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Has anyone been on a Holland America cruise to Antarctica?  If so, what are your thoughts?  My husband wants to go....I am not so sure.  How rough is that Drake Passage?

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How rough would be pretty hard to say as that would vary from passage to passage based on weather conditions, etc.  Degree of roughness is also very subjective, but let's just say I would go prepared for rough seas as that is designated as one of the areas of the world with the roughest potential seas.

 

For more insight I would suggest googling it and looking at posted videos, etc.  Here is one for your reference:

 

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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It's referred to as either the Drake Lake (which is what we had) or the Drake Shake. Also be aware that any ship with more than 500 pax isn't allowed to disembark ANY. We were on a Hurtigruten ship with 400 pax and got to go ashore four different places and also go out in zodiaks. Other ships just look at it.

 

IMG_6415.JPG

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1 hour ago, 1moresail said:

Has anyone been on a Holland America cruise to Antarctica?  If so, what are your thoughts?  My husband wants to go....I am not so sure.  How rough is that Drake Passage?

 

We went on HAL and loved it . Keep in mind that the HAL ships will only be able to go there this winter and next before they are banned from going there . While crossing we had some calm and some a little bumpy . We wrote a photo review about it here

 

Buenos Aires

 

DSC05673_zpsod7jcpfw.jpg

 

 

Ushuaia

 

 

IMG_2338-001_zpsa181f3dc.jpg

 

 

Antarctica

 

 

IMG_8373_zps8kjjkc2s.jpg

 

 

Stanley Falkland , Islands

 

 

DSC04932_zpsvgedrp6a.jpg

 

 

Puerto Madryn

 

 

IMG_7370_zps8eqgxvhc.jpg

 

 

Montevideo

 

 

DSC05286_zpsjfngrjuu.jpg

 
Edited by scubacruiserx2

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Do you want to just float past and look at Antarctica? Or do you want to stand on the continent?

 

The answer to that question determines whether you take a large ship ( Holland America), or a small expedition ship.  If a ship carries over 500 people, those people cannot land on the continent - unless they take a flight from Punta Arenas. If a ship carries under 500 people, those passengers can land on the continent - 100 people at a time.

 

Personally? I want to walk on Antarctica. So I'm on an expedition ship next year.

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I would suggest an expedition ship.  I went with Abercrombie and Kent and the ship at the time held 98 passengers.  They have zodiacs, so you can do landings.  We were fortunate to be able to go to Palmer reserch station, which was awesome.  

 

As far as the Drake passage.  Going over it was very calm, but coming back the Captain said it was the worst storm he had been in.  We were confined to our cabins.  

 

It is one of my top 3 trips I've every been on and would suggest it highly.

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Been twice to Drake's passage, and  both times it was cold but not especially rough, as I had expected it to be.  The seas were actually quite calm and we had nice weather in the Falklands the second time, and rain the first.  We were on HAL's Zaandam and enjoyed it very much, especially the interesting speakers and scientists that were brought on board from one of the ice stations. We saw sea lions, whales and many, many penquins and sea birds. We didn't want to spend the big bucks on a small excursion ship, but didn't feel that we had missed anything by not stepping on the ice. Also, zodiacs aren't fun if you have a bad back. We would certainly do it again. Nicole

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1 hour ago, Bizmark'sMom said:

I want to walk on Antarctica.

And to me that's THE question. I've read enough here to know that some people didn't care that they couldn't go ashore. For us it was THE thing for us. A I mentioned we could go ashore at four different locations plus the zodiacs. It was a 'bucket list' trip.

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9 minutes ago, Noodles84 said:

spend the big bucks on a small excursion ship,

We were on Hurtigruten's Midnatsol with 400 pax so not AS expensive but not cheap.

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I'll be on Hurtigruten's Fram next year. The cabins are very basic, but the experience will be fantastic.  This trip is to celebrate my 50th birthday - so I've been saving up and will blow out the travel budget.  I doubt I will ever get the opportunity to visit the seventh continent again -- I want to stand on it.

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3 minutes ago, Bizmark'sMom said:

I'll be on Hurtigruten's Fram next year. The cabins are very basic, but the experience will be fantastic.  This trip is to celebrate my 50th birthday - so I've been saving up and will blow out the travel budget.  I doubt I will ever get the opportunity to visit the seventh continent again -- I want to stand on it.

I'm so excited for you. And this is the silliest thing but, when we were there, their soups were to lay down and die for. I know you'll report back 🙂

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I need to do one of these.

