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9 Antarctica Romantic Cruise Reviews

Antarctica 2019 -What am amazing trip. The ship and the crew where Wonderfull. From the start, Ponant picked us at the airport - took care of all our luggage and bought it right to our room. Friendly greeting by the Captain, and ... Read More
Antarctica 2019 -What am amazing trip. The ship and the crew where Wonderfull. From the start, Ponant picked us at the airport - took care of all our luggage and bought it right to our room. Friendly greeting by the Captain, and cocktails waiting when you arrived on board. The expedition team- was amazing, friendly, knowledgable and top notch. The expedition team is really what made this already amazing trip to Antarctica even better. They where such a great group that made sure every day you knew what you were doing and ran every excursion smoothly. We had a recap every day of what we did, what we saw and what to expect the next day. We had great educational lectures, about the animals, landscape and facts about Antarctica. I just can not say enough about the expedition team we had. Whale Watching - When ever we would spot Whales, the Captain would stop the ship and circle around and whale watch. You felt like you where on a whale watching trip. They Bridge and the expedition team, made sure you had the full Antarctica experience. This is defiantly one of the great perks on being on a small ship. The Ship was lovely, and spotless. The rooms where clean and you had amazing view everyday. The food was fantastic, the desserts where amazing. Wow!! So much great French Cheese. Over all, the ship was run first class, you never had to worry about anything. Everything and anything was taken care of. Tips - Bring extra face cream and variety of creams (my face got very dry and wind blown) Dress Code - I stressed over what to bring for dinners and the 2 Captains dinner. They 2 more formal nights (are optional). Men: Sports Jackets / Suites. Women in cocktail dresses, some more casual dressed then other and some much more formal. The formal night defiantly had a wide range of styles. Some ladies had slacks, and accessorized. I had a nice sweater dress, necklace and earnings. Heals or flats worked. Other nights, I would wear black fitted slacks and pretty blouses. I suggest pack a few nice pieces. Over all the ship was warm and comfortable , so you do not need heavy clothes for dinner. Always nice to have layers and a sweater if you had to run out to the decks to see a whale or an amazing Ice Berg. I would go back on Ponant Cruise and most defiantly go back to Antarctica - it was spectacular. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Having already done a Hurtigruten Norway expedition hiking cruise (and loved it) I didn't hesitate to travel with Hurtigruten again when it came to going to Antarctica. I knew they would offer a more authentic experience, which is ... Read More
Having already done a Hurtigruten Norway expedition hiking cruise (and loved it) I didn't hesitate to travel with Hurtigruten again when it came to going to Antarctica. I knew they would offer a more authentic experience, which is what I wanted. From start to finish it was an awesome voyage. It began with a one-night stay in Buenos Aires in a very well and centrally located hotel. Then the next morning we flew to Ushuaia - known as the southernmost city in the world. The transfers from the hotel to the airport were smooth and in Ushuaia we were given an included free tour and then had free time before we boarded the ship, which I really enjoyed/appreciated. Midnatsol was much smarter than the ship I sailed on in Norway. Although Midnatsol is an expedition ship, it has an atrium with an elevator like the bigger liners - the Hurtigruten ship I sailed on in Norway wasn't comparable. My cabin was fine - it was a polar outside for two people. It was perfectly comfortable/functional - it is NOT posh - The first two days were spent at sea, crossing the infamous Drake Passage - the sea which separates south America from Antarctica. I'm not going to lie. There's a reason this sea is infamous. It can get choppy. Items were literally flying off the shelves onto me as I lay in bed! So if you suffer from sea sickness be sure to take with pills/bands etc - although there were pills available (and very effective too) to buy on board, and they were inexpensive too. But the expedition lectures were a great distraction and extremely enriching. I learned so much - about wildlife, geology, explorers, penguins, climate change, whales/whaling etc. Fascinating. And then as we got closer to Antarctica there were albatrosses and whales to spot from on deck - and even the occasional penguin - just awesome. During those two days everyone gets some boots to wear outside in Antarctica (compulsory as they clean them once you get back so that no germs are being taken onto the 7th continent) and picks up a red expedition jacket you get to keep - I really liked mine. You can see me wearing it in the video links below. It's waterproof and windproof and I wore my other jacket undernearth it. There are only 6 days where you actually get out on land and regulations dictate that only 100 people are allowed on land at a time, which means you have to take turns (the ship carries 500 passengers) and you're only on land for about 2 hours at a time. But then you can enjoy the scenery from on the ship - the two hot tubs on top deck are a great vantage point! And also you might be on land in the morning and then cruising in the zodiac boats (which are small inflatable crafts used to take you from Midnatsol to land) around icebergs for the afternoon. I must mention that itineraries are loose and weather dependent. The expedition team always has a plan A and if the weather (wind and ice are the biggest culprits) prevent that from happeneing they move onto plan B and so on.... This is where we stopped/ what we saw on our sailing: Day 1: Deception Island - a volcanic island - great hikes, a couple of penguins, remnants of old whaling station - scene for attempting the polar plunge challenge - Day 2: Cuverville Island - home to penguin colonies (Gentoo penguins) - just amazing. I the afternoon we went zodiac cruising around amazing icebergs. And ethere were lots of whales Day 3: Ice floe landing (this is a flat iceberg which we got out onto to walk on whilst it was drifting) Day 4. Damoy Point - excellent hikes - great penguins - some people went snow shoeing (an optional excursion)...views over Port Lockroy, home to the British post office which is open for 3 months a year. Day 5. Orne Harbour on the mainland - an awesome (and tricky) hike to the summit brought us to a Chinstrap penguin colony Day 6 - kayaking (this was an optional excursion) in Wilhelmina Bay - and it was amazing - paddling past icebergs, underneath glaciers and oars whacking into floating lumps of ice. Plus we passed a shipwreck of an old whaling ship. We also did some amazing cruising throught the Lemaire Channel and Neumayer channel - both stunning with huge cliffs. And we sailed the most far south the ship has ever sailed to a huge ice sheet which stopped us in our tracks. The light was amazing every day in Antarctica and even in November there really wasn't any proper night time. Food on Midnatsol was also excellent. It's mainly buffets due to the itinerary, but with a couple of waiter-served three-course dinners. Because they can't pick up supplies en route, the food does, naturally, become a little repetitive, but the chef was extremely inventive and I have no complaints whatsoever. Some people went camping for the night on the continent. This was also an expensive optional extra and whilst I didn't do it (it cost $500) I was jealous afterwards of those who did. They camped under canvass in a remote spot (the ship left them there) and with lots of penguins and no civilsation around them. They didn't sleep (it was too cold apparently!) but what an experience - something to say you've done. There was also some entertainement on board - a few shows - a crew talent show / a crew fashion show/a quiz and some screeenings of films about Shackleton and some David Attenbourough nature documentaries. the crew was amazing too. I don't have a bad word to say. After the voyage we flew from Ushuaia to Santiago, Chile for an overnight in another very nice, well-located hotel.... It's a long journey to get to Antarctica, but it was well broken up and helped build the anticipation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I wanted to make sure i was on the best possible ship for comfort food and experience. From meeting at the airport and flight to Ushiuia to the short sightseeing to the wonderful lunch in a fabulous hotel above the town to the smooth ... Read More
I wanted to make sure i was on the best possible ship for comfort food and experience. From meeting at the airport and flight to Ushiuia to the short sightseeing to the wonderful lunch in a fabulous hotel above the town to the smooth transition to Explorer.nothing was missing. muck room was small but worked Fabulous and stylish jacket and puffer given on first day. Food continued to be good though not fantastic always there was something to satisfy. as soon as the zodiac transfers started I realised how well run this ship is we had at least 5 people getting us on the zodiac and 4 at the arrival end to help get us off. always someones hand to help especially for a novice snow walker. always a smiling face even when we were late to the zodiac to get on from the muck room because we forgot one piece of layering/gloves or camera. the wait staff were exceptional addressing us by name from the first night-amazing!! our ever smiling cabin man and butler always there to help and keep the cabin spotless. lots of rough weather on way to and from sandwich islands and across Drake.but to be expected being at the end of the world. I could not fault the well run cruise and wonder if the other ships doing Antarctica are as well run. Disembarcation was smooth and transfer to airport easy cabin 410 Vista suite Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We were expecting to visit the Antarctica and to see the wildlife in Puerto Madryn and in Port Stanley on this cruise. Though we visited (cruised by but not actually stop at) Paradise bay and Elephant island in Antartica, we were ... Read More
We were expecting to visit the Antarctica and to see the wildlife in Puerto Madryn and in Port Stanley on this cruise. Though we visited (cruised by but not actually stop at) Paradise bay and Elephant island in Antartica, we were completely shut out of experiencing visit with wildlife such as the Penguins due to technical issues with the ship's propulsion system, speed reduction, poor planning and poor weather. The management of the Cruise ship certainly had enough advance information, based on past experience, on the expected weather on probability of making anticipated ports of call at Puerto Madryn and Port Stanley. With advance information on the Ship's propulsion system they decided to travel slow and cancelled Puerto Madryn. They could have kept alive the option to visit Puerto Madryn, in the event Port Stanley had to be cancelled due to severe weather. While we do not fault them for not accepting the weather risk at Falkland Islands, we do fault them for poor trip planning having cancelled Puerto Madryn at the outset to compensate for the slow speed of travel due to propulsion problem. This made for a long 10 day sea voyage ( out of total 14 days) from Ushuaia to Montevideo resulting in monotonous boring Cruise experience. Since we only had very few options available to see Antarctica & Penguins, we felt victimized by Celebrity Cruises ruining our once in a lifetime vacation. Dining and entertainment activities were average to better than average. There was too much selling activities T shirts, jewelry, watches, paintings, future cruises, photography, etc. Staff was very good in most food and drink areas, except at customer service where staff was not helpful. Very defensive not attempting to address customer complaints or concerns. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This cruise was everything we expected and more! Great ports of call, 4 days cruising in Antarctica waters where we saw bunches of penguins, sea lions, whales and a wide variety of birds. Onboard, they offered great lecturers on sea days ... Read More
This cruise was everything we expected and more! Great ports of call, 4 days cruising in Antarctica waters where we saw bunches of penguins, sea lions, whales and a wide variety of birds. Onboard, they offered great lecturers on sea days and even had a few interactive game shows which elated my DW. However, two areas where HAL did not meet our expectations were (1) the quality of their production shows and (2) making sure passengers sanitized their hands when going into a dining area and when reboarding the ship after a day in port. Quality of HAL production shows. The singers and dancers were fine, but the pace of the shows were that of watching a Lawrence Welk Show. That's fine if you like a slower pace, but we're in our mid 60's and grew up on rock and roll and were board stiff during most of their shows. However, they did hire some great entertainers which made up for the lack luster production shows produced by a New York-based production company from what we understand. Personal hygiene shortfalls. This 22 day cruise was during the height of the cold/flu season, but HAL didn't seem to realize this. They used to make folks going into a dining area sanitize their hands the first 48 hours of the cruise. Not any more. They used to have a crew member at the base of the gangway making sure passengers sanitize their hands before coming back on ship. Not any more. They used to have sanitizer dispensers outside the main theater entrances. Not on this cruise. As a result, this was the "sickest" HAL cruise we have ever been on as at least 1/3 of the passengers had bronchial type cold/flu symptoms the last 2+ weeks of the cruise. Going to the show in the evening was like listening to a chorus of coughing. Lesson learned. Wash your hands and use the hand sanitizers religiously and if at all possible avoid using the tongs up on the lido deck. Of course, no cruise is perfect and since we just got off a great 25 day Celebrity Eclipse cruise where all of the shows were great with many reaching the "wow" status and the ship's hygiene practices were top notch, it was just a big let down to see HAL's offerings so inferior. But, as I mentioned earlier, it wasn't all bad. The itinerary was GREAT, the guest lecturers were GREAT and the contracted evening entertainment for the most part was very entertaining. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
To discover Antarctica: the wild, the peaceful, the pristine landscapes, the animals, in their very own habitat, and visibly not disturbed by these strange visitors coming from other continents, To do so onboard a small size ship to be ... Read More
To discover Antarctica: the wild, the peaceful, the pristine landscapes, the animals, in their very own habitat, and visibly not disturbed by these strange visitors coming from other continents, To do so onboard a small size ship to be able to go in shore as much as possible around the icebergs and the whales, to enjoy the feeling of being part of a small family (only 200 passengers), to benefit of a strong and caring team of naturalists who were extremely helpful in preparing the visits... And to top it up, to relax in a large, nicely furnished room with a large bed, a balcony... and to enjoy a constantly amazingly good food, and good wines. What else? Very friendly staff, always ready to help. Excellent service at the various bars and restaurants. State of cleanliness very much OK. And I appreciated as well the availability and dedication of the Captain and of the Cruise Director who did everything in their power to make our cruise a memorable one, probably the "cruise of my life"... Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
From Santiago Chile to Cape Horn, then across to Antarctica for a cruise of the coastal waters for 4 days, then the Falkland Islands, Madryn Argentina, Montevideo Uruguay and then finally Buenos Aires Argentina. Was in Antarctica for New ... Read More
From Santiago Chile to Cape Horn, then across to Antarctica for a cruise of the coastal waters for 4 days, then the Falkland Islands, Madryn Argentina, Montevideo Uruguay and then finally Buenos Aires Argentina. Was in Antarctica for New Years. Have to say this was the most spectacular cruise we've ever been on. It was perfect in every way. The most friendly crew we'd ever experienced. They were having as much fun as we were, which made the whole thing just that much more fun. Nice room, great food and excellent excursions. The views from the ship were just breathtaking. So many good photos, some of them almost surreal. We signed up for the departure day waterways tour with transfer to the airport at the end, and departure went unbelievably smooth. The last day was almost a full day of adventure, and it was easily as good as any other excursion day. The night before departure, we had dinner at "a closed door restaurant" in Buenos Aires, and THAT was really special too. The perfect last meal for a perfect cruise. Like our title says ... this trip was ... S P E C T A C U L A R. really. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We enjoyed an amazing experience with Hurtigruten on their MS Midnatsol ship sailing from Punta Arenas, travelling along the Chilean Fjords to Antarctica Peninsula and back. The view was breathtaking throughout. When we cruised on smaller ... Read More
We enjoyed an amazing experience with Hurtigruten on their MS Midnatsol ship sailing from Punta Arenas, travelling along the Chilean Fjords to Antarctica Peninsula and back. The view was breathtaking throughout. When we cruised on smaller boats to look at glaciers and icebergs was incredible and satisfying. Accommodation was very good and comfortable. Food was varied and very good too. Expeditions and on board lectures from experts were excellent. It was an educational and adventurous cruise. Hurtigruten did an excellent job getting us from London through Madrid to Santiago then Punta Arenas and back without a single hitch! It was impressive and I will use them again. The staff were excellent and friendly especially those in the reception, restaurant, bar, cleaning and the expedition team. The expedition team members were all graduates and experts in their field. We had excellent lectures which were very informative and we had the first explorer to trek the Arctic and Antarctica in the same year. Every passenger on board seemed to be delighted with the cruise. The expedition team made every effort to ensure we were able to cruise or land at every convenient location Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We have realized the thrill of visiting Antarctica, our 7th continent, and thanks to the weather, new friends we made on the sailing, the professional crew, and the extraordinary service we received each day, we doubt this cruise will ever ... Read More
We have realized the thrill of visiting Antarctica, our 7th continent, and thanks to the weather, new friends we made on the sailing, the professional crew, and the extraordinary service we received each day, we doubt this cruise will ever be topped. Silversea required us to purchase their charter air package and although it had a few rough spots (check-in at the Buenos Aires domestic airport and a long wait for baggage once we returned to Buenos Aires) we understand why they did it the way they did and we really can´t complain. We were taken to a ski lodge 25 km from Ushuaia for lunch on the 8th and the lamb BBQ was pretty good. We boarded the vessel around 2pm and our luggage was waiting for us in our suite (all cabin categories are called suites). The welcome we received at the ship really started the cruise on a positive note. The suite was roomy and a bottle of champagne was waiting for us. The sail away was nice and the trip down the Beagle was uneventful. Apparently it was a bit rough the previous day but the initial stage of the transit of the Drake Passage was pretty smooth. It got a bit bumpy after 11pm and it stayed that way throughout most of the 9th. We made good speed across the Drake on the 10th and actually arrived early enough in the South Shetland Islands to take a bonus excursion at Half Moon Island where we visited a chinstrap penguin colony. The 11th began a stretch of weather that can only be described as extremely rare for the region. We actually had 14 landing or Zodiac cruising events when only 12 had been planned so we were very fortunate. Sunny days with temperatures hovering at 0°C were the standard for the next 6 days. We crossed the Antarctic Sound and had a morning excursion at Brown Bluff where we visited gentoo and adelie penguin colonies. We saw a few chicks and some hauled out seals and then hiked about 1.2km up a glacier to see some great views of the ship and bergy bits in the Sound. The afternoon brought a Zodiac cruise along the shoreline of Kinnes Cove where we saw more penguin rookeries, seals, and a pod of some 12 to 15 Orcas. The 12th tooks us on a transit of Gerlache Strait to Paradise Bay and we saw humpback whales and majestic scenery. We had a Zodiac tour at Skontorp Cove and saw the magnificent ice sculptures floating there. We saw some Antarctic Shag bird nest areas and listened to the snap, crackle, and pop of the melting brash ice in the water around us. In the afternoon we stopped at Base Brown for a climb up a hill to a point some 80 meters above the water. We slid down the hill in a