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What to Know Before a Cruise to Antarctica

Thinking of an expedition cruise to the Seventh Continent? Interested in the bragging rights of being among the few intrepid travelers to cross the Antarctic Circle? Just imagine how you'll feel on your cruise cabin's terrace with a cup of coffee, gazing out to other-worldly, icy landscapes and dazzling blue waters, breathing in the purity of the air, and experiencing the exquisite silence of Nature at its wildest and most pure, an unspoiled idyll. It's not as complicated as it may seem, and I'd love to help you experience this unique adventure of a lifetime.


Excerpt below from 4/25/2022 Virtuoso article by Helen McCabe Young can be found here.


“Antarctic cruises are true expeditions,” says Helen McCabe-Young. Virtuoso’s senior vice president of marketing visited her seventh continent in December on a six-day cruise with Silversea, flying across the Drake both ways – a great option for travelers seeking to experience Antarctica on a compressed schedule. “Conditions and weather are unpredictable and can change by the hour, so come mentally prepared to lean into the adventure,” she notes. She recommends that ocean and river cruisers adjust their expectations for Antarctic voyages: “They require a good deal more physically, especially if you hit weather.” Here are her tips for White Continent explorers. 


1. If your ship offers sea kayaking, sign up. It was one of the biggest highlights of my cruise, and well worth pushing yourself, even if you’re a novice like me.


2. Flights between Punta Arenas and King George Island are subject to weather conditions, and the airline calls the shots – not Silversea.


3. Dress prepared for the 1.3-mile walk between the airstrip and the Zodiacs, which ferry passengers to and from the ship. You’ll be exposed to the elements and carrying your pack on a gravel path. A van transports checked luggage and those who need assistance, but everything else is your responsibility.


4. Resist the temptation to overpack: Weight limits on the flights to the South Shetlands are strictly enforced; if your bag is overweight, you’ll be leaving things behind. Even on luxury lines such as Silversea, Antarctic cruises are casual – no heels or dressed-up evenings. 


5. This is a great excuse to upgrade your cell phone for one with a better camera. And get a waterproof sleeve for Zodiac rides, so you don’t end up with it sitting in a bowl of rice back on board.


6. Read up on the early Antarctic explorers. I loved sitting with my husband in the comfort of our stateroom, looking out across our balcony and learning about early expeditions – while snacking on caviar and sipping Champagne, of course! Two recommendations: Alfred Lansing’s Endurance, about the Shackleton expedition, and Julian Sancton’s Madhouse at the End of the Earth, about the 1897 Belgian expedition – the first to winter on the continent.


7. Schedule spa treatments before embarkation. For the most part, passengers are on or off the ship at the same time, so availability is limited.


8. If you have the opportunity to take the polar plunge, do it! 



Nine Muses Travel offers a premium experience with flights, guides, drivers, rental vehicles, and the best accommodations to maximize your time, with expert advice on how to get the most out of any destination. We INCLUDE amenities for you at the world's finest hotels, the BEST OF THE BEST!

  • Complimentary room upgrades at check-in, subject to availability

  • Complimentary daily breakfast

  • Early check-in / late check-out, subject to availability

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

  • And more!

Nine Muses Travel works with exceptional suppliers who add unparalleled value:

  • Expert guides: artists, historians, naturalists, unique locals with insider tips & insights

  • Flexibility with your touring - See and do as much, or as little, as you prefer!

  • Custom-designed routings

  • Exclusive experiences

  • 24/7 real-time support

  • Comprehensive travel protection plans

Nine Muses Travel designs journeys to inspire artists, arts lovers and the culturally curious.

Danielle Dybiec

Founder & President


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