Learn more about what to expect on this Antarctic Peninsula cruise holiday including ship size, when to go and how comfortable you can expect to be.
When should I go?
Cruises to the Antarctic run between November and March to take advantage of the long summer days as well as the calmer sea conditions in the Drake Passage.
In theory the seas will be calmer in January/February than in November/December or March.
However, this is a journey to the most remote place on earth across its fiercest seas.
At any time of the season you can have rough crossings, in fact most crossings are rough to anyone not used to life on a ship.
Shore landings can be cancelled if weather conditions do not allow for their safe operation.
Early in the season, November and December, you will have more in the way of ice and icebergs as you navigate through the last of the pack ice.
The icebergs are huge and some shore landings may be cancelled if the way is blocked but the landscapes and ice formations are simply amazing.
During the high season of January and February the wildlife is abundant, most noticeably the penguin chicks. It is also the warmest time to go as it is mid-summer.
You can still expect to see a good amount of ice but not generally enough to impede navigation.
By March the icebergs are smaller but still impressive to those not used to seeing them every day.
There are many fewer visitors.
Penguin chicks are almost fully grown by now and a lot of the wildlife has moved on though it is a great time for whale watching.
Given the staffing numbers, groups really can split into small groups so you can enjoy a level of activity most suitable to you.
There is an option to take the kayaking package which allows you to sea kayak on most days while in the Peninsula area.
Marina Svetaeva is a comfortable ship, not luxurious by any means but quiet, stable and spacious.
Designed and built as a scientific polar exploration vessel in Poland in 1989 and with an extensive refurbishment in 2004/5, M/V Marina Svetaeva is very stable, quiet and comfortable.
Refitting and refurbishment over the last five years oriented towards her role as an expedition cruise vessel has improved the comfort and calibre of the facilities aboard the ship.
There is little if any ambient noise from engines or machinery and, with most of the public spaces on a separate deck from the majority of the cabins, there is little issue with passenger-generated noise.
Vessel stabilization is gained through the vessel’s deep draft and wide hull. Coupled with a modern hull design this gives us a stable platform for very comfortable exploration and cruising.
One great advantage is the number of cabin choices from triples with shared facilities to private suites.
Apart from giving you a choice of cabin prices/facilities, it also means that sailings attract an interesting variety of guests.
Cabins which share facilities have nearly one bathroom per two cabins (18 cabins, 8 bathrooms). There are washbasins inside the cabin.
There are three basic types of cabins plus two suites:
1) Triple, shared facilities, washbasin in the cabin.
2) Twin, shared facilities but a washbasin in the cabin.
3) Twin, private facilities.
4) Shackleton suite, private facilities, double berth.
5) One Ocean suite, private facilities.
In Ushuaia you will be at leisure to enjoy exploring independently.
On board you will be with up to 89 guests. Shore landings are made in zodiacs designed for 15 people – groups will be split according to interests and staff levels but you can expect to explore in groups as small as eight.
We work in very close partnership with a large number of local businesses (hotels, drivers, restaurants, boats, stables, etc) to deliver a unique and sustainable experience, benefitting the local communities involved.
Small groups in Antarctica minimise impact on wildlife.
You must wear boots that we provide on shore at all times. These are cleaned and disinfected by staff before and after all shore visits to ensure that no ‘alien matter’ is transferred onto the shore.
One Ocean is a full member of IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators) which promotes safe and environmentally responsible travel to the Antarctic. See www.iaato.org for more information on these responsibilities.
Expert guides and leaders know how best to minimise the impact of any landings. They will also educate you as to how to behave, particularly on shore.
Your guides are there to help you get the most out of your holiday from the moment you land to the moment you leave.
In Antarctica it is particularly important that you follow your leaders’ instructions at all times. This is a fragile and potentially dangerous environment.
As you already know, Pura Aventura is dedicated to safe and responsible travel. The links below provide useful content and more information about Antarctica. Please call us of any special requirements on 01273 676 712.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides useful travel advice on Antarctica.
BBC provides useful information about Antarctica. Read more about Antarctica here.
Find out more about Antarctica, by visiting its official UK website.
Prepare your holiday
For weather forecasts in Antarctica, visit wunderground.
Pura’s Amazon shop
Browse out our own Antarctica selection at Amazon.co.uk for a wide range of travel essentials, such as books, gadgets, clothing, etc. in preparation for your upcoming holiday.
If you are leaving from the UK, you might like to book your train ticket or airport hotel now.
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