My trip to Antarctica is still far off (November 2019) but I'm getting extremely excited (read my last blog - My First Trip to Antarctica, to see what I'm excited about). Here are the top 4 reasons I chose the Ortelius cruise ship for my first time in Antarctica: I wanted to have a very inclusive adventure that would give me the opportunity to be active, stay safe, and experience an intimate environment, all at a good value.
1. Adventure & Bragging Rights
Modern millennial vacations are all about bragging rights. In the past, Antarctica was a destination people would consider doing after visiting most other continents, normally when they were already retired but these days millennials (age 24-38) are looking to visit the Southernmost continent FIRST as part of their "yolo" way of life (you only live once). On the other hand, I meet many travelers age 55+ that are in great shape and want challenging activities, even in extreme weather conditions. Antarctica is also a very good trip for multi-generational families who don't like to sit around and watch but be the protagonist.
The Ortelius gives you something to brag about, along with tons of fun and exploration involved on a single cruise: kayaking, mountaineering, hiking, camping and photography (to share the best pictures of your trip on your social media). The ship serves as your base camp, staying for two or three days at specific locations to serve as a comfortable hub for the wide range of activities.
2. Price & Value (no hidden costs)
You can book this trip to Antarctica for under $8,000 per person, depending on your room preference, (no international flights included) and it covers your kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing, mountaineering, and camping. Rubber boots are lent by the vessel and all activities are included, even port taxes.The only thing extra is the customary gratuities for the crew at the end of the trip.
Because the vessel has the highest ice-class notation (UL1-equivalent to 1A), it's great for exploring in solid one-year ice as well as loose multi-year pack ice. While some cruises have had problems in the past, not reaching their final destination, the Ortelius is a seasoned boat that has done hundreds of trips and provides the highest possibility to venture in remote locations other boats can't, such as the Ross Sea and Franz Josef Land.The ship also features a helicopter platform in case of emergency.
4. Small Passenger Size
Since the number of passengers is limited to 116, it assures no big crowds, giving you more space to breathe and relax. Because it's a small ship it can offer a better quality travel experience because operations runs more smoothly, there are maximum wildlife opportunities, less waiting time, more personalized service, and more opportunities to participate in the various base camp activities.
If you wish to join me on this Antarctica base camp voyage on the Ortelius (Oct 31 - Nov 15, 2019) just give Laura Cahill a call at 800-345-4453 or send me an email. Also, if you are a solo traveler, I'm looking for roommates!
Keeping it wild,
Read my last blog about Antartica to see why I'm so excited for this trip!
All photos by Dietmar Denger, courtesy of the Ortelius