My partner and I wanna travel to Antarctica, its something different and we like the idea of seeing Iceburgs, and poloar bears etc.. so nice it seems!
We found a tour group called "Tours-Unbound Expeditions". One we particular liked is for 22 days, and this was the itinery of it.
Day 1: Depart ..Hobart, Tasmania
Days 2 -4: At Sea
Day 5: Macquarie Island
Days 6 - 8: At Sea
Days 9 - 13: Ross Sea Region
Days 14 - 18: At Sea
Day 19: Campbell Island
Day 20: At Sea
Day 21: Snares Island, New Zealand
Day 22: Christchurch, New Zealand
We like how the ships at sea a fair bit, but also stops off at places, and we liked how it departs from Tassie, and finishes up in NZ (as we also wanna go to NZ, and we live in australia so departing from tassie is great!!)
Its quite pricey! $20,000 each!!!
Has anyone been to antarctica and can give me some advice?.. anything cheaper that departs from australia or NZ?
We don't mind going for even 11-12 days as some were 11-12 days long, but the only one departing aust i could see was 22 days =(
I've been doing research on the same thing. You won't find any journeys to Antarctica from Australia or NZ for shorter than the 20 day mark. If you want a shorter trip (around two weeks) you'll need to head to Argentina as the distance to cross the mainland to Antarctica is about 1-2 days each way instead of 6 days each way from this part of the world. I've known of people getting last minute deals from South America for under $6,000 per person for a triple share, but you need a bit of luck and a lot of flexibility to head over at short notice.
Ahh! that makes sense now why Australia is only longer days!!
I really like this tour.. bit pricey.. but my partners really up for it..and being 22 days they do cover alot. Im sure, it will be worth doing!
Might look into Argentina ones to..
Apologies if this is stating the obvious, but note that most of the historic stuff (Amundsen/Scott race for the pole etc) happened on the Oz/NZ side. Don't know if that's an important criterion for you.
I've never heard of that before?? I'll check it out.
Went to Antartica back in 2008, it can be way cheaper than that. If you are looking for the cheaper options, around November, you can find trips for around 3800usd from Ushuaia. These are not last minute, more like very early bookings. You can indeed have seriuos discount even on the above by finding a last minute place, but do not forget a small detail, Ushuaia is far away from a cheap city to stay in.
Till, that was my more impressive trip ever...
Re #4: The trips from Australia and NZ allow you (weather permitting) to visit the Ross Sea region and the huts of Mawson and Shackleton. The also cross the Antarctic circle - and only a few of the cruises from South America make it this far south. I was originally in favour of going via South America, but the historical aspect of the Ross Sea is seeing me reconsider this decision.
Thanks, ill check that out!
The problem is, i wanted a trip leaving Australia, or NZ inparticular. Mainly because i won't be travelling anywere near Argentina.. I live in SA in Australia, and the ships leave perth, which is only about a 3 hours flight so it's easy.. were as Argentina is further and i've never had plans to go there. We also wanted to go to NZ, so even if one left NZ that would work. But it seems the only ones leaving AUST ot NZ are long 20 day ones, which would be AMAZING.. but pricey.
I guess the question i've gotta figure out is, do i wanna spend heaps for a long trip, or a bit less for a short trip but further away.
I may even look into Arctic.. apparently i was told that polor bears dont live in Antarctica, just like the seals, and penguins etc.. and its the Arctic that has polar bears.. maybe ill check those ships out, but my guess they will be just as expensive.!!
That's interesting , i might read up about that and see what this huts of mawson is..
Yes, they do leave New Zealand as well, but I've been doing a bit more research at home today (the joys of public holidays) and there are some very negative reviews about boats leaving from our part of the world. The main reason being that heading so far south of the Antarctic Circle runs the risk of having no landings at all if weather conditions are poor or if a lot of pack ice prohibits movement. This does not appear to be an issue as much with the Argentina based ones.
Because the trips from Argentina can be shorter, they are also cheaper which then offsets the costs of getting there. As for the Northern Hemisphere, Alaska is very popular, but cheaper prices can be found by cruising around Iceland and Greenland. I will send you a private message with details of a cruise or two that could assist (putting commercial links on forums is a no-no).
