A favorite vessel among expedition small ship cruisers is the 132-guest M/V Expedition that plies southern polar waters. Small ship cruise expert AdventureSmith Explorations reports rare remaining cabin space (including for double, triple and quadruple occupancy) for Antarctica cruises in the 2016-2017 season, including the favorite months of December through March.
Guests favor this vessel because it’s the fastest ship in polar waters since receiving a $10 million engine overhaul. Logging in at 17 knots means less time crossing Drake Passage and more time exploring Antarctica. They also appreciate a large, dedicated mudroom that keeps their outdoor gear organized and dry, including the high-quality waterproof expedition parkas provided on every sailing. Also M/V Expedition cabins are among the most spacious in the industry, starting at 160 square feet. A Category 5 cabin provides a luxurious 320 square feet and steam showers. All these factors add up to an incredible value aboard the Expedition, especially with a current special offer saving up to 10% on all three Antarctica itineraries aboard the Expedition for the 2016-17 season, if booked by March 31, 2016.
Aboard the Expedition, guests are encouraged to get out on hiking and zodiac expeditions that are included in the rate and to get into the spirit of kayaking ($999) and camping ($349) add-ons. This vessel offers a 10-1 passenger-to-guide ratio aboard zodiacs, and its guides are titled CEOs, Chief Experience Officers. This means their knowledge and interaction with passengers are at the forefront of the company ethos.
Following are the Antarctic programs aboard M/V Expedition that AdventureSmith has rare cabin space available on high-demand departures, but cabins are selling fast. On all these routes passengers will witness some of the planet’s most impressive wildlife and dramatic landscapes. Colonies of gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguins; Weddell, crab eater and leopard seals; and orca, humpback and minke whales in the cold Antarctic waters are key players in this theater.
Antarctic Peninsula Aboard Expedition (also known as Antarctica Classic) is an 11-day journey from $5,699 per person, double. This and a 13-day Antarctica Extended Expedition Cruise focus on the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. Departures in 2016 are Nov. 12-24, Dec. 12-22, and in 2017 Jan. 2-12, Jan. 30-Feb. 9, Mar. 4-14 and Mar. 13-23.
Quest for the Antarctic Circle is a 14-day journey from $9,799 per person double. This itinerary sets off southward along the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, passing colossal icebergs and countless colonies of penguins while attempting to cross the polar circle. 2016 departure is Dec. 21-Jan. 3 and in 2017 Feb. 8-21, and Feb. 20-Mar. 5.
Spirit of Shackleton aboard Expedition is an incredible 21-day journey from $11,899 to the Antarctic Peninsula, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, often called “the Galapagos of the poles.” A true wildlife adventure in the world’s most remote wilderness! 2016 departure is Nov. 23-Dec. 13 and in 2017 Jan. 11-31.
Why book now? Smaller ships are slowly being replaced by larger expedition vessels in Antarctica. As ship sizes increase it becomes harder to provide as intimate an experience with meaningful time ashore for all guests, said Todd Smith, founder and director of AdventureSmith Explorations (http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/), who has positioned his team as the international experts in cruising Antarctic waters by small ship.
“Antarctica has been ‘discovered’ by mainstream travelers and is on many ‘must-do’ vacation lists,” said Smith. “The short season matched with limited departures aboard small ships mean most cruises sail at full capacity. We suggest that travelers book nine to 12 months in advance for the best selection of cruises, cabins and activities. This also helps ensure the best price.”
In addition to its trademark personalized customer service, AdventureSmith has reissued its in-depth Antarctica Cruise Guide to help travelers decide what kind of polar experience and style of ship to book. Also on the AdventureSmith blog are primers on the differences between Antarctic and Arctic polar expeditions and how to best choose an Antarctic cruise operator.
For information on all of AdventureSmith’s small ship cruises, itineraries, availability and 2016-2017 reservations, Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or visit http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/.