Antarctica!


Up to $1,300 in Early Booking Discounts from Dreams Unlimited Travel!
Make your Adventures by Disney reservation with Dreams Unlimited Travel NOW and receive an Early Booking discount depending on Adventure and Travel Dates!!
Click Here for Details

Already have an Adventures by Disney reservation booked and want to know if Dreams Unlimited Travel can save you money?
Write to Kevin@DreamsUnlimitedTravel.com

sayhello

Have Camera, Will Travel
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
Antarctica and Patagonia Expedition Cruise - Trip Price Starting From $12,459USD :oops::oops::oops: And that's without the single supplement, which is generally 100% when you're talking cruising! Um, I don't see that happening for me! (Not that I'm planning on any cruising in the near future, anyways).

Sayhello
 

AquaDame

DCL
Moderator
Joined
Jul 7, 2010
I'm assuming these are actually re-worked National Geographic trips, since Disney owns NatGeo now. Interesting!

Sayhello
That would make sense... it doesn’t sound like they’re using the same ship in the Galapagos as National Geographic. I’d bet you’re right though and they’re the ‘naturalists’ mentioned; they also call NatGeo out on some Seine sailings. We’re seriously considering Galapagos for our next big trip but the ship they chose has room for 100 passengers... we’d rather be with fewer people so that’s out.

What are people’s thoughts on the Antarctica one..? Good size ship/itinerary or nah?
 

Mathmagicland

Disneyland - the original since 1955
Joined
Jul 26, 2014
As @sayhello notes, very pricey! Wondering if the ship is exclusive to AbD or if others will also be on board, as it seems like a lot of cabins for AbD alone to sell out the ship as these prices.

Don’t think these are associated with NatGeo as PONANT is mentioned as the cruising partner & thePONANT website doesn’t look anything like the NatGeo one - https://us.ponant.com/

The PONANT website says the ships have a max capacity of 264 passengers. I don’t find anything about how the ships are set up for Antarctic travel, ie stabilizers and ice breakers & etc. TripAdvisor reviews show the ships for these Antarctic cruises also go to Polynesia and the Mediterranean - wonder if that is why there is no mention of ice travel features. I do find lots of Luxurious references, and formal wear is expected for the captain’s dinner. No reference to NatGeo in their expedition and naturalists bios.

I’d probably go with NatGeo, who right now is at the top of my list for this trip. They have two ships at 200+ guests and two ships that have no more than 125 people, & seem built specifically for Antarctic travel with some of the features. While not as luxurious, pricing is cheaper and there are a few single cabins available to avoid the supplement. I don’t need luxury on this type of travel, I need layers of warmth!!!
 

Jess_S

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 14, 2015
According to an ABD insiders facebook group that I am a member of, ABD has rented the entire ship for these expedition cruises. The price is in line with other fancy expedition cruises to Antarctica; I keep pricing those trips and concluding that I need to hit the lotto first. So while I personally can't afford the trip, I guess they think there's enough of a market that they will be able to fill the ship. It still seems like a weird time to expand super expensive trip offerings to me, but what do I know. Maybe everyone who saved money by not travelling for the past year will go all out for their next trip.
 

sayhello

Have Camera, Will Travel
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
As @sayhello notes, very pricey! Wondering if the ship is exclusive to AbD or if others will also be on board, as it seems like a lot of cabins for AbD alone to sell out the ship as these prices.

Don’t think these are associated with NatGeo as PONANT is mentioned as the cruising partner & thePONANT website doesn’t look anything like the NatGeo one - https://us.ponant.com/

The PONANT website says the ships have a max capacity of 264 passengers. I don’t find anything about how the ships are set up for Antarctic travel, ie stabilizers and ice breakers & etc. TripAdvisor reviews show the ships for these Antarctic cruises also go to Polynesia and the Mediterranean - wonder if that is why there is no mention of ice travel features. I do find lots of Luxurious references, and formal wear is expected for the captain’s dinner. No reference to NatGeo in their expedition and naturalists bios.

