5 Differences Between Antarctica21 and Other Polar Cruise Companies
It’s no secret – there are several great polar cruise companies that offer expeditions to Antarctica these days. The question is, which company is right for you? We’ve rounded up the 5 unique advantages setting Antarctica21 apart to help with your decision.
Antarctica21 pioneered the Antarctica Fly-Cruise model in 2003. That means hundreds of departures over 14 years, focusing exclusively on perfecting the unique combination of air access and sea exploration, catering to thousands of adventurous travellers in the process. Learning from our success, other copycat companies have now begun offering fly-cruise options, but we were the first and we are the leader. And there are many benefits to that.
Antarctica is a continent surrounded by oceans. Reaching the continent requires either sailing across the ocean or flying over it. One of the key reasons we fly over the Drake Passage is because a typical crossing takes two days at sea. For those who are short on time, or wish to spend more time exploring Antarctica instead of getting there, flights can save up to four days of (often uncomfortable) time at sea.
Another reason to fly over the Drake Passage is personal comfort and wellbeing. A two-hour flight on our BAE-146 aircraft, particularly suited for landing and take-off in Antarctica, gets you to the White Continent in comfort. The sailing alternative has you endure potential bouts of sea-sickness during the 2-day southbound and the 2-day northbound crossing of the often-stormy Drake Passage.
The size of the ship you choose for your expedition is important as it determines the type of experience you will have in Antarctica. To manage environmental impact, the Antarctic Treaty limits the numbers of visitors on shore to maximum 100 at one time. If your ship carries more than 100 passengers, your operator will have to organize travellers into groups for every excursion and you will have to take turns. Antarctica21’s ships carry a maximum of 71 guests so everyone can go ashore at the same time. This means that you will spend more time ashore, rather than waiting your turn to disembark the ship.
Avoiding the sea crossing of the Drake Passage saves you four days. Rather than being sea-sick on a ship, you can spend that valuable time exploring Patagonia. A visit to mountains, glaciers, and lakes of Torres del Paine National Park, near Punta Arenas, combines beautifully with our Antarctic Air-Cruises, for example. And you can get it all done within a two-week period.
Polar travel has become increasingly popular in the last two decades, and there are some great companies to choose from to make your dream trip a reality. When choosing the perfect polar cruise company for your adventure, you will want to do your research and ask the right questions based on your style and expectations.