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chickadee

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:)Greetings. We are scheduled for a Star Princess excursion from Punta Arenas to Antartica in December, 2012. It is a flight over and visit to the meteorlogical station....very expensive. would like to know if anyone has taken this trip and if it is worth it. THANKS

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:)Greetings. We are scheduled for a Star Princess excursion from Punta Arenas to Antartica in December, 2012. It is a flight over and visit to the meteorlogical station....very expensive. would like to know if anyone has taken this trip and if it is worth it. THANKS

 

The chance of that excursion being cancelled is VERY high. Most likely due to weather BUT also due to not enough participation. I sure wouldn't set myself up for disappointment by not making it to Antarctica on this excursion. There have been times when the excursion went anyhow-it just didn't go to Antarctica. Flew around the area, didn't land any place. One time, the plane flew to the Falklands.

 

Do a search back 2-3 years-use words like "princess excursion" + Antarctica. You will see how many times this excursion is cancelled or ends up someplace other than where you think you are going.

 

For the price of this excursion, you can almost actually take another cruise that goes STRICTLY to Antartica and includes some landings. No, you won't get a top of the line stateroom, but you will get to see a lot more than just a quickie trip.

 

Don't know whether you have the time but it sounds like you are on a Valpo/Buenos Aires or Rio trip. So you have already paid for airfare to South America. May want to look into a last minute cruise to Antarctica while you are there. I will bet it won't be too much more than your one day MAYBE Princess excursion.

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:)Greetings. We are scheduled for a Star Princess excursion from Punta Arenas to Antartica in December, 2012. It is a flight over and visit to the meteorlogical station....very expensive. would like to know if anyone has taken this trip and if it is worth it. THANKS

I'd love to tell you, but I'm not scheduled to take the excursion until Feb/Mar 2013. I signed up for it because I think it's worth the chance to set foot on Antarctica. An expedition cruise that includes landings on Antarctica sounded great but it is several times what I am paying on Princess, and is primarily limited to Antarctica (misses the other stops that Princess makes). I recognize that there is a 50% chance of going, but I'm willing to take the chance. The alternative excursion sounds really good, but not one I'd sign up for on it's own--but packaged with a 50% opportunity of getting onto Antarctica, I'm going for it. Since bookings have to be made at least 30 days in advance of the cruise, you should be able to get a pretty good idea of the status of the excursion now (do they have enough people)--and you should know for sure at least 30 days ahead of time, in case you need to make alternative plans for that port.

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I'd love to tell you, but I'm not scheduled to take the excursion until Feb/Mar 2013. I signed up for it because I think it's worth the chance to set foot on Antarctica. An expedition cruise that includes landings on Antarctica sounded great but it is several times what I am paying on Princess, and is primarily limited to Antarctica (misses the other stops that Princess makes). I recognize that there is a 50% chance of going, but I'm willing to take the chance. The alternative excursion sounds really good, but not one I'd sign up for on it's own--but packaged with a 50% opportunity of getting onto Antarctica, I'm going for it. Since bookings have to be made at least 30 days in advance of the cruise, you should be able to get a pretty good idea of the status of the excursion now (do they have enough people)--and you should know for sure at least 30 days ahead of time, in case you need to make alternative plans for that port.

 

You haven't really done your homework. There are TRUE Antarctica cruises for $4300pp in your time frame. THAT IS 7-10 days, NOT just a day. NOT a significant amount more than the VERY expensive, MAYBE excursion for a DAY (last time I looked it was $2700 for ONE DAY). MAYBE not the fancy, balcony cabin. BUT a small ship that has a tremendous amount of ambiance and you REALLY get to see something. You can fly to Buenos Aires or most other South America ports if you REALLY want to for a cheaper price than a cliche South America-Valpo-Buenos Aires/Rio cruise AND the EXPENSIVE ONE DAY Princess excursion to Antarctica added all together.

 

And HAL is doing a bunch of cruises through Antarctica that may not have all the landings as an expedition cruise but sure a darn sight better than a MAYBE with Princess for a one day excursion. Prices start in 2013-2014 at $1800PP.

