Antarctica. If it’s not on your bucket list, it should be. I’ve been fortunate enough to have cruised Antarctica twice – see my posts from those trips Antarctica On Silver Explorer and Antarctica On Seabourn Quest. I’ll be headed back for the third time in November (2018) on the recently refurbished Silver Cloud. – Ralph Grizzle
The first question you need to ask about an Antarctica cruise is this: Will you actually step ashore? The answer is decidely no if you are on a vessel carrying more than 500 passengers. You’ll be doing what I call a “drive by” or more accurately, a cruise-only voyage with no chance to leave your footprint on the White Continent.
Why? A regulation by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators and the Antarctic Treaty Parties stipulates that vessels carrying more than 500 passengers are not allowed to land passengers ashore while in Antarctic waters. So while Holland America Line’s 2020 Grand World Voyage features four days in Antarctica, you’ll spend those four days on the 1,380-passenger Amsterdam, not on shore with penguins. In contrast, Holland America Line’s sister company, Seabourn, can land its guests ashore on the 450-passenger Seabourn Quest.
Do you want to be close to penguins (but not so close as not to disturb them)? If so, think small.
All of the ships in our comparison chart feature vessels that land passengers ashore. Our hope is that the chart will serve as a guide and will simplify the decision-making process in choosing the most suitable and memorable Antarctica Expedition Cruise for you. You can view the chart here Antarctica Cruises: The Cost Of Cruising The White Continent, Our Per Diems Chart (Updated October 2018)