Antarctica: the great white continent and one of the last true wildernesses on Earth. Home to the world’s greatest concentration of wildlife, Antarctica is a place that’s all but untouched by humanity. If you consider yourself a seasoned cruiser, a cruise to Antarctica is unlike anything you’ve experienced. Instead of being greeted by a port full of tourist shops and restaurants, you’ll encounter a vast tundra of penguins, seals, rare birds, glaciers, and massive icebergs on a Crystal Cruise to Antarctica.
Due to its strict environmental regulations, only a few cruise lines are allowed to sail to Antarctica. Fortunately, Crystal Cruises is among those cruise lines. With a comprehensive, alluring, and exciting set of sailings to Antarctica, you’ll get an authentic, awe inspiring, and one of a kind experience on your Antarctic expedition. Each cruise is filled with opportunities to explore nature in all ports, from seeing volcanoes, waterfalls, and marine elephants up close and personal, to kayaking the Strait of Magellan and visiting local working farms.
As the newest addition to their fleet, the 1,080-guest Crystal Serenity raises the already lofty standards of Crystal Cruises to even greater heights. With an expanded space-to-guest ratio and elegantly appointed staterooms, guests can cruise in style and comfort. Over 85% of the rooms have private verandas and all offer completely unobstructed views, thanks to a unique recessed lifeboat design. Onboard amenities include grand lounges, five separate and distinctive evening dining venues, a casino, a lavish spa, two paddle tennis courts, and award-winning entertainment.
Things to Do on an Antarctica Cruise
Most ships include off-ship excursions via Zodiac Landing Crafts in their fares, meaning you’ll be able to experience Antarctica like a local without an extra charge. Stop to see the penguins on Elephant Island or watch other travelers brave the cold and immerse themselves in freezing water for a “polar bear” dip on Deception Island. Also on Deception Island you’ll see the remains of an abandoned British Antarctic Survey base, and Wienke Island has a museum, a store, and remnants of Winston Churchill’s World War II reporting station. As you can see, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on an Arctic cruise.
With stops that include excursions to the Falkland Island, the Antarctic Peninsula, and Drake Passage, cruisers will have the opportunity to get an up close and personal experience with the Antarctic environment. If the weather conditions are right, some of the itineraries even allow cruisers to set foot on the White Continent. Keep your eyes open and your camera ready for the giant glaciers and icebergs that make Antarctica the coldest continent on earth. If you’re concerned about staying warm while on board, Crystal Cruises delivers the highest in luxury, including gourmet meals, full-sized bathrooms, and nightly entertainment options.
Antarctica Cruise Tips
You won’t find many stores on shore, so be sure to pack your parka, boots, binoculars, waterproof clothing, thermal underwear, and camera equipment in advance. Passengers who are prone to seasickness should take larger ships that handle the wild waves better. If that’s not an option, make an appointment with your physician for prescription-strength medication. Antarctic cruisers will be very cold (and not to mention wet) without a pair of knee-high rubber boots. Several companies allow passengers to rent essential gear, so check with your cruise line to see if that’s an option.
Finally, Antarctica is beautiful for a reason: it’s unspoiled, and it’s important for travelers to keep it that way. The International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) was founded to advocate, promote, and practice safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic. Before you plan your trip, visit their website for helpful tips, including examining your clothes and equipment thoroughly before packing to avoid transporting dirt and other organic material to the continent.