Cruising to the Extremes: Arctic and Antarctic Poles
Photo courtesy of dreamstime
The frontiers of cruising continue to be pushed like never before, and the Arctic and Antarctic regions are being visited both more adventurously and luxuriously.
As for luxury lines, Silversea Expeditions has already been through the Northwest Passage, but Crystal Cruises will be making the journey with its larger Crystal Serenity for the first time on August 16, 2016. The extensive 32-day cruise from Seward, Alaska to New York has been over two years in the making and has recently been announced to feature a slew of onboard enrichment specialists across several fields and a shoreside Expedition Voyage Consultants crew in addition to the RRS Ernest Shackleton support vessel.
Twenty-one experts will include “National Geographic” photographer and marine biologist, Flip Nicklin; marine biologist and naturalist, Linda Nicklin; arctic marine mammal ecologist, Lois Harwood; dive master, Justin Hofman; polar bear specialist, Tom Smith; naturalist, Art Sowls; geologist and climatologist, Henry Pollack; geologist, Tom Sharpe; expedition leader, Tim Soper; polar explorer, Sigrid Henjun; arctic guide, Laali Berthelsen; expedition videographer, Kevin Freeny; expedition logistics experts, Linnea Soper and Saskia Travert; historians, Ken Burton and Hector Williams; archaeologist, Margaret Bertulli and Inuit guides.
“Unexpected Adventures” will also allow for impromptu Zodiac outings for glacier viewing, kayaking in protected bays, guided tundra trekking, helicopter flights and wildlife viewing. The upcoming voyage is sold out, but another has already been planned for August 15, 2017 with fares starting at $21,855 per person.
“Every aspect of this voyage and the route Crystal Serenity will travel, holds historical and cultural significance, and understanding this significance while aboard this monumental journey will certainly heighten our guests’ experience,” said Edie Rodriguez, Crystal’s CEO and president. “The sheer number of experts set to enlighten travelers on the voyage speaks directly to how profoundly rich this itinerary is, and how much there is to discover about this part of the world.”
Other adventure options in the Arctic region include One Ocean Expeditions along Canada’s East Coast into high northern latitudes with its 11-day Ladrador and Torgat Explorer itinerary in July 2017. Featured inaugural destinations will be the Newfoundland and Labrador coastlines and the Torngat Mountains National Park aboard an ice-class vessel carrying no more than 98 guests. Poseidon Expeditions also takes explorers to the Arctic as well as Antarctica for adventures like sea kayaking and off-ship camping.
Luxury companies Silversea Expeditions and Seabourn Cruise Line both also go to Antarctica, and, in fact, the larger Silver Cloud from Silversea Cruises is set to join the expeditions brand for August 2017 as well. Meanwhile, Seabourn is expanding its South Pole program to showcase new pre-cruise extensions to Antarctica & Patagonia itineraries.
Two available packages both feature stays at Union Glacier Camp in sleeping tents with gourmet cuisine and exotic activity opportunities. One also bundles in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, and the other includes the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Iguazu Falls National Park on the Brazilian and Argentinian border.
"Seabourn has made its reputation for offering guests astonishing experiences in places that are beyond the ordinary, and there are few travel opportunities less-expected or out-of-the-ordinary than a visit to the South Pole," said Robin West, Senior Manager, Expedition Planning and Operations for Seabourn. "These experiences will be the icing on the cake for guests bound for Antarctica aboard Seabourn Quest over the season ahead."
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