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Discontinuing Falklands, S. Georgia, Antarctica trips?

NYC
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Discontinuing Falklands, S. Georgia, Antarctica trips?

Anyone hearing that under impending new travel regulations for ships in the polar region, that the longer excursions to Falklands, S. Georgia, Antarctica will become all but impossible by 2016? Not sure what regulations will make this so or why costs may increase to make the trips prohibitive. Looking for some substantive info on this if anyone has it.

1. Re: Discontinuing Falklands, S. Georgia, Antarctica trips?

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Michigan
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2. Re: Discontinuing Falklands, S. Georgia, Antarctica trips?

Interesting, even with the bit of self-promotion. I thought IAATO (http://iaato.org/home) had been doing a good job of organizing, self-policing, etc. IMO, the IMO (imo.org/MediaCentre/…default.aspx) shouldn't penalize the IAATO's members for Captain Schettino's alleged actions.

Edited: 20 March 2014, 16:14
Santa Cruz...
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3. Re: Discontinuing Falklands, S. Georgia, Antarctica trips?

My previous post was removed because I am an expedition leader and tour operator, mentioned our own expedition... so the shorter version: within a year or two the IMO will adopt the long debated Mandatory Polar Code, shipping regulations that are a direct result of the Explorer sinking in 2007 and the Costa Concordia sinking in 2012. Because one cannot legislate to remove pilot error (the cause of both of those sinkings) the theory is to keep ships operating within a safety margin and with rescue options. Basically if a massive modern tour vessel can run aground and kill people in the Med, the thinking goes, there's no saying the same couldn't happen in the Antarctic with much worse consequences.

So we don't yet know what restrictions will come down, but possibilities are that rules will limit the current relative freedom within which we operate, such as rules requiring that a vessel always be within a certain range of another (potential rescue/mutual support) vessel. The longest expeditions are already very hard to fill because most people seem content to just check the box saying they've been there, rather than spend a bit extra to get a lot more time and depth of experience; realistically added logistical challenges like this might make such expeditions impossible.

Another possibility is that some of the smaller vessels, the < 100 passenger ships, of which there are already very few, will be removed due to design and equipment issues. Ironically, because this would select against older hulls, it means that the vessels left are mostly those that were built for the Med and Baltic, rather than the more homely but much more solid polar vessels of Russian vintages. The latter vessels might not look so nice, might not have balcony suites, but they survive the storms rather than having windows blown out and having to whimper their way back to port as has happened a handful of times in recent years.

My bottom line, if you want to go, go now; the wonderfully in-depth Falklands, South Georgia Antarctic expeditions that we've been so fortunate to operate for twenty years are unlikely to be around much longer. There's a lot more to the story, but I'll refrain from being long winded!

Boston...
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4. Re: Discontinuing Falklands, S. Georgia, Antarctica trips?

>>The longest expeditions are already very hard to fill because most people seem content to just check the box saying they've been there, rather than spend a bit extra to get a lot more time and depth of experience<<

That is a rather sweeping statement to make. I would've loved to have the time to do the more in depth trip, but I come from a country that doesn't have the same liberal vacation allowances afforded to some other nationalities. Taking 3-4 weeks off at once simply wasn't possible for me.

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Discontinuing Falklands, S. Georgia, Antarctica trips?

My experience is the longest trips sell out fast and earliest. My first 30 day trip was fully sold out over a year before sailing and the 2nd one was sold out 18 months pre sail date. I only managed to get on that one as I was on the waiting list for a cancellation and I snagged one 11 months before the sail date. My most recent voyage was 23 nights and it was showing as mostly sold out over 12 months pre voyage. Every one I asked on board had booked and paid at the same time as me 18 months earlier. So it's clear the longer trips are popular and selling well. I guess Ted is basing that opinion on the itineraries he offers and not necessarily that of other companies.

Santa Cruz...
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6. Re: Discontinuing Falklands, S. Georgia, Antarctica trips?

Apologies for the sweeping generalization; we too used to have the experience of long expeditions selling out far in advance; we were often sold out over a year in advance. But that is rarely the case anymore, either for ourselves or other companies. The best indication of this is that the average Falklands/South Georgia/Antarctic Peninsula trip used to be 21 or 22 days, now they average 18 days, some even shorter still. Fully true that it is hard to get that much vacation time, but each extra day on the longer trip means another landing day as the ocean crossings are the same for all.

Gold Coast...
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7. Re: Discontinuing Falklands, S. Georgia, Antarctica trips?

I'm wondering if these cruises might be priced out of the market in the future for many people. Prices seem to have increased a lot this year, from last year's prices for the same/similar cruise itineraries.

Edited: 26 March 2014, 23:03
Asia
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8. Re: Discontinuing Falklands, S. Georgia, Antarctica trips?

I am 'unfortunately' in the limited time off work camp as well. I would love to do one of the longer trips, purely to get to Sth Georgia, so could a potential 'silver lining' to this cloud be that more Sth Georgia only trips, that can be done in less than 2 weeks are offered, if the longer ones are not allowed? I have looked and so far have only been able to find very few.

And would these changes impact Ross Sea trips, which is also on my long term list, as the Ross Sea seems to only be able to be done as a 1 month trip.

Australia
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9. Re: Discontinuing Falklands, S. Georgia, Antarctica trips?

Thanks tedcheese for the info. I have just returned in beginning of march with a trip to the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctic circle and there is nothing that I would want to give up. I have been speaking to 2 separate people who have shown an interest in this particular trip following my enthusiasm so now I will pass on the info, sooner rather than later.

Michigan
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10. Re: Discontinuing Falklands, S. Georgia, Antarctica trips?

Some of the islands between Australia and Africa also look interesting. They had not been on my radar until coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 piqued my interest in the area. For now, work and childrens' school schedules limit the length of our travels.