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Quest Antarctica season 2021/22 cancelled.


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VERY disappointing, but not altogether surprised.  I had truly hoped they would be able to do a rerouting but it does sound like that would entail too many significant changes.  Everyone has their limits, companies included.  Not to ponder what to do when we get our own official notice.

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2 hours ago, sfvoyage said:

I was wondering why SB couldn't use Punta Arenas instead of Ushuaia to head up and down to Antarctica Peninsula and then charter flights back to Santiago to finish the cruise - that must be a deal breaker.  Also, that would make it impossible or undesirable to visit South Georgia and/or the Falklands in the same voyage due to the many additional and unproductive sea days.

 

No, not really. We're going on a Silversea cruise over the holidays, similar to the 24-day cancelled Seabourn holiday cruise; we go from Punta Arenas to the Falklands to South Georgia to the Antarctic peninsula and back to Punta Arenas. We don't get cruising the Chilean fjords (which I would love to see) but we chose Silversea over Seabourn for this trip partly because we needed a trip shorter than 24 days. (Ours is 18, plus 2 travel days.)

 

But it seems Seabourn could conceivably have done Punta Arenas-to-Santiago and Santiago-to-Punta Arenas in roughly the same number of days. Perhaps the number of passengers on the Quest -- 50-75% more than the Silversea Wind or Cloud -- makes it infeasible to do the charter flights between Punta Arenas and Santiago? Or perhaps they decided that repositioning the ship without passengers to South America for the four cruises over three months, and then repositioning back to Venice for the spring without passengers was just not economically viable. 

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58 minutes ago, cruiseej said:

 

No, not really. We're going on a Silversea cruise over the holidays, similar to the 24-day cancelled Seabourn holiday cruise; we go from Punta Arenas to the Falklands to South Georgia to the Antarctic peninsula and back to Punta Arenas. We don't get cruising the Chilean fjords (which I would love to see) but we chose Silversea over Seabourn for this trip partly because we needed a trip shorter than 24 days. (Ours is 18, plus 2 travel days.)

 

But it seems Seabourn could conceivably have done Punta Arenas-to-Santiago and Santiago-to-Punta Arenas in roughly the same number of days. Perhaps the number of passengers on the Quest -- 50-75% more than the Silversea Wind or Cloud -- makes it infeasible to do the charter flights between Punta Arenas and Santiago? Or perhaps they decided that repositioning the ship without passengers to South America for the four cruises over three months, and then repositioning back to Venice for the spring without passengers was just not economically viable. 

Just moved to Silversea.  See you on board.

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Very sad and entirely predictable.  cruiseej above perfectly sums up Seabourn's difficulty in redesigning their Antarctica package.  The ship is simply too big.  I love the Quest and I worry about her.  She's been moored off Cyprus for well over a year.  Cruise ships, like sharks, need to move constantly or they die.

 

Silversea might well be operating three ships in Antarctica this year and using Punta Arenas, rather than Puerto Williams, seems eminently sensible.  But this is still early days and South America and the USA is still off the radar for many people . . . 

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I think they just decided not to take the Quest to SA - they just cancelled our Quest cruise from BA to Barcelona that runs from Mar to May.  This is the third time they have cancelled this trip on us. We now have too much in FCC's to move to other cruises to meet the 2022 deadline - lets see how they handle this. 12 Cruises Cancelled now - it would be interesting to see how many days we have lost rather than just the number of cruises cancelled - these three cancellation alone account for 154 days lost. 

 

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They have cancelled my Antarctica trip again.  I am not surprised or upset by that but I am very disappointed in the handling of it.  When they cancelled last year, they just moved the booking one year later at the same price and suite category.  Now to book the same cruise next year will cost $20000 more!  Very bad service.  I am going to book with another line for Antarctica in 2022.

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9 minutes ago, scottjeanne said:

They have cancelled my Antarctica trip again.  I am not surprised or upset by that but I am very disappointed in the handling of it.  When they cancelled last year, they just moved the booking one year later at the same price and suite category.  Now to book the same cruise next year will cost $20000 more!  Very bad service.  I am going to book with another line for Antarctica in 2022.

We were on the same cruise and have opted to take the cash refund that we should receive in about 30 days.  The same cruise next year will be on the new ship Venture.  If you want to go this year, take a look at Silversea.  We just booked an 18 day in December on the Silversea Wind.

