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What ships and companies to use

Melbourne, Australia
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for Perth, Antarctic Adventures
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What ships and companies to use

Please add your suggestions for future travellers - a company name and a link to their site, include the name of the ship you travelled on.

I sailed on the Kapitan Khlebnikov in Nov/Dec 2010 with Peregrine - they are the Aussie sister company to Quark.

Links to both:

http://www.peregrineadventures.com/

http://www.quarkexpeditions.com/

And my coworker sailed on the Polar Pioneer in Dec 2009

with http://www.auroraexpeditions.com.au/

130 replies to this topic
Melbourne, Australia
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for Perth, Antarctic Adventures
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1. Re: What ships and companies to use

I havent personally sailed on this one but have always liked their informative website

http://www.antarpply.com/eng/index.php

Ship is called The Ushuaia

Austin, Texas
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2. Re: What ships and companies to use

Had a great experience with Antarpply Expeditions (www.antarpply.com/eng/index.php) aboard their ship, the M/V Ushuaia, this past March on an 11-day Antarctica peninsula cruise. See my trip report here: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g312855-i6870-k534…

here and there
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3. Re: What ships and companies to use

hi guys,

thank you for your contributions.

I plan to go in nov-dec and am hesitating between the ushuaia with antarpply and the ocean diamond with quark. inclining towards the ushuaia because of the smaller size (84 vs 189) given the 100 people landing rule; that being said quark said they'd do zodiacs and landings alternatively so everyone would get to land on each trip. they too have excellent reviews.

ushuaia beginning of november, quark late november.

choices, choices. any thoughts?

much appreciated!

thanks

Edited: 04 June 2012, 16:12
Austin, Texas
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4. Re: What ships and companies to use

Although Quark has great reviews, your summations are good as they were my concerns as well in my extensive research. Everyone on the M/V Ushuaia through Antarpply were able to do 11 Zodiac landings due to the great weather and speed during the crossing of the Drake Passage when we went in early March for a 11-day cruise. Keep in mind that the cheapest class ("C-Cabins") on the M/V Ushuaia are basic with bunkbeds, the room is small on the lowest level of the ship, there is no porthole, and the bathrooms are shared with another "C-cabin".

Boston...
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5. Re: What ships and companies to use

It is my understanding that the weather conditions can turn on a dime in Antarctica, so even the best intentions of keeping the groups equal in landings cannot be guaranteed. I'm not sure how Quark alternates its Zodiac spacing, if it is two completely separate trips, or more of by the time the last Zodiac after the 100 people reaches land the first one has to go back to the ship type deal to keep it at only 100 or so on land at once. Either way, no matter how you slice it, more people equals less time on land. Not sure what is the most important aspect of the trip for you, if it is time on land I would go with the smaller ship. If the Quark itinerary is considerably more days, then perhaps something differentiating about the ship, or inclusions (boots, jackets, camping, kayaking, etc) that could tip the scale in another direction.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: What ships and companies to use

Folks this thread was created for the benefit of the top questions links. To keep it on track could you possibly move the new query to a fresh thread.

Maumelle, Arkansas
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7. Re: What ships and companies to use

My wife and I sailed on Quark's Akademik Sergey Vavilov last December, and it was wonderful. The crew was fantastic, very knowledgeable and constantly working to make our trip the best possible. The food on the ship was exceptional, with a great variety. I particularly loved the seafood, and every lunch and dinner offered some sort of seafood or fish, and if there was any duplication from one meal to another, I didn't notice it. So that was 18 different fish recipes. The Sergey is an excellent size, just over 100 passengers, but the cruise wasn't completely full, so everyone could land at once at every landing.

One suggestion, carry along a list of friends addresses, in case you get a chance to stop at Port Lockroy, the British outpost. You can buy postcards on the ship and get them addressed in advance, then mail them at the southernmost post office in the world. They'll be stamped from the post, then await the next ship, where they'll get carried back to Ushuia and put on a plane to the British post on the Falkland Islands. From there, they end up on a flight to London, where they get inserted into the normal post system and mailed back home. I doubt that you're friends will ever receive a post card that has travelled a greater distance.

There are no standard "excursions" on these ships, other than an overnight sleep in Antarctica that is very popular and fills up, if you go for that. But they allowed you to, for an additional charge, join the hiking group, the cross country ski group, or the kayaking group, all of which make multiple landings. We didn't participate in any of those, but they appeared to be great fun, and probably well worth the rather hefty fees.

It was absolutely an adventure of a lifetime, that I'll never forget.

ulaanbaatar
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8. Re: What ships and companies to use

Sorry if l'm off track here, but a poster form elsewhere in Trip advisor, thought you in particular might be able to answer my question; which is....l'd like to sail to the Antarctica from Ushuaia, but then is there a way to get to Australia (my home base) without returning through the Americas? A way that doesn't cost an arm and a leg would be my other preference.

ulaanbaatar
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9. Re: What ships and companies to use

that question about Ushuaia to Antarctica to Australia was for you 'perfectly perth' if l didn't make that clear. Sorry

Maumelle, Arkansas
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10. Re: What ships and companies to use

Ok, the question wasn't for me, but let me field it.

Trips to Antarctica, for the most part, are excursions. I seriously doubt that you could find a ship that would LEAVE you in Antarctica. Most people aren't the intrepid explorer type, ready to take off on foot or dog sled for a month long journey on their own. And there IS no transportation available there. So you GO on the ship and you RETURN on the ship.

Think of it as a journey to the moon, it's as close to it as most of us will ever come. The ship won't drop you off, to come back by some other method, there IS no other method or way of connecting to one, if it existed.

There are ships that take you in for visits, of a very limited duration, and the danger always exists of conditions changing and causing you to be delayed for a period of time. I understand that the shore excursions always prepare for up to a 24 hour delay. But you leave on the ship. The landings only leave you there for a couple of hours or so.

I understand that there are also flights, that would go to the poles. Those would be either for those making a quick excursion, and for the scientists that will remain there. But those are pretty rare and pretty expensive.

Antarctica is still more in the adventure range. You can't just go and visit. But it is an adventure that you'll never forget!

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