Hmm that's a good point!! My only concern really about going to Antarctica is the ship hitting iceburgs (think titanic..) lol..
I have seen the pictures of Antarctica and I am sure that it is going to be an amazing trip. Really very helpful discussion if one is planning a trip to Antarctica.
Great thread with alot of very handy information on here.. Thanks guys
I chuck my to bobs in.. I have had a few friends of mine head to Antarctica and they are from Hobart but still went via Argentina.. Is was cheaper to go that way and to see a little of South America at the same time.
If you are still keen to see polar bears, the best place to find them is Churchill, Manitoba, Canada around October/November.
I have friends who recently returned from an Antarctic Cruise originating in South America. They just sailed along the Antarctic coast. I want to actually touch the ground/ice so looked further for alternatives. The Star Princess has a two week South Amrican coastal cruise that originates in Valpariaso and ends in Rio (or vice versa), via costing only $1670, that has a day trip from Punta Arenas to Antarctica (a two and a half hour jet flight in both directions and a few hours at the research station). Perhaps one of our bloggers has taken that cruise/day trip and can comment on it. It certainly is cheaper that going from Australia, even if you add the air fare to South America...which you should want to visit someday anyway!
As for polar bears, other friends just returned from Churchill, Manitoba with dozens of polar bear pictures. So I would agree with the advice above.
Good point Bob, flying is also an option. Some cruise lines are introducing Fly/Cruise packages which are cheaper than normal cruises, for example they will fly to the South Shetland Islands where you can join the boat. I've seen other cruises which include both Falkland and South Georgia Islands, and you can fly to Falklands and take the boat journey from there.
There's some good advice here. I did an Antarctic trip in 2006 ( The Last Great Wilderness
) from Argentina for which I paid $US3,000. Remember, that if you do go to the Antarctic you should be aware that your presence has an environmental impact on this delicate ecosytem. So, it's important that you treat this treat this trip with a responsible attitude, which I'm sure you will.
After reading Stuarts blog I'm not sure I would want to sail to Antarctica. I get sea sick very easily. Great report on your trip, Stuart, with a lot of good advice.
My partner and I arn't "normal" 20 years old.. if you put it that way?? (without offending anyone). im 20, he's 23.. and alot of my older friend who i dont talk to anymore, partying everyweekend getting drunk and doing things they arn't meant to do. Hense why im not friends with them. When i was playing our trip, they kept saying to us dont go to antarctica, its soo boring.. what ru a granny??.. go to vegas! thats were the fun is. which annoyed me because, i dont think antarctica is "granny" at all. its for all ages! We both appriciate how different antartica is and how beautiful the delicate ecosytem would be. Id love to see the animals, and the iceburgs and just be in that place full stop.
We don't want to fly as i do have a huge fear of flights, so the less we fly the better.. and we do wanna do it by cruise to appriciate it all a bit more. ive been on a ship before and didnt feel sick.. so fingers crossed im not one to get sea sick. but we have decided were definatly going to do it, especially after readying all your blogs!
Oh GO to Antarctica!
The naysayers have no idea. Las Vegas, indeed. Who are we kidding here?
I did an 18 day "expedition" out of Ushuaia. Falklands was a nice addition, but not a "must see" kind of place. ABSOLUTELY go to So Georgia! Getting onto a rubber zodiac and pulling right up to penguins and seals was an amazing experience. Invest in a little Flip video camera to capture the sounds! These animals have no fear of humans. Watch the time of year you attend. I went in Nov and beat the fur seals mating season -- that can bar entrance to the beaches. Various animals have fluctuations in the breeding season. You'll be almost guaranteed to see babies of many species. I missed whale season which begins, I think, in Jan-Feb.
The geography was amazing. The weather was fascinating (we had no clear sky evenings). Animals were astounding. And I must let you know, we laughed our butts off every minute of every day! The people that travel to this locale are FUN. We explored, we drank, we laughed -- it was the very best trip I've ever had. Would pack up with those 120 people again in a heartbeat.
Unfortunately, you'll be spoiled by this trip. The next few will pale in comparison...
I know about trip going to Antartica but from Usaia Argentina (southest cityin Argentina). At the time (2 years ago) I was checking it was a 10-14 days and the price was around $5000 only for the cruising not including flight etc.
I know it departs around Feb-Apr.