The 5 Best (And Unexpected) Things About An Antarctica Cruise.

Published by Darron Toy on


Visiting Antarctica is for many people
a once-in-a-lifetime goal, ambition or dream. I’m about to share with you the
five very best things about going on a cruise to Antarctica. I’m Gary
Bembridge and this is another of my tips for travellers.
I’m currently, as I record this, sailing back from a phenomenal ten days visiting
Antarctica. I’ve been cruising on Silversea Silver Cloud Expedition ship and I
want to share with you, and show you, what’s really good – and why. One of the best things about an Antarctica Cruise is the fact that it is so unique, it’s so
special and you are so privileged to do it. Only about 45,000 people go to
Antarctica at the moment. Very few people get to go
to Antarctica and experience this magical, remote and unusual place. The best thing about it is you’re going somewhere that’s not overcrowded. It’s still
very special and it’s unique. It’s unpredictable. It’s different and you
feel when you’re there that you’re part of something absolutely magical, and
you’re doing something that’s unique and special. That’s one of the best
things for me about Antarctic cruise. It’s not like going everywhere else
where everyone’s been. Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best things about Antarctica are the landscapes and the scenery. Every day I thought I’d seen the best scenery that I was going to see in Antarctica, and we’d move somewhere else and it was an even bigger revelation. It was almost as if every day was building to
something bigger and better. It is absolutely magnificent. We went to
incredibly diverse places. You’re going to see huge soaring mountains, glaciers are every where you look. There are many glaciers, and they are huge and magnificent. It is absolutely magnificent. No matter where you go it is just remarkable, and I don’t know if the images will ever do justice to what you
actually get to see. One of the best things about Antarctica are the Penguins. There are so many penguins wherever you go, and I learned so much about penguins. We mostly saw Chinstrap and Gentoo, because the time of the year that I went. There are no land-based predators in Antarctica, so the
Penguins are comfortable with people being on land. Although the
regulations say you should try and stay 5 meters (15 feet) away from penguins,
they didn’t get the memo and they will move right around you. What I learnt about penguins is their Rookeries and where they live is very far and high up
from the sea, and they have to walk huge distances and climb over quite rough
terrain. They create highways which they use to go up and down. If you get in their way on the highway, or you block the highway, they are not happy at all. One of the big things we were told is avoid the highways and penguins have right-of-way. When they swim it is quite remarkable. They can move very fast and Gentoo can swim up to 30 miles an hour. Sometimes we were cruising along on
the ship and they were swimming alongside the ship, with his kind of
ducking and diving that they do, and they were keeping up with the ship at all
times. They are gorgeously cute creatures. Penguins are everywhere and we just huge amounts
of penguins, and they are absolutely phenomenal. The third best thing about Antarctica is the other wildlife. You see phenomenal amounts of wildlife,
particularly whales. I went towards the end of the season, which is the end
of February and early March, which is a really good time to see whales. We saw
humpbacks up really close. In the zodiacs, humpbacks were swimming around us and diving down getting food. When we were cruising through Gerlache Channel, we saw a huge part of Orcas, also known as killer whales. Pretty much
everywhere we went once were in Antarctica, whales were somewhere around and we could see them everywhere. The other thing that I absolutely loved
seeing was seals, and we saw a wide range of seals. Some of which were floating on the various bits of floating ice, others were on land. We saw the leopard seals, they’re very deadly and are big predators of penguins and they’re also very popular food for the Orcas. We also saw Weddell seals, crabeater seals which
don’t eat crabs and we also saw Antarctica Fur Seals. Seeing these big
amazing creatures is quite remarkable. If you’re into birds you also see a wide
range of birds both on crossing on Drake Passage but also once you get
to Antarctica. The third best thing where the
whales and the seals. The thing that for me was quite a surprise, was the
diversity and range of different expedition experiences on an Antarctic
cruise. We had three buckets of things that we did. The first was basically sail by on the ship. We stayed on the ship and cruised
by things like the massive A57A Iceberg, which is 11 nautical miles long and
five nautical miles wide. It’s 30 meters above the sea and 300 meters
below it. We also cruised through one of the most scenic parts of Antarctica, the Lermaire channel which is famous for
its narrow channel that is blocked for large parts of the year with sea ice.
Absolutely beautiful place to sail through. There’s loads of leopard
seals and other breeds of seals on the various ice floes through
that channel. The second set of expedition experiences are on the zodiacs. The small zodiacs have eight to ten people and one guide, and we headed
out on various excursions staying on the zodiacs. Sometimes it
might be cruising through a beautiful Bay, getting up close to the
glaciers, or perhaps cruising past some of the different research stations that
are down in Antarctica, and of course zodiac cruising around looking for
whales, particularly humpback whales which would come really close to the zodiacs
and dive all around us. Another great example of a zodiac excursion was in
Pleneau Island. This is an area where the currents and the winds drive
and push many large icebergs and you almost have an iceberg graveyard,
or a certainly an area where there’s all these beautiful and unusual ice
sculptures. Sometimes there was be the odd surprise. For example, once
they sent out a zodiac which had hot chocolate, champagne and
cookies. s The third bucket then were zodiac landings. You head off from
the ship on the zodiacs and step on land. There were three main
types of zodiac landings that we did. The first of those were ones that got you
close up to intermingle with wildlife. There
might be penguins, there might be seals and the wildlife were right around as you went on the various walks. The second type were hikes, and
some of these were pretty strenuous. We’d hike up big ice-covered hills. They look
like they’re covered in snow, but they are actually slippery ice. We’d hike up mountains to get incredible views or sometimes at the
top of these hills would be rookeries with penguins, sometimes even with
little fluffy baby chicks. Another great example of a hike was on Deception
Island at Telefon Bay where we hiked right up to the crater of a volcano
which had really destroyed big parts of the island. The other type of zodiac
landing, which I really enjoyed as well, were ones where we either
went and visited a research station, so for example we went to the Kedansky
Station which was a Ukranian station since 1996 and before that it was a UK
station which they sold to the Ukrainians. The people there spend a
whole year working there. Or we’d go and visit an old historic research station.
For example, there was Wordie house, which was quite near, which
was an old research station and now is a museum. The
other type of excursion, which was really fascinating, were historic ones and this
was mostly at Whaler’s Bay on Deception Island where the whaling ships would
come in and on land there were processing facilities for the
whaling industry. It was deserted in the 30s when the prices collapsed of
whale oil and now there are these slightly surreal remnants left behind. The experience of an Antarctica Cruise is phenomenal. It beat every expectation I had. Nothing that I’d read or seen prepared me for the magnificence of
Antarctica. Those are the best things and there are a few worst things. However, the
worst things are never ever going to get in the way of making an amazing
experience. I hope you found this helpful, interesting and inspiring. If you did I’d love you to watch many more of my Tips For Travellers videos. They are designed to help you make the most of your precious travel time and money whether it’s on land, on sea or on the rivers of the world.


