Admittedly, Antarctica is a less obvious destination and there are many beautiful places in the world. Antarctica is also not the cheapest destination. Why would we travel so far to such a great expense? It’s obvious we were a bit reluctant when the idea of going to Antarctica first crossed our mind. Partly also because we had gone to Alaska the year before and were afraid it would show many similarities.
Eventually, we did book a cruise to Antarctica because of the mystical attraction of this continent. The unique experience to be able to set foot on the ground on a continent where not many tourists have preceded you. As we had read so much about global warming we were curious to learn more about this continent where the consequences of global warming are felt like no other. Some say that tourism contributes to this. For us it’s just the opposite. The more beautiful places we discover on our world, the more we think we have to deal with our planet with great respect.
Our luxury Antarctica cruise with Seabourn was once again an eye-opener. So why should you go and what are things to do in Antarctica?
1. Wow-experience from the first moment
We crossed the last part of the Drake passage at night and our ship had arrived at Half moon island when we opened our curtains in the morning. That image was so beautiful that I can still perfectly remember it. A beautiful blue sky, the peaceful tranquil sea and the mountains shrouded in a dense pack of ice and snow that sparkles beautifully. In the first few minutes I immediately took a few dozen pictures.
2. Truly enjoy the silence
We did a lot of Antarctica excursions. Every day we went ashore with the Zodiacs and whenever he could the driver would stop the Zodiac in a quiet spot. The engine went off and everybody would just be quiet and enjoy this unique peaceful moment. The only thing you hear is your own breathing and the cracking of the ice. That is just a luxury that you can do that.
3. The pristine nature
We had already looked up some pictures in advance, but we did not really know what to expect in terms of landscape. We were certain there would be a lot of ice and penguins, but otherwise, we did not really have an idea.
During our Antarctica excursions we saw that the nature in Antarctica is beautiful. We fell from one surprise to another. We saw icebergs that looked like they had been cut out for an art exhibition. We sailed between gigantic rugged mountains and even had the good fortune to sail through the beautiful Lemaire channel. A narrow passage that is often blocked by icebergs.
It was so unique and beautiful that every one of the crew, including the captain, was taking pictures. Although some of them may have been to Antarctica 20 times, most of them had not yet sailed through this channel.
Above all what makes Antarctica so special for us, is that this is still an untouched continent. A place where you need to adapt to the rules of nature and the animals that live here.
4. Cute penguins and other animals
They look a bit clunky, they are not the cleanest animals and they’re very noisy, yet you can not help but find these animals cute. In January or February you will see them wobble back and forward from their improvised nests to the sea to bring food for their little chicks. Their chicks have just been born and are even more adorable, yet at the same time vulnerable, with their fluffy fur coats. Besides penguins, you will see many other animals during your Antarctica excursions like seals, fur seals, whales, albatrosses,…
5. You feel like an adventurer
Sylvia always wanted to become an explorer as a child and this trip is the closest that she has come so far to realizing her dream. A pristine continent, the adventure of going ashore with the zodiacs and above all being in a place where only a few other tourists have preceded you.
We recommend you book your cruise to Antarctica with the smallest expedition ship possible. The smaller the ship, the more authentic your experience will be and the more time you will be able to spend ashore.
6. You will be relaxed by the end of your cruise
There’s no need to rush. Between the different Antarctica excursions with the Zodiacs you will have plenty of time to enjoy the moment as the beautiful landscape passes by. The serene environment will make certain you are completely relaxed by the end of your cruise in Antarctica. Yes, here you experience really blissful moments!
7. You will learn a lot about nature
On board you will be accompanied by an experienced expedition team. On our luxury Antarctica cruise with Seabourn it was a team of 24 people consisting of ornithologists, geologists, whale and penguin experts, glaciologists, and so on. Even a lot of specialists in areas that we could not have imagined you could specialize in.
They give lectures and are available on board throughout the cruise to answer all your questions. The stories about the first expedition cruises to Antarctica are really impressive!
Furthermore, there were also some photographers in the expedition team that would share their photography tips with the passengers. They created a truly dazzling compilation video of our cruise in Antarctica that we received as a gift at the end of our cruise.
Here you will find more mind blowing Antarctica activities.
This luxury Antarctica cruise was an incredible experience, one that will be hard to match. Seabourn offers 3-week itineraries leaving from Buenos Aires and arriving in Valparaiso (or vice versa). Should we have to choose again today, we would probably opt for a cruise of 1 week that only deals with Antarctica. These cruises usually depart from Ushuaia.
Spending 3 weeks on a cruise ship is quite long. The first week is thrilling with the excitement building up as you approach Antarctica. The second week in Antarctica is, of course, the highlight of your trip. The problem is the third week. Although the Chilean fjords are quite impressive, they cannot compete with Antarctica (they don’t come even close), and it just feels like some extra filling at the end of the itinerary.
We would also opt for a smaller ship. With a maximum capacity of 458 passengers, Seabourn’s Quest is obviously not that big, but smaller is really better when it comes to Antarctica excursions. With a smaller ship you can do 2 landings per day. On Seabourn that is once a day. And on smaller ships you obviously have even better contact with the expedition team.
Of course Seabourn offers you a luxurious experience, something that might be less on other ships.
Here are some travel guides to get you started.
|Antarctica cruising guide||Lonely planet Antartica||Antarctica: a guide to the wildlife|
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