Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
psygist

Scenic cruising in Antarctica...worth it?

Recommended Posts

Considering a cruise from South America that spends a few days doing "scenic cruising" in Antarctica.  Do you get to see any penguins or other wildlife this way?  Is this similar to an Alaskan cruise?  Is it a worthwhile way to see Antarctica or is it disappointing?

Thanks for any advice. 

Edited by psygist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since no one has responded yet I will give you my opinion on this.

I have traveled to Antarctica and South Georgia three times on expedition ships with landings (the last one on a small ship, so long landings) and I would not consider a drive-by cruising. I think all people who have done an expedition-type trip will say the same.

 

However I don't think that Antarctica can ever be disappointing, particularly to a first time visitor, it's such a magical place and so special. From a cruise-by you will be able to experience the beauty and scale of the landscape, but there might be restrictions to where you can go in case of dense ice situations. You may see whales and maybe seals from not too far, you will see penguin colonies but no penguin up close, you can't really see them moving around and interacting from the ship. For me the close observation of wildlife is really a huge plus in expedition trips. 

 

If you are very keen about Antarctica, and there is any chance you can do a trip to Antarctica on an expedition ship at some point in the future, then I would postpone the trip to allow for that. But if it's this one or nothing ever again, then why not. If you have no comparison point with another type of Antarctica cruise, you don't know what you are missing, and you will certainly enjoy what you do see (and maybe it wil make you want to come back for more).

 

If it's a money issue maybe look at what Hurtigruten is offering with MS Midnatsol (if they keep it for Antarctica) or their new ships. The ships are still too big for me with up to 500 passengers, but I think they have a good value for money and they are expedition trips with landings, so it can be a compromise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, psygist said:

Considering a cruise from South America that spends a few days doing "scenic cruising" in Antarctica.  Do you get to see any penguins or other wildlife this way?  Is this similar to an Alaskan cruise?  Is it a worthwhile way to see Antarctica or is it disappointing?

Thanks for any advice. 

 

We did a cruise to SA and Antarctica on the Zaandam and we thought that the scenic was worth it . We had a Neptune Suite and for the price that we paid we could have done an expedition ship . Yes we saw penguins , whales and orca .

 

 

IMG_3618%20-%20Copy_zpsxpit8oy8.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3763%20-%20Copy_zpsoyj5dbq1.jpg

 

 

 

IMG_3779%20-%20Copy_zpsosorktzh.jpg

 

 

IMG_4051%20-%20Copy_zpsuxfqkdwc.jpg

 

They are fast as you can see in this video clip :

 

 

 

 

We thought that Antarctica and SA were much more spectacular than Alaska . Many of the expedition ships leave from Ushuaia and may not contact much of South America at all which would be a shame . We love Glacier alley from the cruise ship 

 

it_zps2py5ysr2.jpg

 

Italia%204_zpsoasolz0b.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did get to see penguins and other wildlife up close on shore excursions

 

King Penguins

 

IMG_9356_zps1es4gy0r.jpg

 

 

 

 

Gentoo with a chick

 

IMG_5267_zpsxnh6c4um.jpg

 

Magellanic with chicks

 

IMG_7370_zps8eqgxvhc.jpg

 

Chulengo

 

IMG_7451_zpscuveq4vp.jpg

 

 

Rhea

 

IMG_6943_zpsavvntyry.jpg

 

We also did a pre cruise stay in Patagonia , not Antarctica but beautiful also

 

El Chalten

 

IMG_7313_zpsssxvsy1a.jpg

 

Perito Moreno Glacier

 

IMG_0111-002_zps25cde17a.jpg

 

 

 

Small boat glacier cruise

 

IMG_8157%20-%20Copy_zpsn21h2air.jpg

 

IMG_6934_zpsupm6jwm2.jpg

 

Torres del Paine

 

IMG_7013%201_zps2gelkhdv.jpg

 

We loved what we did and didn't feel like we missed out by not booking an expedition ship . We loved the comfort and safety of a large ship in the Drake Passage and the ability to step out on the balcony while having food , warmth and a bathroom just feet away . 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, scubacruiserx2 said:

We did get to see penguins and other wildlife up close on shore excursions

 

 

Can you please elaborate where exactly you saw the penguins? Because that is not in Antarctica (but it's nice!).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SarniaLo said:

Can you please elaborate where exactly you saw the penguins? Because that is not in Antarctica (but it's nice!).

