This is the stuff of dreams for daring, adventure travellers exploring the mighty white continent at the bottom of the world, called Antarctica.
When the luxury Crystal Endeavour made its first voyage from Ushuaia last week, all eyes were on its new toy – the two-guest plus pilot submersible – which made its debut diving 98 metres under the sea offering incredible “up-close-and-personal” views of marine life such as vibrant sea sponges and colourful starfish.
No special equipment or diving gear was needed – just a pilot who took guests on an undersea journey for a truly unique way of experiencing the icy polar waters.
The German-engineered, polar-class, Crystal Endeavour was on the first of eight 11-to-19 night Antarctica voyages that departed from Ushuaia, Argentina, crossed the famed Drake Passage before exploring South Shetland Islands, the Weddell Sea, Falkland Islands and South Georgia. There was ample time for passengers to roam the Antarctic peninsula, home to huge colonies of penguins, seals, whales and a multitude of sea birds.
Crystal president Jack Anderson said: “Exploring Antarctica is an unforgettable, life-changing experience and we encourage our guests to join us as we set a new standard in luxury expedition cruising.”
The line’s Antarctica sailings include Zodiac landings, sea kayaking and expedition hikes with “maximum flexibility” so that the captain of the ship and his team of expedition leaders can decide on “unplanned expedition days” when the weather is favourable.
The 200-passenger Crystal Endeavour’s Antarctica season runs through to February 2022 before sailing to Cape Town to continue with her expedition adventures.
On board, guests will enjoy butler-serviced suites, Michelin-inspired dining options such as Umi Uma, the first Japanese restaurant on an expedition ship, fine Italian cuisine at Prego, a glass-covered, two level solarium with pool and Jacuzzi, spa, fitness centre, wrap-round promenade deck and Vintage Room casino – the only one on an expedition ship.
All Antarctica guests will have complimentary round-trip charter air flights and pre-cruise luxury accommodation in Ushuaia and post-cruise hotel stay in Miami.
Prices for a 19-night Antarctica itinerary departing in January 2022 including private charter flights start from $46,838 per person.