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AdventureSmith Explorations Antarctica Cruise

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, July 19 07:00 AM

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It's an amazing experience to watch the dramatic landscape slide past your stateroom window on a cruise to Antarctica. But AdventureSmith Explorations' new Antarctic Peninsula Basecamp Cruise goes one step further. For the first time ever, cruisers can get off the ship and camp on the frozen tundra.

It might not be as comfortable as your cabin, but you'll be provided with mattresses, polar sleeping bags, and all the other cozy gear required to protect you from the elements. Sailing time is kept to a minimum in order to maximize opportunities for hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, and glacier walking. While on board the 110-passenger Plancius, you'll be schooled by photography experts on how to capture the icy surroundings and amazing wildlife. If you've ever dismissed a cruise as a sedentary vacation, this is the trip that will change your mind.

Antarctic Peninsula Basecamp Cruise, 2012 departures: February 27-March 9, November 22-December 3; 2013 departures: February 25-March 9. Doubles from $8,350 (2012) and $8,790 (2013) per person; 877-620-2875.

Photo: Courtesy of AdventureSmith Explorations

Compagnie du Ponant Antarctica Sailings

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, June 09 07:00 AM

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Sometimes one megayacht just isn't enough. At least that's Compagnie du Ponant's take on the matter. Come November, the luxury cruise company will launch two new ships, L'Austral and Le Boréal, on nine round trips from Ushuaia, Argentina, through the Drake Passage to Antarctica.

The 132-cabin twin vessels double your chance to chill out with Champagne as you sail past whales, penguins, and sea elephants. After a long day of exploring glaciers with experts in hydrobiology and polar wildlife, you can retire to the marble tub in your luxury suite or get a massage in the spa. Because who wouldn't want a little extravagance on an Antarctic expedition?

Sailings from November 2011 through February 2012, from $4,860

Photo: Courtesy of Philip Plisson, Compagnie du Ponant

Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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