Have you ever considered a basecamp Antarctic cruise but been unsure of what it might involve? No two cruises are exactly the same because of changing weather conditions, moving ice, and the unpredictability of wildlife, but this post should provide some insight into the kind of adventure you might experience.
GETTING THERE IS HALF THE FUN
Cruising Drake’s Passage can be an adventure in itself. Sometimes the sea is completely welcoming, while other times it can kick up a fuss. If you’re prone to sea sickness, this is the place where it’s most likely to occur. You can prepare by taking motion sickness tablets in advance, and combat the symptoms by watching the horizon.
On this part of the journey, you may be accompanied by dolphins or whales, while albatross and petrels give you a fly-by to see what you’re up to.
THE ANTARCTIC CRUISE BASECAMP
At some stage, your cruise ship will find a sheltered bay to anchor in. This is your basecamp. The ship becomes the centre point for a variety of activities.
Kayakers take to the water and paddle around the bay, exploring the shoreline and maybe an iceberg or two if they’re close-by. It’s also a good way to get a bit closer to seals lazing away the day on the ice.
Scuba diving is a real treat, but it’s important to note that this is the one activity for which prior experience and qualifications are required. You will see firsthand the almost-alien life that exists under the ice, such as isopods and sea spiders. Perhaps the biggest thrill of all is to swim through clear water turned vibrant cobalt blue by the light reflected from nearby icebergs.
There’s plenty of wildlife for the landlubbers too. A variety of hikes differing in length and difficulty are offered on every basecamp Antarctic cruise. Penguins gather in their thousands and they tend to be just as curious about you as you are about them. Remember to bring your camera for any up-close encounters initiated by your new waddling friends.
There’s also the opportunity to camp out overnight. You’ll be set up with a tent and a super-warm sleeping bag and given the opportunity to drift on ice under the Antarctic skies.
Oceanwide Expeditions are very open to customer suggestions and can be flexible to accommodate special requests. In the past they’ve arranged an on-shore wedding. Considerations should be made for the climate, but it’s an incredibly romantic part of the world in which to say ‘I do’, and your fellow passengers will likely be more than willing to cheer you on from the deck of the vessel.
Just as with the outward Antarctic cruise, the homeward journey is as much part of the adventure as the basecamp. Your Captain will go out of their way to bring you to points of interest, including a chance to kayak where the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans merge (weather permitting).
During your cruise, remember you’re on duty too. You might spot whales and dolphins and, if you inform your Captain, they may be able to approach for a closer look.
Everybody is moved by something they see on one of these cruises, whether that be the fearless curiosity of the penguins, the strength and beauty of the whales, or the remote silence and pristine environment.
There really is something for everyone, but what will it be for you?