 

 

Sure . Our first sighting was Magdalena Island near Punta Arenas , Chile .

 

IMG_7817_zpsui70rcmj.jpg

 

IMG_7779_zpslogjybny.jpg

 

IMG_9938_zps0ke3eu5g.jpg

 

 

 

The second place  with the King Penguin and Gentoo as The Falkland Islands .

 

The third place was Puerto Madryn , Argentina . We went to Punto Tombo and saw the Gunanco also .

 

IMG_7459_zpsoj1cgjwr.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are suppose to be in Le Harve in the Spring and would like to see some of the Paris landmarks before boarding a train to Rotterdam from Paris . Do you know some one who you would recommend ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, scubacruiserx2 said:

We are suppose to be in Le Harve in the Spring and would like to see some of the Paris landmarks before boarding a train to Rotterdam from Paris . Do you know some one who you would recommend ?

 

Many thanks for your answer. A shore excursion on Falkland Islands can almost make up for no landings in Antarctica 😉 . Where exactly in the Falklands was it?

 

As for your question, if you are looking for a tour guide in Paris, I think it would be better to ask in the relevant forum (and I'm sorry, I can't help you).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, SarniaLo said:

 

Many thanks for your answer. A shore excursion on Falkland Islands can almost make up for no landings in Antarctica 😉 . Where exactly in the Falklands was it?

 

As for your question, if you are looking for a tour guide in Paris, I think it would be better to ask in the relevant forum (and I'm sorry, I can't help you).

 

 

Here's the link and photos from our travelogue .

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, scubacruiserx2 said:

 

Here's the link and photos from our travelogue

 

 I'm sorry, I tried to follow your travelogue at the beginning but there are way too many messages and too many photos for me. That's allright, I'm sure there are people who find it enjoyable 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, SarniaLo said:

 

Many thanks for your answer. A shore excursion on Falkland Islands can almost make up for no landings in Antarctica 😉 . Where exactly in the Falklands was it?

 

 

 

Volunteer Point, near Stanley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, kinipela35 said:

 

Volunteer Point, near Stanley

Thanks (were you on the same trip?). I suppose (but I may be wrong) all the passengers cannot get on that excursion, it's only for a limited number? Do you have to pay extra for the excursion?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, SarniaLo said:

Thanks (were you on the same trip?). I suppose (but I may be wrong) all the passengers cannot get on that excursion, it's only for a limited number? Do you have to pay extra for the excursion?

 

Yes only a limited number can make the trip in 4x4 vehicles with 5 people . We did pay extra for the excursion .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair the pictures above are not from Antarctica (I suspect Don's pictures are from the Falklands as well, maybe South Georgia?). So the overall itinerary (and ability to do shore excursions) is very important.

Because what you are pointing out, scubacruiserx2, is that many highlights of your trip were the stops where you were able to do landings 😉

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, SarniaLo said:

To be fair the pictures above are not from Antarctica (I suspect Don's pictures are from the Falklands as well, maybe South Georgia?). So the overall itinerary (and ability to do shore excursions) is very important.

Because what you are pointing out, scubacruiserx2, is that many highlights of your trip were the stops where you were able to do landings 😉

 

 

You are right as to the location but you will get equivalent pictures if you do an expedition trip to Antarctica.  Most of my pictures on  Antarctica were NEF files so I could not easily post them.  Also, I am a better photographer than I was when I took my Antarctica pictures.  

 

DON

 

 

Antarctica 12_11_06 Donald 120 Cuverville Island.jpg

Antarctica 12_14_06 Donald 433 Base Esperanza.jpg

Antarctica 12_13_06 Donald 034 Port Lockroy.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, SarniaLo said:

To be fair the pictures above are not from Antarctica (I suspect Don's pictures are from the Falklands as well, maybe South Georgia?). So the overall itinerary (and ability to do shore excursions) is very important.

