Bugger me, that cost a lot of money. Fortunately there’s enough cool shit in Antarctica to distract you from your bank account which is probably weeping in a corner somewhere. Anyway, if you’re not here to see a fuck tonne of ice and penguins you’re probably in the wrong corner of the Internet.
Pro tip: If you want to skip random drivel and photos of food and just head to where shit gets real, go straight to Day 4.
G Adventures‘ 11 day Antarctica Classic expedition cruise? Completed it, mate.
Jump to “Useful shit to know…”
BUDGET for one person (based on two sharing).
The tour itself cost £6799.20 each for a Category 3 twin cabin. Apart from that we spent before boarding:
£24.28 each on dinners and lunches not included in Ushuaia.
£4.06 each on snacks to take on board which we ended up not needing.
£2.58 each on more travel sickness tablets and SPF lipbalm.
£4.60 each on a museum in Ushuaia to kill some time.
£47.70 each on extra kit like waterproof gloves and an extra base layer.
Once on board everything is paid in US$, cash or card. We spent (in GB£):
£147.98 each on booze.
£82.30 each on tips.
£10.70 each on postage stamps.
£4.11 on souvenirs.
£10.25 each on a raffle ticket we went halves on.
Grand total: £7137.74 each
Things like travel insurance is, of course, mandatory but we already had that as part of our bigger trip.
Antarctica Days 1 & 2
Day 1 I mean, they’re calling this day one of the tour but you’re in Ushuaia all day. It’s just the day most people are using to get to the city, get settled in and get their bearings. All we had to do was check out of our apartment, shuffle to the middle of town…
Antarctica Day 3
I got to sleep pretty easily thanks in part to the calm waters of the Beagle Channel but it was largely down to the Profergan. My brain had gone into zombie mode so it was easy to coax it into sleep from there but I was lurched awake at around 11.30pm. That’ll be the Drake…
Antarctica Day 4
What a fucking day then! They’d told us yesterday if conditions were good, which was 50/50, that we could land on one of the South Shetland Islands. We tried to keep our hopes in check but it’s difficult, especially when we got our first glimpse of land, plus a bonus iceberg for good measure. It…
Antarctica Day 5
We were jolted awake at 6.30am by the dulcet tones of Mario over the PA welcoming us to the day. Jesus fucking Christ, Mario! A bit of warning would have been nice! We’d set an alarm for 7.30, I’d gotten up for a wee at about quarter past six all smug that we still had…
Antarctica Day 6
Today we’d be heading into the Lemaire Channel which at its narrowest point is about 75 metres and full of icebergs. Mario woke us up over the PA at 7am and we stumbled up to the dining room for breakfast. Wonder if I can pay Mario to record me a personalised wake up alarm for…
Antarctica Day 7
Okay so firstly I need to address the exceptional housekeeping on this ship. You’d kind of expect your room to be refreshed once a day if you were feeling a little bit fancy, right? The housekeeper comes in in the morning once you’re up and about and do the usual. They make your bed, put…
Antarctica Day 8
One of the optional extras you can book is camping on the shore which I’m sure is a pretty fucking amazing experience if freezing to death is high on your bucket list, but conditions have to be right. They’d tried early on in the trip and last night they’d tried again but it had started…
Antarctica Days 9, 10 & 11
Day 9 Well today was an absolute write off. The tablets I’m taking for seasickness absolutely floor me. I actually take them for overnight bus rides because firstly they let me read on the bus without risking pebble dashing the seat in front of me with my partially digested dinner, but they also ease me…
Useful shit to know…
We decided to go with G Adventures due to their reputation as an excellent travel company and we regret nothing. Mario and his team are the most wonderful, knowledgeable people with a genuine passion for what they do. Sarah, a marine biologist, got excited every time we saw a whale. Lyn, the ornithologist’s face lit up with delight when someone mentioned the feeding behaviour of birds. Keith, the geologist, patiently answered our questions when asked, “Yeah but why is the ice blue?” no doubt for the 900th time that season. All of them went out of their way to make sure we had the best time, sometimes when the weather was so against them they had to resort to Plan G. I would 100% recommend them.
- Prices on board were in USD. Everything went on your room and you paid at the end in cash or on card.
- On the last night, once our accounts had been settled we paid at the bar in cash USD. If you didn’t have USD they would change AUD, EUR and GBP for you at reception but you couldn’t use these to pay.
- As an example of prices, small bottled beers were $6, large bottled beers were $8.
- Standard spirit mixers were $6 apart from during happy hour when they were $4. Premium spirits were $8.
- We didn’t buy wine but I believe it was $22 for a bottle and $6 for a glass.
- In the gift shop hoodies were around $75, there was a jacket for over $200, “I survived the Drake Shake” t-shirts were around $22 I think.
- I bought a G Adventures patch for $5. Postage stamps were $2 each which is cheaper than Argentina. You can only post your cards on the boat or at Port Lockroy with these stamps.
- You can get a very unofficial Antarctica passport stamp in the gift shop too. They don’t charge for that.
- Tipping is optional but the industry standard is US$10 to US$15 per person per day. This seemed like a lot at first but by day four at sea you realise the staff are so amazing and you want to just give them all your money.