 

Do yourself a favor. IF you are going to spend the money for airfare to South America, work out something so you are not restricted to the MAYBE Princess excursion which may or may not go to Antarctica for a VERY high price. I can certainly think of better ways to spend my money. I spent 31 days circumnavigating Antarctica 5 years ago. Yes, it was expensive. But in the scheme of things, I paid VERY little for THIRTY ONE days when you are going to pay a VERY HIGH premium for ONE DAY where you may or may not see anything of Antarctica.

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You haven't really done your homework. There are TRUE Antarctica cruises for $4300pp in your time frame. THAT IS 7-10 days, NOT just a day. NOT a significant amount more than the VERY expensive, MAYBE excursion for a DAY (last time I looked it was $2700 for ONE DAY). MAYBE not the fancy, balcony cabin. BUT a small ship that has a tremendous amount of ambiance and you REALLY get to see something. You can fly to Buenos Aires or most other South America ports if you REALLY want to for a cheaper price than a cliche South America-Valpo-Buenos Aires/Rio cruise AND the EXPENSIVE ONE DAY Princess excursion to Antarctica added all together.

 

And HAL is doing a bunch of cruises through Antarctica that may not have all the landings as an expedition cruise but sure a darn sight better than a MAYBE with Princess for a one day excursion. Prices start in 2013-2014 at $1800PP.

 

Do yourself a favor. IF you are going to spend the money for airfare to South America, work out something so you are not restricted to the MAYBE Princess excursion which may or may not go to Antarctica for a VERY high price. I can certainly think of better ways to spend my money. I spent 31 days circumnavigating Antarctica 5 years ago. Yes, it was expensive. But in the scheme of things, I paid VERY little for THIRTY ONE days when you are going to pay a VERY HIGH premium for ONE DAY where you may or may not see anything of Antarctica.

Thanks for the unsolicited advice, but I'll do myself a favor and pass. I've been on about 25 Princess cruises and appreciate what they have to offer. On the other hand, I don't have any desire to take any more HAL cruises. I'm paying about $1800 to travel solo in an OV cabin for 13 days--I seriously doubt that I could get a price/day that is anything close to that on an expedition cruise. I'm looking forward to a wider variety of stops than I'd get on a 7-10 day Antarctic cruise, and I don't view it as a cliche cruise.

 

By the way, your computer seems to have a problem with the caps lock key. It seems to activate on its own periodically so that words come out in all caps unnecessarily.

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Our HAL Jan 2011 trip had three days of slow, scenic cruising of Antarctica - absolutely fantastic - cold but clear and sunny weather.

HAL's excursion similar to yours was cancelled because our stop at Punta Arenas (after the Antarctica cruising days) was cancelled, due to civil unrest - residents were protesting a rise in heating costs - that blocked some roads and perhaps entrance to the port.

Those who were scheduled for the Antarctica flight were very disappointed, but at least had had those three glorious days and been close enough to shore to see (and smell) thousands of penguins, along with seals, whales, and birds like albatross and skua.

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Thanks for the unsolicited advice, but I'll do myself a favor and pass. I've been on about 25 Princess cruises and appreciate what they have to offer. On the other hand, I don't have any desire to take any more HAL cruises. I'm paying about $1800 to travel solo in an OV cabin for 13 days--I seriously doubt that I could get a price/day that is anything close to that on an expedition cruise. I'm looking forward to a wider variety of stops than I'd get on a 7-10 day Antarctic cruise, and I don't view it as a cliche cruise.

 

By the way, your computer seems to have a problem with the caps lock key. It seems to activate on its own periodically so that words come out in all caps unnecessarily.

 

My post obviously went right over your head. IN ADDITION to your 13 day Princess cruise, for just about the price of the ONE DAY shore excursion to Antarctica (which is an iffy proposition at best), you can go on a 5-10 day expedition true Antarctica cruise with landings

 

The current price of the Princess Antarctica shore excursion is $3000pp. There are expedition cruises available from Ushuaia and Punta Arenas for $3500-5,000.