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2 hours ago, scottjeanne said:

They have cancelled my Antarctica trip again.  I am not surprised or upset by that but I am very disappointed in the handling of it.  When they cancelled last year, they just moved the booking one year later at the same price and suite category.  Now to book the same cruise next year will cost $20000 more!  Very bad service.  I am going to book with another line for Antarctica in 2022.

We were schedule for the Quest Antarctica Feb 24 but that won't be happening. SB offered a FCC of 10% so we were thinking just rebook for 2023. Talk about Sticker shock. Rates have almost doubled for same suite. Very disappointed. Will have to look elsewhere for a more direct routing I suppose.

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11 minutes ago, bohaiboy said:

We were schedule for the Quest Antarctica Feb 24 but that won't be happening. SB offered a FCC of 10% so we were thinking just rebook for 2023. Talk about Sticker shock. Rates have almost doubled for same suite. Very disappointed. Will have to look elsewhere for a more direct routing I suppose.

According to the Seabourn website the Quest is only doing one Antarctica trip in 2023 and that also includes South Georgia and two stops in the Falklands.  That might explain the hike in prices though prices everywhere have gone up significantly.  Seabourn's new ship Venture will be doing several Antarctica trips in 2023 based from Ushuaia and some of these are cheaper than the Quest trip.

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22 minutes ago, Fletcher said:

Seabourn's new ship Venture will be doing several Antarctica trips in 2023 based from Ushuaia and some of these are cheaper than the Quest trip.

 

But they are significantly more expensive than the comparable trip has been on the Quest. The Venture is a new ship, with half the number of passengers, and commensurately higher prices. Two years ago, we were originally hoping to book the Venture for its scheduled inaugural season in Antarctica this year, but the prices even back two years ago were so much higher that we balked. (This was before the Venture was delayed and the Quest was substituted for this year.) We liked the idea of a smaller ship with more landings, so we ended up booking a Silversea expedition ship at a significantly lower price than the Venture. Unlike Seabourn, the Silversea trips mostly do not include additional days to and from Buenos Aires and Santiago, so the trips are a few days shorter, which also helps keep the overall cost down. Silversea also generally includes economy air in the cruise price (and sometimes has attractive business class upgrades, although with fewer flights these days, I'm not sure those are as readily available as when we booked pre-pandemic).

 

I really, really wanted to go on the Venture; it looks spectacular, and I'm sure it will be a great experience once it starts sailing... and of course, it's Seabourn! But the higher cost for suites combined with the trips being longer and air not being included just made it prohibitively expensive and infeasible for us. Maybe some day…  The silver lining for us in selecting Silversea over Seabourn for this trip is that we apparently won't be canceled for a second year, as the Silversea trips this winter are moving forward. 

 

I sympathize with all who were booked on the canceled Quest cruises. Best wishes figuring out your alternative to the Quest sailing, Tim.

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1 hour ago, Fletcher said:

According to the Seabourn website the Quest is only doing one Antarctica trip in 2023 and that also includes South Georgia and two stops in the Falklands.  That might explain the hike in prices though prices everywhere have gone up significantly.  Seabourn's new ship Venture will be doing several Antarctica trips in 2023 based from Ushuaia and some of these are cheaper than the Quest trip.

Spoke with Seabourn rep and they said the Quest itinerary is part of a Grand Voyage and there are only 2 Verandahs left so reason for high price...

 

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3 hours ago, basor said:

Spoke with Seabourn rep and they said the Quest itinerary is part of a Grand Voyage and there are only 2 Verandahs left so reason for high price...

 

We booked the 2023 Quest 79 day Grand Voyage as soon as it was listed, and are now especially glad we did. I'm sorry for all of you who had your 2021-2022 Quest trips cancelled. The Venture sounds lovely but I doubt we'll ever pay the price to sail on it.

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Not to be a conspiracy guy but I am now wondering that with all of the FCC out there and the number or lift and shift 2020/2021 reservations moved to 2022  that the best thing for Seabourn to do for financial reasons was to cancel most of the lift and shift reservations - ie the Quest SA cruises for 2022 and push folks over to new higher priced cruises (we were 23K/pp for 51 days on the Quest, now 19K/pp for 27 days on the Ovation over the same time frame). Especially as they are mandating that all of the FCC be used on 2022 sailings.

