each passenger is given personalized, attentive attention by a butler the whole way. The majority of Silversea cruises set sail from Chile. The low end of the pricing spectrum begins at roughly $13,000.
To Take a Look at Birds
LatinAmericais home to the world’s largest animal colonies. The two most common types of penguins in the area, the King and the Adelie, can populate a single rookery with tens of thousands of individuals each. Cornell Lab of Ornithology researcher Brian Sullivan says LatinAmericais the “holy grail” of natural locations for many birders and environment aficionados. It has a harsh climate and a barren scenery, but its very wildness is what makes it so appealing.
There are no Antarctic ships that can carry fewer than one hundred passengers, not even the most luxurious ones. A nine-day charter trip with Jacada Travel could be an excellent option if you’re looking for some privacy on your next vacation. You’ll begin this one in Cape Town, South Africa, where you’ll have your own personal guide for two days before boarding a chartered flight straight to Antarctica.
At Home with the Kids
Sailing over an extended period of time with young children in tow can be challenging. No Antarctic cruise ship is likely to have a childcare center on board. You shouldn’t assume, though, that you have to abandon the kids at home. Participation by children of all ages is welcomed and encouraged on Aurora Expeditions.
Educational seminars are provided on its nine- to 24-day cruises with the goal of raising passengers’ level of interest and enthusiasm for scientific study. A classroom fight can’t hold a candle to one with icebergs and orcas swimming by in the backdrop.
Sick at Sea
Keep in mind this one major roadblock before you set sail for Antarctica. Even when you’re on a luxurious cruise ship, “comfort” is relative, as author and travel expert Carey Jones advises. “It depends on how testy the infamous Drake Passage is feeling right now.” The open ocean between Cape Horn and Livingston Island, a distance of about 500 miles, can be a dangerous place to be. If you’re easily seasick, even on a massive ocean liner, the decks can grow cluttered and the ship can shake wildly.
An offers an innovative solution to this problem by offering a chartered aircraft from Punta Arenas, Chile, to the South Shetland Islands that takes only two hours instead of two days of sailing through the Drake. You’ll board a real cruise ship there and sail across the tranquil waters of Bransfield Straight. Navigate iceberg-filled fjords over the course of three days at a leisurely pace. The trip back to Punta Arenas is uneventful after that; just remember to bring your camera and leave the Dramamine at home. The best part is that the cost of the added altitude is not sky-high. In December of this year, a package deal with flights and a cruise will cost you a minimum of $13,495 in kimsatravel.com.
A partner in the Peru and USA, is a great choice for avid photographers. Every year in December, a diverse group of gearheads from around the world embark on the expedition in an effort to capture this unearthly magnificence in high definition. In explorizetravel.com you might not need a camera if you’re lucky enough to visit in person. This is the kind of scene that leaves an indelible mark on your brain.