 

You've already paid for airfare to South America for the Princess cruise. NOT expensive for an intra South America plane ticket to get from point A to point B to join an Antarctica cruise and return to where your original plane ticket departs for home

 

IF you have the time, I sure would rather take a few days seeing Antarctica with actual landings as take a huge CHANCE on a one day shore excursion. And the real gotcha on the shore excursion-even if you don't get to Antarctica for whatever reason, you get a DISCOUNT ($2599) trip to Torre de Paine-whoop ti do!!!

 

NO cancellations at the last minute if you find out the plane can't go to Antaractica. From the Princess website: "In the event weather conditions do not permit a landing in Antarctica (historically a 50% chance), an alternate itinerary will be made for a tour to El Calafate and Perito Moreno Glacier. Price adjustment will be done onboard to reflect the revised route - $2599 per person".

 

Or as cnbfrank posted, both HAL and Celebrity are running "drive by" Antarctica cruises at the same price or less than your Princess cruise.

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My post obviously went right over your head. IN ADDITION to your 13 day Princess cruise, for just about the price of the ONE DAY shore excursion to Antarctica (which is an iffy proposition at best), you can go on a 5-10 day expedition true Antarctica cruise with landings

 

The current price of the Princess Antarctica shore excursion is $3000pp. There are expedition cruises available from Ushuaia and Punta Arenas for $3500-5,000.

 

You've already paid for airfare to South America for the Princess cruise. NOT expensive for an intra South America plane ticket to get from point A to point B to join an Antarctica cruise and return to where your original plane ticket departs for home

 

IF you have the time, I sure would rather take a few days seeing Antarctica with actual landings as take a huge CHANCE on a one day shore excursion. And the real gotcha on the shore excursion-even if you don't get to Antarctica for whatever reason, you get a DISCOUNT ($2599) trip to Torre de Paine-whoop ti do!!!

 

NO cancellations at the last minute if you find out the plane can't go to Antaractica. From the Princess website: "In the event weather conditions do not permit a landing in Antarctica (historically a 50% chance), an alternate itinerary will be made for a tour to El Calafate and Perito Moreno Glacier. Price adjustment will be done onboard to reflect the revised route - $2599 per person".

 

Or as cnbfrank posted, both HAL and Celebrity are running "drive by" Antarctica cruises at the same price or less than your Princess cruise.

Thank you for your demeaning attitude. Don't flatter yourself by thinking your post went over my head. While you seem to find everything black and white, my experience is that it is rarely that way. Everyone has their own priorities and preferences. I'll make my decisions, and spend my money, based on mine. You can feel free to do the same.

 

By THE way, YOU really SHOULD do SOMETHING about YOUR caps LOCK key. IT'S almost AS annoying AS someone THAT continues TO offer UNSOLICITED and UNWANTED advice IN an ARGUMENTATIVE fashion.:rolleyes:

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Thank you for your demeaning attitude. Don't flatter yourself by thinking your post went over my head. While you seem to find everything black and white, my experience is that it is rarely that way. Everyone has their own priorities and preferences. I'll make my decisions, and spend my money, based on mine. You can feel free to do the same.

 

By THE way, YOU really SHOULD do SOMETHING about YOUR caps LOCK key. IT'S almost AS annoying AS someone THAT continues TO offer UNSOLICITED and UNWANTED advice IN an ARGUMENTATIVE fashion.:rolleyes:

 

Come on, kids. Stop it. If you don't, I swear I'll turn around the car and take everyone home. I mean it. No ice cream for anyone!

 

Back to OP (whose questions seems to have gotten lost admist the bickering): when we took the Star Princess from B.A. to Valparaiso, several passengers took the flight to see Antarctics, but I recall the flight being limited by weather, and their seeing just a finger of the peninsula, with snow and mud. If it's that important to you to know you've seen at least part of Antarctica (and I can understand it; it's the one continent I've been to, though I couldn't take the possible motion sickness), fine. But don't expect something from a National Geographicfilm. As suggested, post this on the Princess section and you can hear from people who did the excursion.

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