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Royal Princess Flying/Landing Antarctica SHORE EXCURS


anflecky

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We're booked on the Jan 10, 2005 Royal Princess South America cruise. One shore excursion from Punta Arenas describes flying to and actually landing in Antarctica (spending 3 hours at a research station). I'm wondering 1) if anyone has taken this shore excursion and what you thought, and 2) how likely it is to be canceled due to weather &/or lack of sign-ups, and 3) does any other cruise ship offer this? (I've called Oceania and Celebrity- their websites only describe the fly-over shore excursion, which my husband rejects, due to his obsession with landing on a new continent!)
Any info/input would be appreciated!
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We took the Royal from Buenos Aires to Ft. Lauderdale on 2/23/04. We didn't take that tour. But the people at our 8 person table did.
And for the same reason your husband wants to go on it. They live in a cold part of the US. Their remarks were. Glad they went. But it was
kind of like where they live. They over packed for it. It was a lot of time getting to it and back for the short time they were there. For the little they saw. Said the roads were gravel
and they visited a couple different countries outpost location. They expected it to be colder.
From their reaction they seemed disapointed. It
was iffy even as late as our cruise was that they were going to go. Hope this helps. Hopefully you'll get other responses. We really enjoyed this cruise. The countries and the people were a great experience. I truly enjoyed the whole cruise.
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Thanks for your response! I don't think anything will prevent my husband from wanting to set foot on Antarctica, even if it turns out to be a disappointment. I think his business partner is now thinking of joining us on this cruise-for the same reason!
Thanks for the information. We're really looking forward to this cruise. Alexandra
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Hi,
We are sailing on the Marco Polo in Feb. 2005. One of the reasons we chose this ship is that we like smaller ships but more importantly we will land on the Antarctic Peninsula as well as some of the islands.I would really feel cheated if I couldn't go ashore.

Now this will be our 6th continent.
Fran
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  • 1 month later...
anflecky: we are on the cruise with you 1/10! What an exciting idea, to take a flight to Antarctica...we had the chance to go down to work at McMurdo but turned it down since our Furbaby would not be allowed to go! Maybe this would be our chance to see it...
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[quote name='franu']Hi,
We are sailing on the Marco Polo in Feb. 2005. One of the reasons we chose this ship is that we like smaller ships but more importantly we will land on the Antarctic Peninsula as well as some of the islands.I would really feel cheated if I couldn't go ashore.

Now this will be our 6th continent.
Fran[/QUOTE]

The above quote is SOO true. If you want to see South America (for me-4 times a year via plane for business and Mercury-Valparaiso to Rio-2002), stick with the cruise ships. If you really want to see Antarctica, take a cruise to Antarctica.

It is really TWO separate vacations. The flyovers are frequently cancelled or diverted and the short time on land on the shore excursions is not worth my money. $1500.00 pp for an 8 hour trip is 1/2 of what we are paying for a 12 day voyage from Ushuaia to Antarctica, with landings on the continent EVERY day. We are going in January 2005 on a Russian ship.
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I agree with Greatham, I would be disappointed to just flyover when I can take a cruise just to Antarctica. With that in mind my son and myself are sailing on Quark Expeditions Orlova on Dec 26 and we cant wait.
All the best!
Labe
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  • 2 months later...
After taking a cruise just to Antarctica a few years back, I can see how an excursion, flying in for a few hours, might be a disappointment.

You have to be in the region for a while to really experience it.

To read my narrative and see some pictures, go to:

[url]http://www.afn.org/~afn11300/narrate.html[/url]

The smaller the ship, the better, in my opinion. We had no set itinerary and our captain would go where the action was. If he saw some whales, we would approach and stay with them until they disappeared.

We crossed the Antarctic circle which was not expected. We cruised into solid ice, got off the ship (all including crew) and played on the ice and an ice berg that had frozen in the floe.

Read my narrative to get a real feel for it.

Enjoy.

Tippy.............[img]http://messages.cruisecritic.com/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Anflecky -

We sailed on the Royal Princess from Valparaiso to B. Aires on 01/12/04 and we took the flight which landed on King George island. It was expensive but we would not have missed it for the world. We actually spent about 4 hours on the island. We got back to Punta Arenas nearly 2 hours late. The flights are of course subject to weather but the day we flew it was fantastic. The view of Tierra del Fuego flying down was spectacular. We could see fjords and glaciers and rugged mountains. On King George island we landed at the Chilean base. The landing and takeoff are in and of themselves an adventure. The runway is gravel and at one end is a dropoff to the Russian base. At the other end is a high cliff down to the sea. The bases are located around a bay which was quite spectacular. The day we were there it was around 36 degrees F with light breezes in the early part of the day which picked up a little later. The sky was a Carolina blue and the contrast of colors was amazing. After visiting the Russian station we took a zodiac across the bay to a penguin colony. I wrote a review of our cruise which I posted on the Cruise Addicts website. If you have any questions I would be happy to try to answer them.

Again, when we received the shore excursion info that said we could fly and land in Antarctica, for my DH and me it was a no brainer that we had to take the trip. It was certainly one of the highlights of a voyage filled with so many wonderful sights.
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Hi,

I notice that there a number of people here who will be on the 1/10/2005 Royal Princess South America cruise. Anyone interested in sharing any Portcompass tours on shore? We are a group of 4 who have really enjoyed using private tours in the past.

Lynn
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  • 2 weeks later...
Kwaj girl,

I have posted some details on the three tours we are taking with Portcompass on the board for our 1/10/2005 cruise.

Alexandra, you should get on that board as well to "meet" some others who will be on the same cruise. Are you planning to do any private tours in any of the ports?

Lynn
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