Antarctica, the seventh continent, the white continent, … you title it, we’re all dreaming of going there sometime. Whereas it was a type of locations which might eternally stay on our wish-list, it’s definitely far more accessible now! Because of a small armada of expeditions cruise ships which were purpose-built for this harsh panorama the place ice and snow are simply a part of the on a regular basis life, now you can benefit from the wonders of Antarctica in unrivalled luxurious and luxury. There are a lot of completely different choices on the market, but the next ships simply got here out of the field and have among the most superior devices and toys onboard to lure even probably the most demanding passengers.
Viking Octantis, Viking Expeditions
Viking isn’t any beginner relating to cruising, nonetheless they’ve solely lately began with expeditions and for good cause as they’ve among the best purpose-built ships on the market. The Viking Octantis is the most important ship on this listing however in comparison with the large cruise ships everyone knows it’s nonetheless just a little child with a capability of solely 378 visitors. The glossy exterior design makes this ship a blessing to have a look at, but the within is equally spectacular. Fantastically adorned staterooms, all of which have a personal Nordic balcony and all of the facilities you’re in search of. In fact the proprietor’s suite is the “pièce de résistance” with a large outside space on high of a wine and music collections which is hand-picked by the CEO himself Torstein Hagen.
The Octantis additionally options some state-of-the-art technological marvels. Considered one of them might be discovered within the Hangar, which is positioned on the bottom deck within the aft. Right here you’ll have the ability to board the zodiacs whereas nonetheless being within the consolation of the ship. As soon as seated they’re lowered mechanically into the water by an ingenious approach on the stern of the ship. Right here, you’ll additionally discover 2 submarines (sure, I’m not joking) able to taking as much as 6 passengers on an journey of a lifetime whereas they discover the marine life in Antarctica. Relatively in search of one thing wonderful contained in the ship? What in regards to the hydrotherapy pool on the Nordic Spa the place you possibly can benefit from the wonderful views whereas your physique is being pampered on the similar time. And right here’s a tip in case the climate is beneficial: take a pleasant drink from the bar and make your self snug on the Finse Terrace behind the ship. This sunken seating space is simply the very best place to take all of it in.
Le Commandant Charcot, Ponant
Combine the know-how of a seasoned expedition cruise line with some French aptitude and also you’ll get an concept of what to anticipate when boarding Le Commandant Charcot. The ship will undoubtedly change the best way we take a look at expedition ships sooner or later and one of many primary options that stand out for me is the truth that it’s a hybrid electrical polar vessel, permitting it to sail 100% electrically in sure areas the place you don’t need to disturb the wildlife otherwise you simply need your visitors to take all of it in with out the background noise of the engines. However sufficient tech-talk, let’s give attention to the world the place we as visitors are extra aware of like for instance the staterooms. Every of the 123 suites and staterooms have a personal balcony and interiors that use comfortable tones to create a calming ambiance. There’s a large selection of various staterooms however my choice goes to the split-level suites which have huge home windows by way of which it looks like the skin surroundings is sort of falling inside your front room.
Being labeled as a real icebreaker it’s additionally one of many ships that may attain among the most distant and inhospitable locations in Antarctica. But onboard the ship itself you wouldn’t instantly suppose you discovered your self on an icebreaker, however slightly on a luxurious cruise boat. One of many exterior space’s that completely displays that distinction might be discovered on the Blue Lagoon swimming pools, the place you’ll have the ability to loosen up within the water which has a temperature between 27° and 37° levels celsius because of recycled vitality from the ship. And the French being French you possibly can’t ignore the wonderful meals that’s displayed in its two eating places with a wine listing to match after all. The truth that all of this luxurious might be offered whereas being one of many cleanest and most eco-friendly ships on the earth is simply astonishing.
Scenic Eclipse, Scenic Cruises
If there’s one ship that brought about a stir when it was launched, it’s the Scenic Eclipse. The superbly elegant design make it look extra like a yacht as a substitute of an explorer cruise ship. Glossy strains, the black hull, …this ship is made to impress its spectators however equally the 228 visitors (for expeditions to Antarctica they solely take 200 to maximise the landings) which might be accommodated onboard. There are solely suites on the Eclipse and they’re really the epitome of luxurious. Not solely is their dimension approach above common, additionally they include among the greatest sound proofing on the market, butler service (sure, you’re nonetheless on an expedition) and all the opposite bells and whistles you could consider. There’s a cause why they discuss with it as a 6-star expertise and Scenic actually makes positive they hold that stage of consolation and repair as excessive as doable.
