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Exceptional Antarctica

Exceptional Antarctica

Antarctica is a once in a lifetime experience. The experience was even more enjoyable cruising with a 5 star yacht style luxury cruise ship, Compagnie du Ponant's L'Austral. The ship is well equipped for this type of cruising seeing it is ecofriendly and has received the international ‘cleanship’ label. All stateroom cabins and suites have views of the ocean and most have private balconies. The rooms have a contemporary modern feel and a spacey with an added bonus that while having a shower you are able to see the landscape go by as the bathroom has a part glass wall. The public areas consist of a panoramic lounge, gym, theatre, and two restaurants. Both restaurants serve buffet breakfast & lunch and then for dinner one restaurant has 4 course a la carte dining and the other a buffet for which a reservation is required.

On my cruise the clientele was predominately French speaking which meant the lectures and announcements were made in French and English. During the first two days of the cruise you are absorbed in varies lectures and presentations about the area and to also prepare you for the shore excursions to the white continent, whether they are landings or zodiac cruising. The landscape is just amazing and its ever changing depending on the weather and lighting. From ice glazers, to caked on snowy mountains & ice bergs ranging from small to large and crystal blue waters, weather dependant. Had close encounters with adele, chinstrap and gentoo penguins. Also wedell and leopard seals. Along side the ship we had whales and orcas swimming while albatross and various other birds flew along guiding us to our next destination. Every day you wake up to a different scenery and adventure as to what the day will hold. The itinerary does change due to weather and ice conditions which is communicated during the day and the afternoon catch up session each day. Standing on deck in the middle of the Antarctica Peninsula you have to pinch yourself that you are actually here a place you dreamed of visiting your whole life, it brings a tear to your eye just being here. It is beyond words that can describe this place, you just have to experience it yourself……..

View the spectacular photos from Irene's trip.

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