We are booked on the 2023  World cruise and they would not let us use or FCC for our 3 x canceled BA - Barca cruise on that sailing.  

 

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I agree with pretty much everything above.  Too many things simply don't add up.  Sure seems like a money decision to us, which is understandable in this environment (why get less for something when you realize there are people out there who will pay more).  But sure doesn't feel good to feel somewhat used.  Whatever.  We too will likely use someone else.  The Venture is lovely I am sure but I don't need to pay for the extra toys which I would think if they charge for kayaking they would charge for the Submarine etc.  At least I think the Venture has a little submersible.   The "luxury expedition ship" is quite the new game in town.  Guess that would be on the sea.  

I have to say for all who look into using another line just DON'T pick Atlas!!  If you want to feel totally suckered and hassled then go for it.  They will certainly do that.  There are plenty of posts on rollcall and boards if you need reading material.  And that is just tip of the iceberg.  Oh.  Not good term to use.  

 

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On 9/8/2021 at 6:51 PM, fudgbug said:

Just moved to Silversea.  See you on board.

I was also on the canceled Quest holiday cruise and have now booked the Silver Wind leaving 12/22.  I'm looking forward to it and hopeful that Seabourn will issue refunds expeditiously. My original deposit for the canceled cruise was made in May 2019 (of course, the initial cruise was canceled in 2020).  I think they've had my money long enough.

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51 minutes ago, Sunviking said:

I was also on the canceled Quest holiday cruise and have now booked the Silver Wind leaving 12/22.  I'm looking forward to it and hopeful that Seabourn will issue refunds expeditiously. My original deposit for the canceled cruise was made in May 2019 (of course, the initial cruise was canceled in 2020).  I think they've had my money long enough.

I hope to see you on board!

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1 hour ago, fudgbug said:

I hope to see you on board!

I look forward to seeing you too. I have family living in Nashua which I think is near you. I love the autumns in your part of the country.

 

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Sounds like you will all have a great (Silversea) cruise anyways. Have fun and live the good life!

 

It's a pity, however, that Seabourn are not really getting the restart right, or at least they are having a pretty hard time getting the ships back on the road. Basically all I hear from SB at the moment is nothing but bad news and unreliability for holiday planners. But SB are not alone. I have heard that several cruise lines are sending ships back to sleep over the winter season because it is just not possible to sell the cruises or  because whole regions are still closed for tourism. It's good that Seabourn belongs to Carnival because many of the smaller cruise lines will really have to fight to survive.

 

I will invest in the future of the cruise industry on my autumn cruise on the beautiful Europa 2 in the warmer regions of our European continent. Btw, that cruise is marked as "international", so I guess Hapag Lloyd is open for foreigners again... Canary Islands, South of Spain, Italy anyone? 

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For many people the idea of choosing another cruise line is difficult. Firstly, there is no substitute for the atmosphere you have grown to enjoy on Seabourn, assuming you like Seabourn in the first place. I am talking about the friendliness and resourcefulness of the crew and officers, the more professional and better resourced cruise directors, entertainment and other options such as those on deck caviar events, live music with dancing under the stars, marina days and beach days. You won't find anything comparable elsewhere.

 

But about Antarctica, there is Silversea and I hope that all who go on their small ships but know Seabourn's style are happy on them. They have very limited offerings versus Quest, partly due their size (220 vs 450 pax), age and the apparent choices Silversea makes on all their ship for a more sedate environment. I have sailed on the Cloud in Greenland and Canada two years ago and was displeased with the cold drafts in corridors and the theater, occasional flooding of cabins, shabby furniture, overall ship maintenance and standoffish CD. On the other hand going now is sensible. Who wants to wait another year or 2 when we have so many travel goals?

 

As far as the German ships are concerned, I might want to try them, and as you say they are trying to offer "international" service. Not sure though for some reason. Probably there are other choices more familiar, simple as that.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

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3 hours ago, markham said:

I have sailed on the Cloud in Greenland and Canada two years ago and was displeased with the cold drafts in corridors and the theater, occasional flooding of cabins, shabby furniture, overall ship maintenance and standoffish CD.