That’s completely mirrored in all of the toys you’ll discover onboard the ship. To begin off with it may open up its higher deck to remodel it into an enormous helipad which can be utilized by the two (why only one when you possibly can have 2…proper?) onboard Airbus helicopters. Hovering over the frozen landscapes from the consolation of the heli ought to be on everyone’s wish-list. Or how in regards to the submarine which provides you the final word underwater expertise. All of the motion working up an urge for food? With 10 completely different eating experiences on a comparatively small ship like this, you’ll be hard-pressed to not discover something to your liking. My favourites…Koko’s Asian Fusion and Lumière however there’s actually no incorrect option to be made. To finish the day I recommend attempting among the nice whiskeys which might be discovered within the Scenic Lounge Bar. It’s moments like that once they invent phrases like “bliss”!
SH Minerva, Swan Hellenic
One of many latest ships to sail the oceans is the SH Minerva. It may possibly accommodate 152 visitors which really provides it a boutique really feel once you cruise with such restricted passenger numbers. I’m an enormous fan of boutique-travel so that you gained’t hear me complain, quite the opposite. Whereas the blue-and white exterior blends in completely with the panorama of this southern desert (sure, Antarctica is assessed as a desert) the interiors transport you proper again to the north the place the tones, supplies and colors predominantly give me Scandinavian vibes. Nonetheless, the magnificence and class of the ship is actually noteworthy and the staterooms replicate that completely. I actually just like the flame-effect fireplaces that offer you an instantaneous ‘hygge” feeling when enter.
One of many cool options is the Swan’s nest which is positioned proper on the bow of the ship, providing you with unobstructed views of the panorama and is ideal for many who need to re-enact the well-known scene from “Titanic” but understanding this ship is constructed to cope with icebergs as a substitute of simply being a cruise ship. On the opposite aspect of the ship you’ll discover a wonderful heated swimming pool which could be extra to your liking. It’s positioned subsequent to the pool bar and grill, and even within the cool local weather of Antarctica the grill is getting used, providing you with the chance to take pleasure in some gorgeous landscapes whereas being internally glad with some wonderful grilled dishes. For many who need to seize all these particular moments on their telephone or digicam, ensure that to pay a go to to the expedition lab the place a pictures knowledgeable will show you how to with ideas and tips to take the very best photographs, but in addition show you how to with downloading them and even edit a bit with the intention to ensure that these pics replicate the great thing about this place, despite the fact that everyone knows it’s by no means going t one as spectacular as seeing it in actual life.
Nationwide Geographic Endurance, Lindblad Expeditions
If there’s one model that is aware of find out how to organise expeditions to Antarctica, it’s Lindblad. They’ve been doing so for over 50 years, but lately they acquired their first polar constructed ship which can make expeditions to the white continent not solely safer but in addition extra snug. One of many primary options which you’ll’t miss is the X-bow, permitting the ship to slice by way of the water and ice, lowering the general impression and ends in a smoother journey. However you’d be foolish to factor that’s the one noteworthy factor in regards to the Nationwide Geographic Endurance. She may simply have 126 visitors onboard, the quantity of amenities and facilities are really spectacular for such a comparatively small ship. The cabins are all superbly designed and the perfect private cocoon inside the ship.
However your time will principally be spent both on land or in one of many elegant lounges and eating places. The commentary deck is a type of cozy locations the place you make your self snug studying a ebook or watch the hearth whereas the surroundings exterior slowly passes by. On the opposite aspect of the deck you’ll discover the Sanctuary, a wellness space with completely different saunas, therapy rooms, a yoga studio and so forth. In fact relating to meals and beverage, the same old bells and whistles might be discovered on the ship. However one distinctive function which may’t be discovered on every other ship cruising this a part of the planet is an evening in one of many glass igloos. Certainly, they put in 2 igloos behind the ship, permitting visitors to have a once-in-a-lifetime expertise by sleeping below the polar evening sky. No such factor as mild air pollution, solely a billions stars that glint within the sky and a few hot-water bottles to maintain you heat. It doesn’t get extra conventional than that.