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Is there a cheap way to get to Antarctica?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Is there a cheap way to get to Antarctica?

1. Posted by madpoet (Respected Member 413 posts) 7y

I've been looking at ways of getting to Antarctica- mostly cruises- but they are all frighteningly expensive ($5,000 and up, not including the flight to Buenos Aires or Ushaiua (did I spell that right?). So, is there a cheap, backpacker-budget way of getting there that anyone knows about?

2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 7y

Well, and this might sound a little strange: fortunately not. Tourism to Antarctica has risen to proportions which are too much for that delicate continent.
If prices go down and competition becomes greater, I guess it would be overrun. Just like the Galapagos, where there is some relief since a while with a maximum number of boats/people allowed to make it just sustainable...but barely.

I know that's a controversial opinion, but it's the somehow comparable with lowcost flights: mainly cities become overrun with people just looking to for cheap booze (ok, that was just an example of Brits to Riga).

My case: don't make it too affordable in general.

I have been looking at it as well though (hypocrytical isn't it) and I found one for €2700 (almost $4000). Still, if you do have loads of time and are not in the high season (for example November just before the high season, or March just after) you might find empty places while shopping around in Ushuaia (right spelling;)) for something like $2500 if you are lucky.
I met a person who did that while I was travelling around South America. Another person went along with a Chilean boat which supplied several people along the coastline, but obviously, that's not a tourist boat and there are few landings and additional info provided on board.

Still hope you will make it there Madpoet! Have fun and be sure to keep a blog

3. Posted by madpoet (Respected Member 413 posts) 7y

Quoting Utrecht

Well, and this might sound a little strange: fortunately not. Tourism to Antarctica has risen to proportions which are too much for that delicate continent.
If prices go down and competition becomes greater, I guess it would be overrun. Just like the Galapagos, where there is some relief since a while with a maximum number of boats/people allowed to make it just sustainable...but barely.

I know that's a controversial opinion, but it's the somehow comparable with lowcost flights: mainly cities become overrun with people just looking to for cheap booze (ok, that was just an example of Brits to Riga).

My case: don't make it too affordable in general.

I have been looking at it as well though (hypocrytical isn't it) and I found one for €2700 (almost $4000). Still, if you do have loads of time and are not in the high season (for example November just before the high season, or March just after) you might find empty places while shopping around in Ushuaia (right spelling;)) for something like $2500 if you are lucky.
I met a person who did that while I was travelling around South America. Another person went along with a Chilean boat which supplied several people along the coastline, but obviously, that's not a tourist boat and there are few landings and additional info provided on board.

Still hope you will make it there Madpoet! Have fun and be sure to keep a blog

Well I sort-of see what you're saying about too many people spoiling the natural beauty of Antarctica, but it also sounds a little elitist to me. And, yes, hypocritical, since you plan to go there, too. So, only rich people should be allowed to see Antarctica?

[ Edit: Edited on 28-Sep-2009, at 08:22 by madpoet ]

4. Posted by makka (Respected Member 248 posts) 7y

Quoting Utrecht

I have been looking at it as well though (hypocrytical isn't it) and I found one for €2700 (almost $4000)

Can i ask where you found a cruise that cheap?

5. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 7y

Quoting makka

Quoting Utrecht

I have been looking at it as well though (hypocrytical isn't it) and I found one for €2700 (almost $4000)

Can i ask where you found a cruise that cheap?

Well, it's with a Dutch company called Askja. This is the link with the prices
2695 euro
It is for a 11 day trip to the Antarctic Peninsula, excluding flights of course. It is in the simplest cabin, shared with three people. But food and trips ashore are all included

6. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 7y

Quoting madpoet

Quoting Utrecht

Well, and this might sound a little strange: fortunately not. Tourism to Antarctica has risen to proportions which are too much for that delicate continent.
If prices go down and competition becomes greater, I guess it would be overrun. Just like the Galapagos, where there is some relief since a while with a maximum number of boats/people allowed to make it just sustainable...but barely.

I know that's a controversial opinion, but it's the somehow comparable with lowcost flights: mainly cities become overrun with people just looking to for cheap booze (ok, that was just an example of Brits to Riga).

My case: don't make it too affordable in general.

I have been looking at it as well though (hypocrytical isn't it) and I found one for €2700 (almost $4000). Still, if you do have loads of time and are not in the high season (for example November just before the high season, or March just after) you might find empty places while shopping around in Ushuaia (right spelling;)) for something like $2500 if you are lucky.
I met a person who did that while I was travelling around South America. Another person went along with a Chilean boat which supplied several people along the coastline, but obviously, that's not a tourist boat and there are few landings and additional info provided on board.

Still hope you will make it there Madpoet! Have fun and be sure to keep a blog

Well I sort-of see what you're saying about too many people spoiling the natural beauty of Antarctica, but it also sounds a little elitist to me. And, yes, hypocritical, since you plan to go there, too. So, only rich people should be allowed to see Antarctica?

I somehow had expected this of course, but I guess you know that is not directly what I mean. It is just a consequence of it. All I am saying is that prices are still high because it is just an expensive place to go. I mean, it's usually 10-12 day fully inclusive trip to an isolated continent. And I am not rich by the way, I just work;)
And if it were the same amount of people/boats for like 200 euro, I would be fine that everyone can visit the place. I don't have any problem with that.

7. Posted by makka (Respected Member 248 posts) 7y

Quoting Utrecht

Quoting makka

Quoting Utrecht

I have been looking at it as well though (hypocrytical isn't it) and I found one for €2700 (almost $4000)

Can i ask where you found a cruise that cheap?

Well, it's with a Dutch company called Askja. This is the link with the prices
2695 euro
It is for a 11 day trip to the Antarctic Peninsula, excluding flights of course. It is in the simplest cabin, shared with three people. But food and trips ashore are all included

Ohhhh the temptation!!

Thanks for the link ... food for thought! ;)

8. Posted by marlis (Travel Guru 1167 posts) 7y

Trips to Antarctica will never be cheap.
Ships are small(45-100 passangers only) can navigate in this region and the Saison is with 4-5 month very short.
around $ 4000.00 is the min. or basic price you have to deal with.
Last minut deals are about 50 %-75% discount prices,but since there are the expensiv cabins not sold out you will not find a offer for less then $ 4000.00

to find out which ships go to Antarctica and when you can look at this

tierradelfuego.org.ar

it shows you all the ships who are registert in Ushuaia for the Antarctic saison 2009 -2010
In the mainstreet in Ushuaia is a travell office where you can also see the offers for last minut deals.

9. Posted by madpoet (Respected Member 413 posts) 7y

Thanks for the replies. It still seems a little beyond my budget, but maybe once I have seen all the more accessible and less-expensive places, I'll splurge on an Antarctic cruise (if it hasn't all melted by then, what with global warming). ;)

Post 10 was removed by a moderator