Save 10% to 25% on some Arctic and Antarctic cruises by Intrepid Travel — including its “Best of Antarctica” — if you book soon.
(feature photo: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour, by Liam Neal/courtesy of Intrepid Travel)
If the past year’s lockdowns and isolation have you thinking of going big when it comes to travel, an Antarctic cruise might just be what you’re looking for! Intrepid Travel offers a roster of cruises to the Antarctic every year in what they describe as “well-equipped polar vessels” that include expert guides, cuisines, and amenities.
Intrepid’s Antarctic tours typically see you crossing the Drake Passage, exploring the ocean’s inland bays and waterways by zodiac, “getting up close and personal” with penguins, whales and other polar wildlife, landing on and exploring the Antarctic Peninsula by foot, sea kayaking and polar camping, even taking the ultimate “polar plunge.”
This season, that well-equipped polar vessel is the Ocean Endeavour, which boasts a workout centre, spa, saunas, a heated saltwater pool, and library, among its amenities.
Here is Intrepid’s “Best of Antarctica” itinerary overview, as a sample on what they offer:
Day 1 | Ushuaia, Argentina. You have an opportunity to spend some time exploring the world’s most-southern city, checking out the Museo Maritimo or trying a Argentine steak at a local restaurant.
Day 2 | Ushuaia, Embarkation Day. Board the Ocean Endeavour, check out your cabin, head to deck to check out the scenery as you begin cruising down the renowned Beagle Channel at the “end of the world” as it’s oft-known. It’s worth noting that throughout the voyage, Intrepid hosts what it describes as a “comprehensive lecture program by experts in Antarctica’s history, geology and biology.”
Days 3-4 | The Drake Passage. As you cruise through the passage, if weather and conditions permit — the passage is legendary for its powerful convergence of ocean currents and connects the tip of South America to Antarctica — you can spend time on the Endeavour’s deck looking for dolphins, orcas and albatross. Plans are to make it to the Antarctic Peninsula on Day 4 by early evening, “a moment that always brings much excitement!”
Days 5-8 | Antarctic Peninsula. Intrepid says this adventure “truly begins” once you make it to Antarctic Peninsula, where you spend four “incredible days exploring” by foot and by Zodiac. From glaciers to mountains, ice-filled bays, channels and the incredible vastness of the Southern Ocean. As for wildlife: you visit penguin rookeries and look for humpback and minke whales, or leopard seals. As for landing sites visited, Intrepid says that depends on weather and other conditions during your adventure, but you can go here for more information on all the options.
Days 9-10 | At sea, on route back to Ushuaia. Spend time with your fellow passengers swapping stories. Spend more time on deck looking for wildlife. Participate in more lectures by the onboard polar experts, which you might enjoy even more after a few days of firsthand experience in the Antarctic.
Day 11 | Ushuaia, Disembarkation Day. Spend the morning having breakfast and saying good-bye to new friends! And now that you’re all the way southest on the planet, you might want to take a few days to explore it on your own.
Special Note: Intrepid says they pride themselves on understanding travel is about educating and connecting people, and in providing sustainable and responsible travel experiences, and this is especially so on its Antarctic adventures, where it partners with Chimu (travel and adventures), which is registered with the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO).
Arctic and Antarctic Cruises, Seasons 2022/2023, 2023/2024 | INTREPID TRAVEL
Length/Departs: Several departs from November 2021 to March 2022, plus 2023 and 2024 departs. (Also ask about Intrepid’s 2022-2023 Polar Season cruises, which are also available for booking.)
Accommodations: The Ocean Endeavour ship.
Price: contact operator directly to ask about current pricing, and ask about special offers and discounts available (often must book by a certain date).