I’d probably go with NatGeo, who right now is at the top of my list for this trip. They have two ships at 200+ guests and two ships that have no more than 125 people, & seem built specifically for Antarctic travel with some of the features. While not as luxurious, pricing is cheaper and there are a few single cabins available to avoid the supplement. I don’t need luxury on this type of travel, I need layers of warmth!!!
That's interesting that they own NatGeo, but felt they needed to go with a different company for ABD. Maybe they think NatGeo isn't fancy-shmancy enough for their ABD clientele? I wonder what the dresscode is like besides the formal wear for the captain's dinner?

Way out of my price range.
According to an ABD insiders facebook group that I am a member of, ABD has rented the entire ship for these expedition cruises. The price is in line with other fancy expedition cruises to Antarctica; I keep pricing those trips and concluding that I need to hit the lotto first. So while I personally can't afford the trip, I guess they think there's enough of a market that they will be able to fill the ship. It still seems like a weird time to expand super expensive trip offerings to me, but what do I know. Maybe everyone who saved money by not travelling for the past year will go all out for their next trip.
I've saved a bunch by not travelling in 2020 (and probably 2021) but I'm still not spending it on one of these Expedition Cruises! I can think of dozens of other trips I'd rather splurge on than these! Like Australia b2b with New Zealand. Or something like that!

Sayhello
 
Last edited:
  • tink1970

    DCL Platinum
    Joined
    Dec 29, 2012
    I'm pretty sure that Ponant is the company that Tauck uses for some of their small ship cruise tours so it's interesting that ABD is using them as well. Not sure what that means for the future of the Tauck relationship with Ponant, but since the Tauck customer/consumer is very similar to the ABD, it should be a good fit.
     

    Jess_S

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 14, 2015
    Way out of my price range.
    I've saved a bunch by not travelling in 2020 (and probably 2021) but I'm still not spending it on one of these Expedition Cruises! I can think of dozens of other trips I'd rather splurge on than these! Like Australia b2b with New Zealand. Or something like that!
    We are with you on this. We are planning on trying to do an extra trip in 2022 with our stuck at home savings, rather than one super expensive trip. It's hard for me to justify spending so much on one trip when there is so much of the world I haven't seen. (Although I know that the Disney name would be a good selling point for my husband, who is fairly anti-ship, if we came into a large sum of money and could afford Antarctica).
     

    *WDW*Groupie*

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2006
    We were on a Ponant ship with A&K and they are really, really nice ships. The Ponant staff is....interesting. Some were very nice and others were not (my friend had some issues with her cabin and the Hotel Captain was extremely rude to her).

    Food on the ship was okay. Nothing great, nothing awful. If anyone in the party is a vegetarian beware -- they will be eating pasta every lunch and dinner for the entire cruise. My dd refused to eat pasta for almost a year after that trip because she was sick of it. One afternoon our waiter offered to have the chef make her a vegetarian burger, which was a mashed potato patty filled with pieces of carrots and broccoli stuffed in a hamburger bun -- hard pass on that. I will say that the freshly baked breads, french cheeses and daily soup at lunch were amazing. Towards the end of our cruise our ship ran out of fresh fruit, lettuce, yogurt and many other fresh items. I don't eat red meat and found myself ordering the daily fish, which was frozen before being prepared. I understand there's not much that they can do with food on this voyage, but something to be aware of. I'm not a drinker, but my friend said the wine selection was very good (not sure if this is included with ABD, but it was with A&K).

    I will give my $0.02 on the itinerary. Not sure if I'm reading it correctly, but there are only 3 days in Antarctica? Or are there 4? That's a lot of money to spend for just 6 or 8 landings (none of which are guaranteed to take place due to weather). I was thinking we might consider this trip, but I am not interested in spending 2 days exploring Ushuaia -- that seems like a time-filler to me (I'd rather set sail and get an extra day or 2 in Antarctica); Ushuaia is a very small town and is primarily a jumping-off point for those visiting Patagonia or Antarctica.

