Tourism In Antarctica Pros And Cons – Gene Sloan has written about sailing for more than 25 years and for many years edited USA Today’s award-winning sailing. He has sailed on more than 150 ships.
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Tourism In Antarctica Pros And Cons
There was a time when traveling to Antarctica meant roughing it a little. Many of the adventure travel companies that have started to travel around the Free State have started using spartan, sometimes rebuilt boats to take people there.
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Now you can travel to the world’s most remote places in luxury and style – provided you are willing to pay a high price for the privilege.
Luxury travel companies such as Silversea Cruises and Abercrombie & Kent have in recent years created a niche that offers Antarctic cruises on luxury ships, where you will sleep in cabins and dine in similar restaurants in the Antarctic landscape. window of your boat. And a rapidly growing list of other high-profile travel companies is in the process of joining them.
Newcomers include luxury brand Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, which just launched its first Antarctic cruises in late 2019 on a superyacht like Expedition – a type of ship designed specifically for travel travel to remote and difficult to reach areas. .
Also new to luxury cruises to Antarctica is the upstart “luxury adventure” line Atlas Ocean Voyages, which begins Antarctic cruises in late 2021 with a mission-driven expedition ship, and Viking, who launched voyages to the continent with a new expedition to study the early ship. 2022.
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Luxury cruise line Seabourn is also set to enter Antarctica in a big way in 2022 with its first cruise ship.
Here, we take a look at six companies that are taking the scenic route to Antarctica.
Silversea Cruises has been a leader among the major cruise lines in expanding cruises to remote and hard-to-reach destinations, and is a major player in luxury Antarctic expeditions.
The Miami-based line’s 13-year-old expedition cruise division currently operates high-end cruises to the White Continent on two ships – the 144-passenger Silver Explorer and the 254-passenger Silver Cloud. And soon there will be a third ship on site, the 254-passenger Silver Wind.
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All ships offer Antarctic tours that always start and end in South America and include a crossing of the sometimes difficult Drake Passage. But just this winter, Silversea also started offering fly-cruises to Antarctica on the Silver Explorer which includes direct flights to the continent. Rarely does a trip make riders ride Drake’s waves.
While older than many luxury cruise ships to Antarctica, Silver Explorer, Silver Cloud and Silver Wind offer luxury with all suites, luxury food and luxury touches as service. for every passenger.
Abercrombie & Kent is an expert in high-end tourism worldwide, Abercrombie & Kent has been a key player in Antarctica travel for more than two decades.
While the company does not have its own luxury ships to bring luxury travelers to the continent, it does charter one of the luxury expeditions for such trips as: Ponant’s Le Lyrial.
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Launched in 2015, the 264-passenger ship is sleek and elegant, with modern decor, large staterooms with balconies and several restaurants. But it’s also difficult, which is what you want in Antarctica. It has a powerful engine and other features that allow it to crash into the Antarctic ice with relative ease (it has a 1C ice class rating from Lloyd’s Register).
While Ponant, a French brand, is often popular with French speakers (its tours are bilingual with advertising in French and English), that changed when Abercrombie & Kent agreed Le Lyrial. A cruise company in Illinois brought in English-speaking guides and instructors to conduct cruises and provide English-only tours that catered to English-speaking passengers.
While sailing to Abercrombie & Kent in Antarctica, Le Lyrial is still operating with more than 199 passengers – 65 fewer than it can carry.
Details: Prices for a 12-night Antarctica trip start at $12,995 per person, based on two people staying. Prices include advance cruise, two hotel nights in Buenos Aires, but not round trip between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, which costs an additional $895.
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Long known for high-end water cruises, luxury goods Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours made a big move into high-end Antarctic expeditions in late 2019 with its first expedition ship, Scenic eclipse with 228 passengers.
Billed as a “discovery yacht,” the super-luxurious ship has all the amenities (and we’re talking real suites with separate living rooms), butler service for everyone, and many dining options, including a sushi restaurant. There is a whiskey bar stocked with more than 110 whiskeys and other high-end spirits, plus a spa and yoga studio.
Scenic Eclipse is also the first Antarctic cruise ship to boast a helicopter to take passengers on epic (and expensive) Antarctic excursions. It also has a submarine for underwater exploration. Having experienced the helicopter ride from the ship, I can say that it is truly an experience of a lifetime.
On the downside, the helipad and hangars on the Scenic Eclipse take up a lot of space on the ship’s upper deck, as do the suites on the sloping front of the ship. The combination leaves less space for the inspection area. The result is a ship that has less outdoor space for visibility than is usual for small ships doing polar cruises.
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Details: Prices for a 12-day Antarctica trip start at $15,655 per person, based on two people staying. Prizes include advance cruise, overnight hotel stay in Buenos Aires; round-trip flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia; beverages, including spirits and fine wines; and prepaid bonuses.
Just launching in August 2021, Atlas Ocean Voyages is a new small ship that aims to “adventure travel” to places like Antarctica and the Arctic while also offering some cruises to Europe and other warm climates. .
Currently, Atlas is operating just one ship, a 184-passenger cruise called World Navigator, but the Miami-based brand has already ordered four identical ships for delivery by 2024. Many of them will sail regularly even in Antarctica.
Made difficult to explore the polar (it has PC 6 ice class), the World Navigator also creates a beautiful atmosphere with meat, 1940s-influenced decor, such as pampering touches like L’Occitane spa (first of the sea) and the attendant. services. in the upper cabins.
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The ship, which I recently sailed, gave high marks, also has indoor and outdoor viewing areas, including a new construction, near the shore outside the deck with air seats called The Water’s Edge. High-tech touches include GPS that allows it to navigate sensitive areas without anchoring.
Details: A nine-night trip to Antarctica starts at $10,499 per person, based on two people staying. Charges for beverages, including wine and spirits; Wi-Fi on board; prepaid bonuses; and provide emergency medical evacuation for all passengers (the latter is a rare offer among companies that go to Antarctica).
Viking is a newcomer to Antarctic expedition sailing – as of today’s story, it only offers Antarctic voyages for a few weeks. But he was already attracted by the ship watch business.
That’s because the new expedition ship the line has built for Antarctic cruises — the 378-passenger Viking Octantis — has some new and unusual features. Most notable is The Hangar, a facility in the marina that allows passengers to transfer to the boat landing while remaining in the boat’s protected interior. For the first time for an expedition ship, it is something that can improve the experience for passengers to the Antarctic landing.
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In another first for a cruise ship, each cabin on Viking Octantis has floor-to-ceiling walls that slide partially open from above to create a balcony.
The public areas and residences of Viking Octantis boast beautiful Scandinavian design. Its restaurants include the Viking signature Italian spot Manfredi and the Scandinavian-inspired outlet Mamsen. Also popular is a glass-walled observation lounge at the top of the ship that promises stunning views of the fleeting landscape.
As is typical of expedition ships, Viking Octantis is a sturdy ship, with an additional bow that allows it to break through the ice in the northern region and additional tanks for fuel and food. In addition to landing a boat ashore, it carries kayaks and even submarines for exploration (the latter something that is rare in a ship of any kind).
Details: Prices for a 12-night Antarctica trip start at $14,995 per person, excluding taxes and fees. Great Lakes cruises start at $6,495 per person, excluding taxes and fees. For more information, call 855-338-4546 or visit viking.com.
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Like Viking, Seabourn just embarked on an Antarctic sailing expedition this year on its first expedition ship, the 264-passenger Seabourn Venture.
Set to set sail for Antarctica in November, the ice ship will offer all the luxury