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November in Antarctica

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We are looking at a cruise on Hurtigruten in November. I've read that it is still very icy, and that you won't see any whales until December or January. Does anyone have experience with going during November?

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One of our trips was in November and we saw whales. It's not that you won't see any, just that the number varies over the season. Whenever you go you will see wildlife and landscapes to amaze you. Enjoy!

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Thank you, I appreciate your response. After further checking, I missed an earlier thread that discussed this issue. We can't go in November now, so we'll do a different cruise this time around. We might need to wait until 2020 or after to do this.

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If you intend going in 2020 then you should look to book this year when brochures are released if you want the best choices and best prices.

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Off Deception Island last November it was described by the experts as whale soup. All at the same time we had sperm whales, humpbacks and 2 killer pods. I won’t forget that couple of hours, brilliant.

 

 

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If you intend going in 2020 then you should look to book this year when brochures are released if you want the best choices and best prices.

 

Not necessarily true. I just booked a S. Georgia and Falklands trip that leaves in November 2018. I am getting 40% off the rack rate. I am not saying that you should not book 2 years in advance but there are probably will be options closer to the sail date.

 

DON

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The best choices: dates, cabins and itineraries, are available when the brochures are issued, as are early booking discounts and lowest air fares. There may be late offers but they are not always available and most would be lucky to find one which matches their wants and needs.

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In November there is more ice around. Fantastic you are thinking. Well check your ship carefully. We didn’t get to PortLockroy because of too much ice. But the ship, while being ice strengthened, was not really built for the job. If it has a bulbous bow then crunching through quite thick ice will be a no. Go for a proper expedition ship.

Examples, Hapag Lloyd have the Bremen and Hanseatic. I believe the Hurtigruten ships and National Geographic ships will get through. I am sure people on here can clarify.

 

 

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Hurtigruten's Fram is ice class 1B so well suited to pushing through ice. We have spent several hours on our Antarctic and Arctic trips out on deck watching the ice sheets give way when her Captains have decided it would be more fun to take the (safe!) direct route rather than sail around. If I remember correctly, she is quite happy in year-old, metre-thick, sea ice. Glacial ice is something different for ships as it is much harder.

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I’ve been to Port Lockroy in November but we missed it in December. The ice wasn’t a problem at all for the ship, but the wind had blown too much loose ice up against the shore, so the landing boate couldn’t get through.

 

My November trip was one of the first of the season that year, and we did miss some landings because they were still fully iced in, but in exchange we got to make first tracks at several of the landings we did achieve. With so many ships these days, I wouldn’t really count on that anymore, but it was certainly a magical experience.

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