Antarctic and Arctic Cruises on Small Ships

Antarctic and Arctic cruises – Taking a small ship cruise to the Antarctic or Arctic

Sometimes economies of scale work to your advantage, but 香港集運 not when taking a polar expedition cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic. Smaller ships give a much more authentic trip with a real sense of adventure.

Larger ships are about as out of place in the Antarctic as palm trees and sun umbrellas! If you are looking to get close to the spectacular natural surroundings and want to feel at one with nature you will want the cosy ambience and the accessibility which smaller ships offer.

Smaller ships with ice-strengthened bows can navigate areas which larger cruise ships cannot access. Smaller ships sacrifice none of the luxury of larger cruise vessels, in fact some are all-suite vessels and all cabins have windows from which to enjoy the view.

Most ships have an “open bridge” policy so you can visit the centre of operations and see how they navigate the waters. The captain and crew are on hand to answer your questions.

Travelling in smaller groups with guides certainly enhances the trip. Past cruisers will tell you so! Travelling with fellow passengers who are similarly minded and share a common interest will lead to fascinating conversations over dinner and may be the start of long-lasting friendships.

Smaller groups allow each person to be treated as an individual, making it a truly personal experience. Your questions will be answered by our on-board naturalists and experienced crew and staff.

Smaller excursions can also adapt to any situation, detouring to see the wildlife, or take a closer look at something of interest. Our trips suit those who want to take every opportunity as it presents itself, rather than adhering to a rigid agenda or itinerary.

Small cruises also make it much quicker and easier to tender everyone ashore for trips, and once ashore smaller groups ensure that everyone gets a great deal more from every experience.

Don’t be tempted to take a polar expedition as part of a massive crowd. Having decided to make this once-in-a-lifetime trip, choose a smaller ship accommodating preferably 50-150 passengers and maximize every golden opportunity by being part of a smaller, more individual tour.

In short, small ships offer:

– Friendly, more intimate groups

– Access to places larger ships cannot go

– Speedy transfers ashore

– Small group trips

– Spacious luxury cabins with windows

– An opportunity to converse with the on-board lecturers and naturalists

So what is it like to take a small ship cruise?

Few people can actually say they have been part of a polar expedition, yet with comfortable, luxuriously equipped ships and friendly, experienced staff, a polar cruise should be on every traveller’s “must-do” list.

The stunning scenery and unique opportunities to see creatures hunting or at play is an unforgettable experience. Contrary to popular opinion, the still air and mild temperatures make a polar trip very pleasant. In Antarctica expect daytime highs in the summer to be around 0-5C (30-40F), in the Arctic temperatures average 0-7C (30-45F).

With temperatures like these, specialist “gear” is not required. Bring sensible cold weather clothing and you will be surprised how warm a day in the polar sunshine can feel! You will certainly need your sunglasses and sun screen. With clear skies and bright sunshine, it will feel deceptively warm.

Typical travellers on polar cruises are generally professionals aged 30 upwards and families but younger adventurers are more than welcome and age should definitely not put anyone off joining one of these trips. Medical facilities and fully trained travel experts are prepared for all medical emergencies should anyone be unwell, and procedures are in place should you ever need to return to mainland facilities.

To make the most of each trip, a general level of good health will enable guests to take hikes to the glaciers and enjoy more energetic activities, but all activities are optional. Most trips involve being transported in a Zodiac inflatable, which are suitable for all ages and fitness abilities. With personal small group trips, guests can participate in lectures, social activities and onshore adventures which appeal to them.

Those interested in photography, botany or geology may opt for different activities from those who enjoy kayaking and snow sports, so each guest can tailor-make their own daily program of activities.

These polar trips are ideal for both solo travellers and couples but families and groups will also share a wonderful, unforgettable adventure. You may join the cruise as strangers, but you are guaranteed to leave having made new friendships.

Tom McManamon has travelled to the Arctic and Antarctica many times and is the owner of New Horizon Expeditions which provides information about these amazing locations as well as options to travel there.

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