Because what you are pointing out, scubacruiserx2, is that many highlights of your trip were the stops where you were able to do landings 😉

 

 

My photos were shown to answer the OP's questions .  Do you get to see any penguins or other wildlife this way?  Is this similar to an Alaskan cruise?  Is it a worthwhile way to see Antarctica or is it disappointing?

Yes, we got to see penguins and wildlife including some not found on Antarctica . Similar , but we feel it's better . We thought that it was worthwhile and we're glad that we did it . To us it's not just wildlife but scenery and culture and we saw a lot more diversity in SA than on Antarctica .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, scubacruiserx2 said:

 

My photos were shown to answer the OP's questions .  Do you get to see any penguins or other wildlife this way?  Is this similar to an Alaskan cruise?  Is it a worthwhile way to see Antarctica or is it disappointing?

Yes, we got to see penguins and wildlife including some not found on Antarctica . Similar , but we feel it's better . We thought that it was worthwhile and we're glad that we did it . To us it's not just wildlife but scenery and culture and we saw a lot more diversity in SA than on Antarctica .

 

Yes, I'm sorry if it came out wrong, I did not mean to dismiss your experience, and I'm sure it will help the OP (who seems to have disappeared). I understand that your whole trip was very different than a purely Antarctica expedition cruise (or one including Falklands and SG) and the most important thing is that you enjoyed it. I just felt that your wildlife experience would not have been as rich if you hadn't been able to do the shore excursion in Falklands, but again I may be wrong, I wasn't there. I hope all this will give the OP food for thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We enjoyed all of our shore excursions and the Falkland Islands had the greatest variety of penguins . We really did enjoy our week in Patagonia and it may become popular place to go to as the trips on the larger cruise ships to Antarctica are phased out in the future .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok Scubacruiserx2 you have convinced us to take the South America cruise leaving our cold winter to go to more winter. Not what I thought I would ever do but we love nature.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Trend said:

Ok Scubacruiserx2 you have convinced us to take the South America cruise leaving our cold winter to go to more winter. Not what I thought I would ever do but we love nature.

 

 

Congratulations , we hope that you have a fantastic cruise ! Will you be doing Antarctica as well ? It will be Summer in South America and while most of the cruise will be cool it shouldn't be cold . The coldest weather was freezing and that in Antarctica . After we left the Falkland Islands it was warm and we had about 5 days of hot weather in Montevideo and BA where it got up to 33 degrees C . If you have any questions please ask and have you seen our entire SA/Antarctica thread ? It can be found here :

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did Buenos Aries and Brazil as well as Uruguay last Christmas/New Years and yes it was lovely and hot.

Next is Africa this February and the following we will do the Falklands but not Antarctica, it is 21 days and goes from Buenos Aries to Lima. Just really did not want to go from cold to cold but your pictures made it worth it as it brought back memories of Galapagos.

Thanks again for your great posts 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Trend said:

We did Buenos Aries and Brazil as well as Uruguay last Christmas/New Years and yes it was lovely and hot.

Next is Africa this February and the following we will do the Falklands but not Antarctica, it is 21 days and goes from Buenos Aries to Lima. Just really did not want to go from cold to cold but your pictures made it worth it as it brought back memories of Galapagos.

Thanks again for your great posts 

 

You're welcome , enjoy your upcoming vacations ! I guess people like change . We live in the heat and humidity so we crave cooler spots like Northern Europe or Patagonia / Antarctica . We did have a hard time leaving here in late December and January when the weather was nice to go Summer in South America but that's when you can go to Antarctica . We wore shorts on the plane in BA and when we got off in Miami it was 14 C . 😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I remember visiting my brother who lives in Boca in February one year and it was as cold as Toronto.

Just have to figure out how cold it is in the Falklands and Chile, I have to think by Peru area we will be into warmer weather.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My FIL visited us from Michigan one year in the winter and didn't bring a jacket . It was so cold for a few days that he said that he was not coming back agin in Winter . We took puffer coats that we could compress and a fleece jacket , scarf and hat . We also have a raincoat with a lot of pockets that folds up small  . No umbrellas as the wind is a major player in Patagonia . We had 60 mph cross winds in SA . 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2019
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...