 

For any who have just booked Silversea for the first time to go to Antarctica, I want to post a counterpoint to lift your spirits after reading of @markham's  experience. We sailed the Cloud in Iceland and Greenland three years ago and had a pretty much opposite reaction. Our stateroom was fine, we didn't experience any drafts or temperatures problems, didn't have (or hear of) any flooding of rooms, or find the ship shabby or lacking in maintenance. (And hopefully the Wind, coming fresh out of her re-fit this summer, should be in top-notch shape; not a new ship to be sure, but in as good shape as a refurbished ship can be.)

 

Because it was an expedition cruise, I must say I can't even remember the cruise director, or if there even was one; the star of the show was the expedition leader, who we found to be excellent. The other expedition team members were also excellent. Being a ship half the size and devoted to expedition experience, there is no troupe of singers and dancers doing shows, but we didn't really miss that, and were satisfied with the more limited music options. (I do wonder if we'll miss the larger-scale entertainment on the Antarctica/South Georgia cruise, which has a lot more sea days.) Food was quite good, perhaps a half-notch down from Seabourn, but nothing I'd complain about or review negatively. The atmosphere was relaxed; we didn't experience what some Seabourn cruisers describe as a more formal or stuffy atmosphere on Silversea -- but again, this was an expedition trip and not a classic cruise.

 

We had a fabulous cruise in Greenland (aided by excellent weather), and that's what led us to book Silversea (and pull along another couple who have only previously sailed with us on Seabourn) for our Antartica cruise. (I'll report back and let you know if this trip gives us an experience more like our first or like what you experienced. 😉 )

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Yes, let’s plan on a terrific expedition cruise experience with the Wind. It would not take much on the “people side” for Silversea to deliver a more satisfactory experience than the one I had on the Cloud with the CD (who announces the groups to appear for embarking on the zodiacs) to make for a more convivial place. 
 

As for the physical plant, it will be what it will be, and I hope for the best. I remember sliding myself into the pool on deck and leaping out in a second. The water was way too hot and as a consequence the expo team could not do some exercise they showed up to start. All due to old systems and/or lack of monitoring. With the low deck side doors for zodiac boarding open the heat in all the corridors would whoosh out of the ship when the large automated doors to the pool deck opened. The Cloud was originally built for warm weather cruising. Ditto the many cabin floods resulting in people changing cabins on 5 deck. And the seating in the MDR was so flat and tired they were painful. Very disappointing at those prices is one way to look at this cruise. I would be gratified if all these things have since been addressed on the back of passenger feedback!

 

The expedition nature of the cruise meant very casual dress standards and a very good series of lectures on all sorts of topics. Lots of folks with shared interests, especially photography. While the lack of sightings of wildlife and heavy glacier ice retreat were let-downs for me, I was enriched by the lectures and saddened by the living standards of the local peoples. A most memorable cruise as a result.

 

You are all very fortunate to go to Antarctica now and reserve those cabins. I wish you a wonderful voyage!

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

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2 hours ago, markham said:

Yes, let’s plan on a terrific expedition cruise experience with the Wind. It would not take much on the “people side” for Silversea to deliver a more satisfactory experience than the one I had on the Cloud with the CD (who announces the groups to appear for embarking on the zodiacs) to make for a more convivial place. 
 

As for the physical plant, it will be what it will be, and I hope for the best. I remember sliding myself into the pool on deck and leaping out in a second. The water was way too hot and as a consequence the expo team could not do some exercise they showed up to start. All due to old systems and/or lack of monitoring. With the low deck side doors for zodiac boarding open the heat in all the corridors would whoosh out of the ship when the large automated doors to the pool deck opened. The Cloud was originally built for warm weather cruising. Ditto the many cabin floods resulting in people changing cabins on 5 deck. And the seating in the MDR was so flat and tired they were painful. Very disappointing at those prices is one way to look at this cruise. I would be gratified if all these things have since been addressed on the back of passenger feedback!

 

The expedition nature of the cruise meant very casual dress standards and a very good series of lectures on all sorts of topics. Lots of folks with shared interests, especially photography. While the lack of sightings of wildlife and heavy glacier ice retreat were let-downs for me, I was enriched by the lectures and saddened by the living standards of the local peoples. A most memorable cruise as a result.

 

You are all very fortunate to go to Antarctica now and reserve those cabins. I wish you a wonderful voyage!

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

 

Appreciate your balanced insights. A few months ago, we booked one of the Quest’s 2023 Antarctica sailings. Hoping that will give Seabourn enough time to settle back into normalcy. And Antarctica is the Quest’s sweet spot, no?

 

 

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