AdventureSmith Explorations, a travel company that secures matches between clients and expedition ships, has reported deep discounts in cruises to Antarctica this coming winter.
Todd Smith, founder and director of AdventureSmith, speculates that travel bookings slow down as the U.S. presidential election approaches. He explains that August through November is the main booking season for Antarctica small ship expeditions.
"Every four years there seems to be excess cruise capacity to Antarctica and consequently ship owners provide deep discounts, but this year seems special and a great opportunity for adventurous travelers seeking to check off a bucket list vacation to the bottom of the planet," Smith adds.
Antarctic Peninsula Basecamp Cruise is geared toward travelers interested in off ship including kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing, camping, mountaineering, scuba diving and photography workshops. Departure dates are Nov. 22 to Dec. 3 and Dec. 3 to 13, 2012. The rate per person, based on double occupancy before the discount, begins at $8,050.
The Antarctica Peninsula with South Shetlands Cruise allows travelers to go aboard a research vessel, which departs on Dec. 3 to 13, 2012, and Dec. 23, 2012 to Jan. 1, 2013. The double occupancy rate per person before the discount starts at $8,050.
Mawson’s Antarctica, beginning and ending in New Zealand, is a 19-day expedition that commands sightings of elephant seals to wandering Albatross of Antarctica. Departure dates are Dec. 20, 2012 to Jan 7, 2013, and Jan. 7 to 25, 2013. The double occupancy rate per person before the discount starts at $17,430.
Antarctica Air Cruise is a whale photo safari that comes with a $1,500 per person air credit for a Dec. 7 to 13, 2012 departure. The per person double occupancy rate starts at $10,800.
National Geographic the White Continent is a journey with Lindblad Expeditions that comes with a $1,400 air credit or a $700 air credit and two complimentary days in Buenos Aires. This has the finest naturalist program of all Antarctic cruises. Departures are Nov. 27 to Dec. 10 and Dec. 7 to 20, 2012. The per person double occupancy rate starts at $11,740.
The programs are discounted up to 30 percent and others offering significant charter air savings.