How to travel to Antarctica on a budget
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How to travel to Antarctica on a budget

The frozen continent is a dream destination for many travellers, however, the cost of even a short trip is so high that few are able to make it a reality.

The strict legislation in place is to help protect the fragile environment. Ships must adhere to strict rules and conditions, such as limited passenger numbers ashore and a restricted size vessel, which further restricts space and pushes prices higher.

While this trip of a lifetime will never be bargain-priced, the following tips can help you save hundreds, if not thousands.

Shop around

There are over 100 vessels operating trips to Antarctica and prices vary hugely (from around $7,000 for the cheapest cabin on the simplest of ships, to over $50,000 on luxury vessels), while itineraries vary surprisingly little. However, read very carefully about what is included; if you have to pay extra for shore excursions, the cost can increase considerably.

Read the itinerary carefully

With ever-changing ice and weather conditions, no itinerary to Antarctica can ever be guaranteed, but every itinerary should state a certain number of days in which you will be in the vicinity of the continent for possible excursions ashore. Make sure you are aware of how much time will be spent ‘in Antarctica’ and not ‘at sea’.

Some trips offer only one or two days exploring the continent and many travellers have never made it ashore due to poor weather conditions. A few itineraries only offer ‘observation from the ship’- and not even the chance to explore onshore.

Book very early, or very late

Most tour operators offer ‘early bird’ specials to encourage early booking, however, these are typically only available 12-18 months before departure.

If you’re not good at planning ahead try booking at the last minute. While Antarctic cruises usually fill up quickly, operators are keen to sell any un-booked cabins and great offers can be available in the last few months or weeks before departure. ...


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