As the fantastic 2014-2015 Antarctica season wraps up, all thoughts are now on next year’s exciting new season, likely to be one of the busiest on record. While all of our Antarctica options are excellent, the 8-day Fly-Cruise expeditions are truly unique. Instead of sailing the Drake’s Passage, which can be rough, travelers fly comfortably between the Chilean mainland and Antarctica, saving time and helping you avoid rocky seas. We have a number of updates and insights to help our travelers considering this exclusive option.
In addition to the classic, comfortable 68-passenger Ocean Nova, the 2015-2016 season, a number of voyages will be on a 71-passenger all-suite ship, the luxurious Sea Explorer. Limited to just 71 travelers, the ship uniquely offers 2 categories of cabins with private outside balconies. In addition, you can expect to al fresco dining in the outside cafe on fine days. Imagine sailing between 3-story icebergs while comfortably sitting down, enjoying your morning latte!
Everyone knows Antarctica is the world’s greatest wilderness outpost and operating ships and aircraft in this region – the windiest, coldest, and most remote region in the world – is surely challenging. An impressive footnote of the expedition’s last 100 flights to and from isolate Frei Station on King George’s Island are that a full 82 operated on the scheduled day, while 13 operated with only a one day delay, 4 with a two day delay and just 1 with a 3 day delay. In fact, in 12 years of operating the Fly-Cruise expedition, with hundreds of expeditions launching successfully, the boats have seen only one trip cancelled. This level of reliability is simply amazing!
Among the many bonuses of the Antarctica Fly-Cruise is that because the number of passengers is limited to the size of the specialized charter aircraft (a BAE 146, with 90 seats) used by the boats, the number of guests is a perfect fit for the zodiacs. Everyone boards the zodiacs and lands together, there are no waits for landings (only 100 people or less are allowed at any given landing site).
A wonderful safety advantage of the Ocean Nova is that the ship’s sloping zodiac access on the main deck is flush with sea level, meaning there are no potentially dangerous descents or ascents up gangways in rough seas. It’s as simple and easy as it gets to board your zodiac!
A special treat on every Fly-Cruise expedition is the complimentary wine pairing service you’ll enjoy during dinners aboard the Ocean Nova and Sea Explorer. Both boats feature world-class wine selections.
One of reasons to book your Fly-Cruise expedition with Adventures Within Reach is there no credit card processing fees with us. Other companies may assess up to 3.5% of the cost of the expedition but with us, you won’t have to. Past travelers of ours may also receive a returning traveler discount.
The 2015-2016 season is already booked at 65% capacity. If you’d like to join one of the expeditions, now is a great time to do so. 8-day cruises start with a December 2-9 trip, while the last voyage of the season runs February 13-20, 2016. Spaces start at US$9,995/person on the Ocean Nova. Deposits are 20%, with final payments due 120 days prior to departure.
Sea kayaking is optional and highly recommended, with the additional cost being US$895/person. Snowshoeing is also an option. This is an excellent choice for travelers wanting to get some longer walks on the peninsula under your belt. The extra cost for this activity is US$195/person.
Please be sure to contact us if you have any questions or requests regarding your Antarctica cruise options. Antarctica is deserving to be on every nature enthusiast’s and adventure traveler’s radar. If not this season, then hopefully the next. We look forward to helping whenever you are ready!