39 Comments

Edward Travels · March 28, 2019 at 6:03 pm

We went to Antarctica this year and really enjoyed it. 🇦🇶 We sailed from Buenos Aires to Cape Horn and down the Antarctica. It’s so beautiful and pristine. We love Paradise Bay and the scenery and Elephant Island made me feel sorry for Shackleton Expedition. We saw so many animals. I didn’t think it was too cold in fact it was colder in the USA than it was in Antarctica I could see myself doing this cruise again. I hope that anyone reading this will look into an Antarctica Cruise 🚢 🇦🇶 🛳

Murrie Curl · March 28, 2019 at 6:11 pm

Wow! Fabulous! Extremely interesting 👍🏼💖 I’ve been to Alaska and Iceland but this looks even more magical.

OnWingsOfHope · March 28, 2019 at 6:35 pm

When would you say, is the best time to go?

Maldwyn Roberts · March 28, 2019 at 6:39 pm

By definition of there being light it was obviously summer; how rough was Drake passage to and throw and is there a shipping line offering a complete circumnavigation?

David Farmer · March 28, 2019 at 6:50 pm

Great video Gary. Looks like a add to bucket list.

c k · March 28, 2019 at 7:38 pm

Gary… You have done a million things on my bucket list. I enjoy seeing them thru your experiences 🙂 I can hope to maybe do one or two but I can do the rest vicariously thru your videos. Thank you

Kay S · March 28, 2019 at 8:09 pm

How physically fit must one be do this cruise?

tom m · March 28, 2019 at 8:21 pm

Your enthusiasm comes through loud & clear. What an amazing trip and to do it on a Silversea ship must be fantastic.

Robert Ellis · March 28, 2019 at 8:29 pm

Glad you had a great experience with this cruise. Love your videos.

Patrick Mooney · March 28, 2019 at 10:38 pm

Thanks Gary! This is definitely on my bucket list and has been for a very long time. I'm really happy that you are doing these videos as it reassures me that my goals are proper and achievable. I would love to hear about how it was for you traveling to the ship for embarkation and back home again. I'm guessing that might have been an adventure in itself. Thanks again.

Lawrence Hamm · March 28, 2019 at 11:59 pm

All I could say is WOW!! I would imagine that is very expensive.

