“We want to take conscious travelers closer to nature with a footprint we’re proud of,” said Daniel Skjeldam, the company’s chief executive.
The MS Fridtjof Nansen’s Highlights of the Frozen Continent, a 12-day journey, explores some 20 sites across the Antarctic Peninsula, where guests can take a polar plunge and enter a lottery to camp overnight on the ice. Prices start at $7,875 per person with eight sailings from November 2020 to January 2021.
In April, Lindblad Expeditions’ new National Geographic Endurance vessel will hit the seas featuring 69 cabins, a science command center and a PC5 ice class — it’s the strongest ice-breaking expedition ship of its kind based on an international rating system for polar vessels. Additional amenities include two observation “igloos,” a spa with infinity Jacuzzis and a permanent polar art installation. The new 35-day Epic Antarctica voyage traverses the Antarctic Peninsula, the 200-foot Ross Ice Shelf and UNESCO sites on Australia and New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic islands. Guests travel with a crew of veteran naturalists, a certified photo instructor, and an undersea specialist equipped with a hydrophone and underwater video camera.
“Travelers will encounter almost every imaginable form of ice and observe endemic species found nowhere else on earth,” said Trey Byus, the company’s chief expedition officer. All-inclusive rates from $48,800 with departures on December 27, 2021 and January 26, 2022.
Astronomy buffs should keep their eyes on the 93-cabin Ocean Victory, launching this December. The travel outfitter Adventure Life is taking guests to witness next year’s total solar eclipse on Dec. 4 at a prime position just east of South Orkney Island. (The rare celestial show won’t happen again in this part of the world until 2061.) Other trip highlights include viewing breeding penguins on South Georgia Island, Weddell seals on Cuverville Island and Lemaire Channel’s orca whales.
“There will always be a team of experts on board from historians to biologists to glaciologists to help educate guests on their surroundings,” said Ms. Curry, Adventure Life’s travel planner. The 15-day voyage starts at $13,000 per person on a full-board basis.
Next year, Quark Expeditions will christen the 102-suite Ultramarine, and its two twin-engine helicopters and 20 easy-access Zodiac boats. Guests will be able to test their mettle on a variety of heli-adventures from hiking to flightseeing, all of which explore areas only accessible by air.