Look, It's a Cruise. But It's New, and It's Antarctica.

Icebergs, right ahead. Plural.

By Diane Rommel

 
Look, It's a Cruise. But It's New, and It's Antarctica.
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28 June 2017

Unless you're a scientist, explorer, or penguin, this new passenger ship may be the best way to see Antarctica: the 70-passenger MV Magellan Explorer, coming in 2019. 

The folks at tour outfitter Antarctica XXI say it's the first passenger ship purpose-built for exploring in the continent in 14 years. You'll be able to travel however you like, with a choice of 50 rooms, some set up with twin beds — push ’em together if you're bunking with someone close.

If you're looking to travel with larger groups, 16 rooms can double-up to create suites. And on a trip where views are more than half the fun, the huge majority — 42 — offer "large window and a private balcony," while the remaining eight will have to make do with a porthole — or plan on spending some time in the observation lounge. 

Obviously, you're going to want to get off the ship, and when you do, you'll have a choice of polar activities including kayaking and snowshoeing. 

The new ship is currently being built at a Chilean shipyard, and the precise itinerary is still to come. Existing tours from Antarctica XXI, though, take in incredible sites like Aitcho Island (home to penguins, seals, and giant petrels) and Port Lockroy (keep an eye out for whales). Rates are also to come — but for an idea, a single spot on one of the company's eight-day 2018 tours runs from around $16,000 to $20,000, depending on departure date. 

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