Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Antarctic Season 2012/2013 commences on 11 November: Expedition Advice and Itinerary Highlights
· Highest ice class, shallow draught, Zodiacs and small ship size for maximum Antarctic experiences
· Behavioural guidelines for visitors; special ecological protection
· Desired route only guaranteed in the case of an early booking
On 11 November, the BREMEN will ‘kick start’ the Antarctic season 2012/2013 with its first expedition cruise. From Montevideo, the ship will sail the maximum 164 guests on board via the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Orkney Islands to the Antarctic Peninsula. The HANSEATIC is scheduled to follow in mid December. For many guests, an Antarctic expedition means fulfilling a holiday dream they may have been planning for a long time. To ensure that the expedition becomes an incomparable and unforgettable experience, gathering in advance as much comprehensive information on this unique destination as is possible, is recommended.
Antarctica is classed among the most sensitive ecosystems in the world and is under special ecological protection. The expedition ships HANSEATIC and BREMEN have been using the more environmentally compatible diesel oil in the polar regions for years and long before a corresponding law entered into force in the year 2011. Beyond this, a code of conduct for Antarctica stipulates behavioural guidelines for visitors. These include that visitors are required to protect sensitive mosses, lichens and grasses and respect a safe distance to animals, for instance five metres in the case of penguins. These rules are communicated by experienced lecturers on board and in the context of time spent ashore.
“You need to take time when visiting Antarctica, as you cannot explore this unique destination on a cruise with a duration of merely one week. Anyone wishing to see more than plenty of water and a bit of ice should schedule around two weeks,” recommends Mark Behrend, captain of the BREMEN, who has been to Antarctica more than 30 times.
“The choice of route and ship is decisive for intense expedition experiences. Solely small ships with few passengers fulfil the conditions for landings. With the BREMEN’s 12 zodiacs, we offer first-hand nature experiences and ideal opportunities in terms of animal observations.
“Only passenger ships with the highest ice class E4 are capable of advancing really far into Antarctica and even moving safely to the south of the Antarctic Circle. Besides the ice class, it is primarily of crucial importance to have on board an ice-experienced ship management and crew, who are able to read the ice and navigate accordingly,” adds Captain Behrend.
It is advisable to book Antarctic expeditions as early as possible – especially on relatively small ships with a capacity of less than 200 passengers. Special routes, for example those beyond the Antarctic Circle, are also traditionally booked up more than one year in advance.
Expedition Highlights in Antarctica:
- Zodiac tour in Paradise Bay and setting foot on the Antarctic mainland
- Landings in colonies with hundreds of thousands of penguins on South Georgia
- Bathing in the hot springs of Deception Island
- Whale watching
- Cruising through the pack ice and to huge table icebergs
- Sailing though the Lemaire and the Neumayer Channel
- Visit to a scientific station
- Landing at Cape Horn
Cruise Example: Expedition Semi Circumnavigation Antarctica with the HANSEATIC from Ushuaia/Argentina to Bluff/New Zealand, 25.1.2014 – 21.2.2014, 26 days, from 17.120 EUR/ 13,360 GBP/ 20,550 USD per person cruise-only, incl. charter flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia