This section is written in a FAQ style with several questions we have been asked, or that we have seen floating around the internet. If you would like to know something in greater detail, please contact our polar specialists. They are experts in booking these trips and have been doing so for years. We hope by reading these questions, you will be able to find the best deal possible for your vacation.
Antarctic cruises usually range between $7,000-$15,000 USD. That being said, you can definitely find cruises above and below this range. These are full packages comprising more than just the costs of the cruise. You may find sites advertising cruises in the $3000 range, but this will not account for things such as travel insurance, visas, as well as the time of year (probably during the non-peak times).
In short, booking a last minute trip to Antarctica could save you money. After all, you could fly yourself to the embarkation point, and hunt for deals locally, then book. These trips can range from $6,500 to even $10,000 and you are not guaranteed several perks a travel agent will provide. You may end up on a larger ship, and due to restrictions on how many people may be on land in Antarctica, you may have a lesser experience as everyone will need to have a turn on the island. Imagine a ship that carries 500 people and the restriction for the island is 130 for each vessel. This could be problematic if you are wanting to hike every day and see the wildlife ashore. You should be wary of the cheaper trips as some of these details may not be disclosed during booking.
The reality is that polar cruises are priced as they are due to the provided services included during the trip. This includes food, the weight of the ship, accommodations, and several other factors. Cruises are not the same as airlines and they book much differently. This means that the sooner a cruise can be certain of its passengers and crew, the more optimal the ship can prepare and plan, which is often reflected in a lower price tag. So yes, you could wait until the last minute, but unless you and your fellow travelers are flexible with time, type of ship, and the cost, it may not be in your best interests. It is for this reason we recommend booking your trip as soon as possible. This way our agents can find you a great trip within your budget, and catered towards the experiences you want.
In addition, the busy season for Antarctica is December and January, and these spots do fill fast. Waiting to the last minute could impact the activities, ships, and times available for travel. Several of our cruises during these times are booked 12-14 months in advance so it pays to book earlier for a greater amount of options. For more information on which activities are available to specific ships and destinations, please contact us with your interests.
Our booking agency will provide a complimentary parka for your comfort on your trip. This will save you some time and money shopping for the right gear before you embark on your trip. Other perks we have offered in the past include assistance with booking your flights from home to your embarkation point. It is not uncommon to receive a free flight to your embarkation point as well. Some cruises are eligible for a nature guide, so be sure to ask about all possible benefits to booking with our agency. You should contact our Polar Experts to see what perks and deals we are currently running.
You may find some differences in cruise pricing depending on the time of year, ship size, and duration of the trip. However, there will be little to no difference in the final price you pay for your spot on the cruise. Prices are set by the operators and therefore negotiation past operator fees and pricing is not possible for any agency. We offer these exact prices and will price match whatever deals you find on our competitors’ sites. We offer the lowest possible fares for Polar cruises and our specialists will work with you to ensure you have gotten the best deal possible. This, of course, will always include the perks we have listed above!
We recommend booking as soon as possible. As mentioned before, we usually fill our cruises a year or so in advance. If there is a particular route, duration of travel, or activity that you are interested in, please contact us to learn more about what we have available. Another thing that a potential traveler could do is book in the offseason. Trips that are outside of peak travel dates (December and January) are typically cheaper so it may help your wallet to book outside of these travel times. These months are very popular as they offer the best window to see Antarctic wildlife. Another way to save some money is by booking your trip in shared cabins. The more sharing (triple and quad rooms) you do on your cruise, the lower the fare will be. This is a great option as you can make some new friends during your trip. The best tip we can recommend is to plan ahead and take steps to book your trip as soon as possible. If you are not sure where to start, our polar specialists are always available to help you. Do not hesitate to reach out!
Ready to find your dream cruise? Have questions? Contact Polar Holidays to schedule a free consultation with one of our booking specialists today!