Today may be the last day of life as we know it.
When Harry and I played our destination game a few weeks ago, I knew Antarctica was a must-do on our trip. In fact, it was the place where I put my very first sticker indicating that this was the #1 destination of choice for my RTW. It has been a life goal of mine to step foot on all seven continents. Now that we have a rough itinerary in place, it’s time to start making that goal a reality.
We have discovered that with Antarctica travel, it’s never too early to start booking your trip. In fact, we were surprised that some cruises for next year’s 2015 season were already sold out. Since there is no time like the present, here are the steps we took for planning our Antarctic Expedition:
Our first stop was the website vacationstogo.com. Here, you may find some very good discount rates on a variety of worldwide cruises. Additionally, the site provides information on repositioning cruises, which we may later explore as a budget-savvy option to get us from one port of call to another. Learn more about repositioning cruises here.
Initially, we had seen some pretty decent rates on this site for the French cruise liner, Le Boreal. The ship is fairly new and has some fancy looking rooms. Upon inquiring, cabins in our price range were already sold out. The best rates they could offer for us for this particular ship were around $10,000 per person. This was a wake-up call that we better start getting more aggressive with our planning.
We then contacted Adventure Life Travel knowing that previous RTWers have used them for their Antarctica travel. We worked with an agent who helped find the most luxurious option for us within our budget. In addition, she had knowledge on which were the more experienced crews and which ships would get us the most time on land. Here is the link to the package we liked.
We did some research and through this post were delighted to see that Quark Expeditions was voted the best budget line for small ship cruises. Currently, there was a promotional discount of $1000 off per person which helped with savings too. Therefore, we were quoted approximately $6995 per person for a 12 day trip on the Sea Adventurer through Quark Expeditions. For everything that the package includes, including the necessary traveler’s insurance, we felt that this was a great value for our trip.
So tomorrow, we will have the opportunity to officially secure our booking for our Antarctica cruise for this winter. Even writing this now gives me a surge of excitement, but also some fear too. By saying yes to the trip, we are officially committing to this big life change. For me, saying yes will also commit me to my career break (school is still in session when our Antarctic cruise departs). Once the money is involved, in my opinion, there is no turning back. I guess that’s a good thing because at this point, we are too deep in. Besides, I know I am now ready to take the polar plunge.