snow chute made by our expedition team, it was great fun! Some of the heartier passengers made multiple trips down the chute. The wind picked up to 60 kts and we sailed in a blizzard during the night. On the 12th we tried to sail through the Lemaire Channel but it was blocked by considerable ice. We shifted to Plan B and took a Zodiac tour of Hidden Bay which was breathtaking for us Antarctic rookies as well as our seasoned expedition team. A planned second landing was cancelled by a massive amount of new snow from the night before so we stayed on the ship and enjoyed each others company. ¨Glorious¨ does not do justice to the 14th and the excitement of the crew was evident at every turn. We visited a Chilean Navy base in Dorian Bay, made a bonus stop in Danco Bay where we climbed another hill and did another slide to the bottom,and stopped at Cuverville Island. At all 3 points we had the pleasure of watching gentoo and adelie penguin antics between their mating/nesting areas and the sea. Some were trekking well over 100 yards from the shoreline to their communities. We always gave them the right of way and they had absolutely no fear of us. We observed the 5 meter rule but many of them did not! The nest building ritual was fun to watch as males brought pebbles to the nests from the coastline or from the nest next door. The actual penguin mating routine looked to be quite difficult and required good balance. Everything penguin related was very amusing! We did see some penguin nest raiding by skua birds but understand that is part of the lifecycle of wildlife here. The 15th was a carbon copy of the previous day weather-wise. We visited the Port Lockroy station, mailed some postcards, viewed more gentoo´s and shags, and did some shopping at the store. We took another Zodiac ride and spotted a humpback whale. We enjoyed lunch on the aft deck of Prince Albert. During the night it snowed again. On the 16th we arrived at Whaler´s Bay on Deception Island and enjoyed a 1.0 km hike to a great viewpoint above the bay. That afternoon we stopped at Telefon Bay for a longer 3+km hike to a point overlooking the old whaling operation. Many opted for the ¨Polar Plunge¨ and everyone had a grand time either participating or simply watching. As we departed the South Shetland Islands for Ushuaia the wind picked up (50+ knots) and the Drake became a bit grumpy again and the swells hit around 10 meters. King Neptune kindly eased up on us for the rest of the Drake crossing on the 17th and 18th and we arrived back in Ushuaia in time to take a stroll around town after dinner. Prince Albert II has a very professional and friendly crew. Every one of them knew all of our 128 names by the start of the 3rd day onboard. The dining room team led by Ali and Andrea was so kind and always ready to accommodate every request. They managed to to give us a variety of dining partners while at the same time allowed us to sit with new friends. Norbert the head chef is so gifted and goes out of his way to make each meal offering special. He even took requests! The cooks do a phenomenal job every day. The food servers were friendly and their recommendations were spot on. They often carried our meals to our table. The breakfasts and lunches were served buffet style and the variety of food was always more than one can imagine. Dinners were characterized by numerous choices cooked to perfection. Desserts, especially at lunchtime were always tasty and different. The chocolate mint ¨zero-zero¨ ice cream was our favorite. The drink servers quickly learned our personal preferences and were ready to take good care of us until the wee hours. Perry on the keyboard has an incredible repertoire of music and never overpowers the room as he plays. Our suite butler, Jim, and attendant, I Gede, were largely invisible but our suite was always well supplied and immaculate. They always had a welcoming smile to go along with their desire to provide anything we wanted or needed. The immensely experienced and hard working team of nearly a dozen experts, skilfully directed by our Expedition Leader Conrad, was absolutely top-notch. Their knowledge of all things Antarctica including history, politics, birds, seals, penguins, whales, geology, geography, marine biology, and climatology was mind boggling. Their lectures were well organized and presented in an entertaining manner. Their Zodiac driving skills were commendable as they kept us thrilled and safe at all times. Our photographer, Kristine, did a fabulous job recording our journey and her DVD of the cruise is a work of art! We dined with members of the expedition team on several occasions and their conversation added a lot to our understanding of Antarctica. Hotel Manager Martin Blanar runs a tight ship and also has a marvelous staff who go out of their way to attend to every need. We had the pleasure of dining one night with Martin and he is a true gentleman. Captain Peter Stahlberg leads an experienced bridge team that gave us no concerns throughout the voyage. The Captain is clearly a great leader who is loved by his crew. After this amazing adventure it is small wonder that so many of us booked another expedition with Silversea while we were onboard. I doubt anyone can provide the high degree of service and overall outstanding expedition experience as we received onboard Prince Albert II. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010

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