The ozone layer is thin in Antarctica, with plenty of reflective ice. Protective sunglasses and high SPF sunscreen and lip balm are essential.
Small ship expedition cruise. Min age 18.
Variety of cabin types, with en suite or shared bathrooms.
Solo travelers welcome. Single cabins available with surcharge.
Accomm., all meals, listed activities, expedition leader, rubber boots,
High quality buffet breakfast, 3-4 course set lunches and dinners with fresh bread and pastries.
Responsible tourism: Antarctica, Falklands and South Georgia cruises
Reducing Emissions and Waste: Our eco-conscious approach means we travel to remote and pristine destinations differently than others in the industry. Our vessel burns Marine Gas Oil (MGO) – a clean burning fuel with a low emission factor- and despite being far more expensive, it is the only fuel we consider using. We also reduce consumption and emissions by tailoring our itinerary to operate at a more leisurely pace, rather than going full steam ahead at all times. Our smaller Zodiac landing crafts are more lightweight and nimble and they are powered by low-emission engines as well. We offer a carbon offsetting option for clients and make a collective effort to minimise excess waste on board, disposing of everything on land.
On Board Efforts: We strictly adhere to all international policies regarding disposal of waste at sea and only use recycled and acid free paper on board and in brochures. Clients are also encouraged to recycle and reduce waste by providing a re-usable water bottle for the trip. Cabins are fitted with eco-friendly amenities and even the laundry is done with green detergents.
Staff and Client Preparation: We have developed a comprehensive staff training and accreditation program which ensures that our staff is fully aware of responsible tourism issues and that they are kept updated with refresher courses. From safety to environmental sustainability, our team of lecturers, specialists and crew are able to pass vital information on clients in briefings. We also send extensive preparatory packs out to every group including guidelines from the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), of which our local operator is a full voting member. We emphasise that the protection of this pristine yet fragile environment and its wildlife is at the forefront of what we do.
Charity: The South Georgia Heritage Trust do conservation work for important historic sites such as the Grytviken church in South Georgia and they run a habitat restoration project for the area. A particular problem for the wildlife, and particularly birdlife, in the area is the threat of foreign species such as rats, which were introduced by whalers over the last two centuries. On each voyage, we conduct passenger auctions and a portion of the money goes towards keeping these threats at bay. This is driven by our ‘leave no trace’ policy, which includes being vigilant with litter disposal and avoiding approaching animals any closer than 5 metres.
UK Office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Community: Although this tour is predominantly concerned with dramatic natural landscapes and the many species of whale, penguin, seals and seabirds which inhabit these areas, we try to benefit local people where we can as well. Before we set out in Ushuaia, clients are encouraged to explore and to use local businesses. We also stop at Port Stanley in the Falklands, where we spend a day visiting churches, museums and mingling in the pub. By supporting these small cultural sites and businesses, we are giving necessary income and employment alternatives to some very remote communities.
Local Sourcing: We plan to take advantage of local products as a means of boosting communities local to us and reducing our carbon footprint on the whole. This is evident in the meals provided, which are created with sustainability in mind. Seafood, for example, will always be fresh and purchased based on the responsible management of the fishery for each particular species and will observe guidelines similar to the MSC and Audubon Society. Our gift shop only sells items which have been thoroughly researched as to where an item has come from, whether it has been produced fairly, what it is made of and distance it has had to travel.
Reviews of Antarctica, Falklands and South Georgia cruises
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.
I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 26 Apr 2016 by Roger Bilder
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
The highlight of the trip for me was always going to be South Georgia, which has fascinated me for years and entirely lived up to my very high expectations. What a stunningly beautiful place! We were extremely fortunate as we approached the island because there was no cloud cover and we could see the full magnificence of the snowy peaks in all their glory - a rare occurrence apparently. During three whole days around this incredible island, we made a numerous landings and really got the feel of the place. Wandering the beaches among the penguins and seals, and later the whaling station at Grytviken (where One Ocean had arrange a little church service and cemetery visit in honour of Frank Wild, Shackleton's right-hand man) was quite an experience. I'll never forget it.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
It cost a heck of a lot of money, but worth every penny as it really was a trip of a lifetime. The seasickness struck me low as soon as we sailed out of the Beagle Channel into open waters, but it only took a day to reach the outer islands of West Falkland for our first zodiac landings and some amazing wildlife spotting. Getting up close to nesting albatrosses was a huge thrill. I was warned that there isn't much to see or do in Ushuaia (although I found the museums weren't bad, and the food at the Hotel Albatros was excellent) so I took a trip out to the Tierra del Fuego National Park, which is outstanding and made an excellent start to the trip - I'd recommend that side trip when passing through Ushuaia.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
The boat staff made quite sure that we all knew exactly how to stay safe and avoid any unfortunate impacts on the local flora and fauna - and ourselves. Their love of and enthusiasm for South Georgia and Antarctica was obvious and infectious - one of the team is well-known for devoting much of her own time to South Georgia's very necessary environmental initiatives, such as the huge rat eradication programme which (fingers crossed) seems to have worked as the island's bird populations are now recovering fast. I certainly came away with a huge respect for the polar and sub-polar environment and all the efforts that go into protecting it. The ships staff were brilliant, hugely knowledgeable and they bent over backwards to make sure every passenger got the utmost out of the voyage and plenty of well-chosen landings in Antarctica. We certainly got to spend time in some fantastic Antarctic locations, and as well as getting to know penguins of several species in their millions, we must have caught glimpses of just about every bird type found in those parts – the ships wildlife expert could spot and identify a bird that to the rest of us was just a dot on the horizon! As well as numerous landings, we were able to see whales, and get close to ice floes, on zodiac cruises - cold, wet and wonderful.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
In a nutshell, the trip could not have been better. It was fantastic. 5 star, 10 out of 10, couldn't have been better. I'm not sure when I'll be able to make another "exotic" trip, Responsible Travel will for sure be top of my list when I do. Thanks all of you.