There is no such thing as a "typical" expedition day but we have prepared the following as a very rough guide on what you could expect to get up to on a full expedition day.
7:30 – Get Up
8:00 – Breakfast
8:30 – Gear up
9:00 – First Landing
11:30 – Back on-board
12:00 – Lunch
12:45 – Lunchtime Lecture
14:00 – Second Landing
17:00 – Back on-board
18:00 – Next Day Briefing
19:00 – Dinner
20:30 – Leisure Time
22:00 – Bed time or out spotting the Northern Lights?!
There are two key seasons for polar expeditions:
- Arctic – Polar bear – May to September
- Antarctic – Penguins – November to March (see details further below for month to month highlights)
Are you guests looking for “full-on” expedition (less creature comforts on the ship, but with a world-class expedition team who will offer the guests maximum time out in the Zodiacs, such as with One Ocean Expeditions), or is luxury defined by the ship’s amenities to the clients (i.e. suites and butler service, such as offered by Silverseas for example). Scenic’s new ship, the Eclipse, offers the supreme height of luxury.
Or perhaps they would like something in the middle, and are not worried about the fuss of having butlers, but would still like a comfortable ship, high quality cuisine with plenty of Zodiac landings etc (Quark Expeditions / Aurora / G Adventures, Polar Latitudes for example)?
For the more price conscious, larger ship sizes usually mean lower per person rates. Furthermore, they offer a softer expeditionary style, with more facilities onboard – it can be an ideal natural crossover for guests who are more used to traditional ocean cruising (Hurtigruten’s new Roald Amundsen & Fridtjof Nansen are excellent new 500 capacity vessels for example)
Clients may prefer the smallest possible ship sizes for a more intimate experience. A vessel offering a capacity of 200 guests or under will allow maximum time out in the Zodiac excursions (logistically it’s much quicker to get everyone out of the ship with smaller group sizes, meaning more time ashore etc). Vessels such as Silver Explorer (Silverseas), Greg Mortimer (Aurora), RCGS Resolute (One Ocean) and the Island/Hebridean Sky (Polar Latitudes) all offer high-end experiences and are sub 150 capacity.
Please note, that locations for landings are always down to the expedition leader & Captain. They will evaluate the local weather, wildlife and sea conditions to decide where to take your guests.
Many supplier websites will talk about specific landing locations, with exotic sounding names (i.e. ‘Paradise Bay’ or ‘Deception Island’) but there is never a guarantee your guests will visit these places. There are hundreds of landing locations in each respective region, and I always recommend your clients are aware from the outset to have a degree of flexibility with the itinerary and to trust the expedition team to take them to the best possible locations – there are many unknown destinations which are equally spectacular. Your guests may even get to land in locations no guests have even before…