    Any word on if internet is included? That can cost several hundred dollars if it's not. A&K didn't include it the year that we went with them, but they did the following year.

    If A&K is still running an Antarctica cruise to the Falkland Islands, S. Georgia and Antarctica over Christmas and NYs I'd go with that option over the ABD itinerary due to the additional days on the ship and excursions. Six or 8 times on the Antarctica peninsula just wouldn't be enough for me.

    I do understand the draw of Disney and see they have some really nice family activities onboard, which is great. However the main draw of the cruise is the destination and IMHO they don't spend nearly enough time there.
     
  • Cousin Orville

    Inventor of Air Cooling
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2000
    We were on a Ponant ship with A&K and they are really, really nice ships. The Ponant staff is....interesting. Some were very nice and others were not (my friend had some issues with her cabin and the Hotel Captain was extremely rude to her).

    Food on the ship was okay. Nothing great, nothing awful. If anyone in the party is a vegetarian beware -- they will be eating pasta every lunch and dinner for the entire cruise. My dd refused to eat pasta for almost a year after that trip because she was sick of it. One afternoon our waiter offered to have the chef make her a vegetarian burger, which was a mashed potato patty filled with pieces of carrots and broccoli stuffed in a hamburger bun -- hard pass on that. I will say that the freshly baked breads, french cheeses and daily soup at lunch were amazing. Towards the end of our cruise our ship ran out of fresh fruit, lettuce, yogurt and many other fresh items. I don't eat red meat and found myself ordering the daily fish, which was frozen before being prepared. I understand there's not much that they can do with food on this voyage, but something to be aware of. I'm not a drinker, but my friend said the wine selection was very good (not sure if this is included with ABD, but it was with A&K).

    I will give my $0.02 on the itinerary. Not sure if I'm reading it correctly, but there are only 3 days in Antarctica? Or are there 4? That's a lot of money to spend for just 6 or 8 landings (none of which are guaranteed to take place due to weather). I was thinking we might consider this trip, but I am not interested in spending 2 days exploring Ushuaia -- that seems like a time-filler to me (I'd rather set sail and get an extra day or 2 in Antarctica); Ushuaia is a very small town and is primarily a jumping-off point for those visiting Patagonia or Antarctica.

    Any word on if internet is included? That can cost several hundred dollars if it's not. A&K didn't include it the year that we went with them, but they did the following year.

    If A&K is still running an Antarctica cruise to the Falkland Islands, S. Georgia and Antarctica over Christmas and NYs I'd go with that option over the ABD itinerary due to the additional days on the ship and excursions. Six or 8 times on the Antarctica peninsula just wouldn't be enough for me.

    I do understand the draw of Disney and see they have some really nice family activities onboard, which is great. However the main draw of the cruise is the destination and IMHO they don't spend nearly enough time there.
    Thanks for your thoughts! Antarctica sounds awesome. Our youngest doesn’t quite meet the min age of 10yo. When we’re ready we’ll have to compare Nat Geo, A&K, and ABD.
     

    OKW Lover

    Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle.
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2004
    I'm not likely to ever do one of these new ABD's. They just don't appeal to me. I'm more of a jacuzzi/hot tub kind of person. :)

    But addressing the price point, $12K+ per person is only the start. The cost to fly there (we are 1st class snobs) would be pretty high as well. I'd guess this all adds ups o $40K/couple. Very Expensive.
     

    KashasMom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 28, 2012
    We were on a Ponant ship with A&K and they are really, really nice ships. The Ponant staff is....interesting. Some were very nice and others were not (my friend had some issues with her cabin and the Hotel Captain was extremely rude to her).

    Food on the ship was okay. Nothing great, nothing awful. If anyone in the party is a vegetarian beware -- they will be eating pasta every lunch and dinner for the entire cruise. My dd refused to eat pasta for almost a year after that trip because she was sick of it. One afternoon our waiter offered to have the chef make her a vegetarian burger, which was a mashed potato patty filled with pieces of carrots and broccoli stuffed in a hamburger bun -- hard pass on that. I will say that the freshly baked breads, french cheeses and daily soup at lunch were amazing. Towards the end of our cruise our ship ran out of fresh fruit, lettuce, yogurt and many other fresh items. I don't eat red meat and found myself ordering the daily fish, which was frozen before being prepared. I understand there's not much that they can do with food on this voyage, but something to be aware of. I'm not a drinker, but my friend said the wine selection was very good (not sure if this is included with ABD, but it was with A&K).

    I will give my $0.02 on the itinerary. Not sure if I'm reading it correctly, but there are only 3 days in Antarctica? Or are there 4? That's a lot of money to spend for just 6 or 8 landings (none of which are guaranteed to take place due to weather). I was thinking we might consider this trip, but I am not interested in spending 2 days exploring Ushuaia -- that seems like a time-filler to me (I'd rather set sail and get an extra day or 2 in Antarctica); Ushuaia is a very small town and is primarily a jumping-off point for those visiting Patagonia or Antarctica.

    Any word on if internet is included? That can cost several hundred dollars if it's not. A&K didn't include it the year that we went with them, but they did the following year.

    If A&K is still running an Antarctica cruise to the Falkland Islands, S. Georgia and Antarctica over Christmas and NYs I'd go with that option over the ABD itinerary due to the additional days on the ship and excursions. Six or 8 times on the Antarctica peninsula just wouldn't be enough for me.

    I do understand the draw of Disney and see they have some really nice family activities onboard, which is great. However the main draw of the cruise is the destination and IMHO they don't spend nearly enough time there.
    A couple of issues for me. I agree about the amount of time - too short. And it looks like it only goes as far as the Arctic Peninsula. I'd want to go further south!

    I wonder how this is going to work? You'd have to split your time on shore?

    The International Association for Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO), to which all reputable Antarctic operators belong, set out a number of rules, one of the most important is that there can be no more than 100 passengers ashore at anyone one time.


    As far as the Galapagos, the Ponant ship even 100 passengers is too many. Not the way I'd want to go. Another consideration is that you have to get a COVID test 96 hours prior to arrival in Galapagos. Considering that itinerary is Day 1 Quito, Days 2-5 Amazon, Day 6 Quito, and Days 7-9 are Galapagos, I wonder how they'll handle that.

    We're booked for the Galapagos in June and right now, Ecuador is a level 4 and the 96 hours COVID test is proving to be challenging for us. This trip has been rebooked from last year and I'm thinking we might not be able to go. Oh...and I found out that masks need to be worn on any excursions on the islands. I'm all for masks if required, just wasn't expecting to wear them outside.

    Edited to add: I'm researching the Galapagos mask situation and "Masks required...on ship, on zodiacs, on inhabited islands, and even when hiking if we were close by another person. " Sounds like something Disney should be telling people so they can make an informed decision.
     
    Last edited:

    sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    I'm going to mention (I don't think I've seen it addressed here yet) that the ABD itinerary sails the Drake Passage on the ship (some tours fly). This is a 2-day crossing both ways (so 4 days out of the trip) and can (and frequently does) have VERY rough weather and seas. Anyone sensitive to sea sickness needs to be aware of what they are signing up for, and be prepared either medicinally or however you deal with such things. I've seen reports from people who don't normally have any sea sickness issues spending the entire 2 days in bed.

    https://www.antarcticaguide.com/blog/drake-passage-sea-sickness

    Sayhello
     

    andeesings

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2012
    Did they just release these new ABD's, or did they extend the schedule? I'm looking to book something for summer 2022 but I don't know if this particular adventure doesn't HAVE choices for summer 2022 or they just haven't been posted yet.
     

    Jess_S

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 14, 2015
    Did they just release these new ABD's, or did they extend the schedule? I'm looking to book something for summer 2022 but I don't know if this particular adventure doesn't HAVE choices for summer 2022 or they just haven't been posted yet.
    They release the cruise itineraries before the land itineraries. So, if you are looking to do a land trip in 2022, your choices will be posted later in the spring.
     

    Connect

    TODAY'S HEADLINES


    Top