 

It will make all 7 continents for me.

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1 hour ago, SRF said:

I need to do one of these.

 

It will make all 7 continents for me.

I'm at six not having been to Australia which is outrageous since I worked for QANTAS back in the 80s. I'm considering NZ which seems more interesting to me for some reason.

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6 minutes ago, clo said:

I'm at six not having been to Australia which is outrageous since I worked for QANTAS back in the 80s. I'm considering NZ which seems more interesting to me for some reason.

Same for me, still haven't made the trip to Australia and at my age probably won't.

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9 minutes ago, NLH Arizona said:

Same for me, still haven't made the trip to Australia and at my age probably won't.

I'm 72!

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11 minutes ago, NLH Arizona said:

You have a few years on me 😊

My late father-in-law was still swimming five days a week at the Y when he was 90!

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At this stage of my life, sailing on an Antarctic cruise with zodiac landings on the Continent itself would be foolish.  Don't tell me that the ship's crew will help me getting on/off the zodiacs.  I know they would.  But, with my stability issues, I would constantly worry about finding a way to end up in "the drink" and some sea creature would have an easy lunch.  

 

When I sailed on the Zaandam, a storm was preparing to cross the Drake Passage as we left Argentina.  Our Captain put us in the lee of some islands North of Cape Horn and we sailed a racetrack pattern for many hours until the storm passed.  Once safe, we started towards Antarctica.  The waters around Cape Horn were sufficiently rough that I decided to remain in the Crow's Nest to take pictures rather than venturing out to an open deck; it was difficult for me to keep my footing.  To the West that night, I could see the extremely black skies as the storm was heading into the Pacific.  Our Captain made the right decision.  The sailing from Antarctic waters to the Falkland Islands was not calm; one knew one was on a ship.  But, it was not unpleasant.

 

Just being able to see "The White Continent" and the wildlife is a travel experience that one ought not to miss.  

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5 hours ago, clo said:

I'm at six not having been to Australia which is outrageous since I worked for QANTAS back in the 80s. I'm considering NZ which seems more interesting to me for some reason.

 

I have only spent a day in NZ.

 

Australia was nice.  But too much like the US, except with a nasal accent. 😄

 

 

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36 minutes ago, SRF said:

 

I have only spent a day in NZ.

 

Australia was nice.  But too much like the US, except with a nasal accent. 😄

 

 

When I worked at QANTAS I so enjoyed when the Kiwis would come to town. A lot of fun.

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4 hours ago, SRF said:

 

I have only spent a day in NZ.

 

Australia was nice.  But too much like the US, except with a nasal accent. 😄

 

 

I really beg to differ, but Australia is its own destination, and well worth the trip.  We first did a cruise there, but wanted to explore more, so booked an overland camping trip for a month,  going from Sydney, up the outback to the top end, and back down along the Gold coast and Great Barrier Reef.  We loved every minute of it and would definitely recommend it.  We've been to all 7 continents and this was one of our favourites. Nicole

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13 hours ago, clo said:

When I worked at QANTAS I so enjoyed when the Kiwis would come to town. A lot of fun.

 

They are great fun people.  We met a few through sailing.

 

I remember during the NZ stop of the Whitbread, around the world race.  From South Africa to AUS/NZ, they would sail very far south, and have to worry about bergie bits (small ice bergs).  High winds, high seas, cold, spray, etc.

 

So a news person was interviewing one of the Kiwi crewmen (and the news guy did NOT get it), so he asked, "Why do you do it?"

 

The crewman looked pensive, held up his Steinlager, and said, "Because it makes this taste SO GOOD."

 

Sailors understand. 😄

 

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2 hours ago, SRF said:

The crewman looked pensive, held up his Steinlager, and said, "Because it makes this taste SO GOOD."

 

I went out with a couple of them and after more than one stop we wound up at a bar that had a little musical combo in one quarter. Any time I turned back to the bar there was a fresh drink sitting there. I finally left. They called the next morning sounding a bit "rode hard and put up wet." Fun memory.

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When we went to Antarctica last year, we were told it's a 200 passenger limit for getting onto the continent, with no more than 100 at a time.


Our ship can carry 220 or so passengers, but they limit sales to 200 to reach these limits

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3 hours ago, Nitemare said:

When we went to Antarctica last year, we were told it's a 200 passenger limit for getting onto the continent, with no more than 100 at a time.


Our ship can carry 220 or so passengers, but they limit sales to 200 to reach these limits

You were told wrong.

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