Antarctica Cruises feature in the list of top 3 cruise destinations of the world for most people (the other two hot travel destinations being the Mediterranean Sea and the Caribbean).
Most Antarctica cruises thus have a mixed bag of passengers, comprising seasoned seafarers, lovers of extreme sports, scientists, ice and wildlife experts.
Some people find it desolate, others find it dazzling, but declare your take on Antarctica after going on a cruise vacation to this destination that the founder of WWF, Sir Peter Scott advocated for (“We should have the sense to leave just one place alone”), which has no economic activity other than offshore fishing and tourism, since it would benefit from the 20-odd vessels that carry 45 to 280 vacationers every year. However, there are certain tourist vessels offering Antarctica cruises, which cater to 960 passengers even, though most of these larger vessels do not include landing programs and their cruise itinerary is primarily sightseeing-based. Thus, it is important to know what kind of cruise program your chosen operator is offering before you book an Antarctica cruise – to avoid disappointment.
Remember also that Antarctica cruise ships are ice-strengthened (IB = Ice Breaker) vessels built primarily to sail the Antarctic Peninsula region, though some ships may include port stops at South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. You can combine viewing wildlife along island coastlines as well the mainland besides getting more clued-in about this thrilling destination, where there are no hotels, restaurants or guided tours except those associated with cruise ships or yacht travel, for availing more intimate contact with life in the sixth continent.
Don’t forget to visit the Weddell Sea, Ross Sea region and islands along the Indian Ocean sector, which top Antarctica cover, besides enquiring about off-beat cruise packages like those including trips to Emperor penguin colonies, shore expeditions to historical huts, the Dry Valleys of Antarctica as well as other remote areas governed by weather and ice as opposed to clocks and calendars for planning holidays.
It is important to note that Antarctica Cruises are best taken during the months of November and March, when cold weather is a given, but then, this aspect heightens the thrill of going on adventurous shore expeditions for passengers who may never otherwise view penguins, polar bears or whales up-close and personal.
Thus, even though Antarctica is not the friendliest of places weather-wise, since it has ample scope for viewing wildlife in its natural habitat, talks by experts and naturalists, including park rangers and seasoned ice experts besides a chance of experiencing regional cuisine and polar living, Antarctica Cruises are hot choices for many adventure lovers who enthusiastically book expeditionary cruises.