ThatOldBiddy · March 29, 2019 at 12:06 am

I really want to go now…

Catherine Marchand · March 29, 2019 at 3:29 am

My favorite, most life changing, cruise ever was three years ago to Antarctica. Thank you for sharing this particular video. One cannot fathom the beauty of Antarctica at every turn: every shade of blue and green.
Worth every farthing.

Jarrad Henry · March 29, 2019 at 5:14 am

Good for you Gary!! Thanks for sharing

Carole Van Luvender · March 29, 2019 at 6:10 am

Thanks Gary! Love the video and your channel! On my bucket list also!

Nicola J · March 29, 2019 at 7:59 am

Looks magnificent Gary

Lemarkipu Sylvers · March 29, 2019 at 9:30 am

Gary all I can say is Wow. Have a few cruises I am going to take this year, but next year I will be there. I am going on a Royal Caribbean cruise in May and since they own Silver Seas cruise line maybe my status will get me some kind of discount or upgrade. Gary love your videos, and greetings from Chicago.

Jennifer Ross · March 29, 2019 at 10:06 am

Great video. Look forward to part 2.

Andrea Gallucio · March 29, 2019 at 11:56 am

Hi does the cruise line supply jackets, boots, pants, etc. Loved the video!

WD Harris · March 29, 2019 at 3:05 pm

You are so fortunate that you got to take this trip. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Renne · March 29, 2019 at 10:02 pm

Love your videos! What would be the best time to cruise to Antarctica?

thejokerspeaks · March 30, 2019 at 12:49 am

I absolutely want to go there. HAL has a 3 week cruise, including fjords of Chile, that I believe spends 4 days there. Would love to sail north of Canada, or Norway, on the other end.

Paul and Carole Love to Travel · April 1, 2019 at 11:36 am

Such an amazing experience definitely on our bucket list!

* · April 1, 2019 at 10:57 pm

By far the best cruise info channel on YouTube… thank you for taking the time to film and put together this information for the world Gary ….as always..safe travels ->—

Julian Sutherland · April 7, 2019 at 2:33 am

I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this excited Gary!

Shirley M · April 20, 2019 at 7:40 pm

Do you have to go on an excursion to see the penguins?

Elena Samalytė · April 24, 2019 at 4:29 pm

Amazng! Which cruise ship was it?

Barb · April 27, 2019 at 1:56 pm

This was by far the best video i have seen thanks

Barb · April 27, 2019 at 1:57 pm

why is everyone wearing a red jacket is this required thanks again for the video

mattcolver1 · May 1, 2019 at 10:25 pm

We're doing an Antarctica cruise this December. 
Our cruise includes camping one night on the continent. Did you spend the night on the continent? I'd like to hear from someone who's done that. The descriptions in our itinerary essentially say we won't get a good nights sleep. I suppose it's like when they asked the astronauts on the Moon to go to sleep.

Watching your video has me amped up for Antarctica, I can't wait.

Rodrigo Nogueira Mota · June 18, 2019 at 11:00 pm

Orcas are also the official mascot of the Vancouver Canucks NHL team

scott917 · July 1, 2019 at 7:11 am

Gary – you sold me! i doubt i will ever go, but if I do it will be because of you. I love penguins btw!

T.B.A.R.R.O. · August 14, 2019 at 9:11 pm

Thanks for this.

I'm saving up to go for the solar eclipse in 2021. The cruzes seem a bit more expensive than what you said. Of course they will make extra bc of the eclipse being viewable near the continent.

One thing I noticed is some are selling out already. Also, the ones without landing parties bury that info near the bottom of big web pages. Buyer beware.

I would love to do the multi-landing tour you did. I will definitely look into Silverseas/Silver Cloud. And… read the fine print.

analchelle · October 1, 2019 at 3:29 am

I would love to go. Silversea cruise is sending me brochures. I need to save a lot of money.

Yoshi · October 17, 2019 at 1:06 am

We took Silversea in The Galápagos. They truly are amazing. This is next on the bucket list. Thanks for the info.

Keith Coutinho · October 28, 2019 at 1:56 pm

Hello sir I want to know whether there is any danger of polar bear while hiking

Cal Commercial Insurance · November 16, 2019 at 2:17 am

This is my favorite video of your so far! I definitely like the novelty of visiting Antarctica. I think it would be a cool thing to tell people that you are going on your honeymoon to Antarctica!

silviu pop · November 19, 2019 at 5:21 pm

why won't they allow average people on Antarctica, not antarctic peninsula which is for tourists?

Defry Yanto · November 20, 2019 at 5:19 pm

if you want to see small antartica you can experience it in alaska cruise which has glaciers

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