By John Pedler
Last updated on: April 1, 2021 at 7:53 am
It would be a monumental understatement to say that the past year has been difficult for the cruising industry. But the ships are coming back, so it’s time to start organising your trip of a lifetime.
RAA Travel confirms that bookings are already strong for the upcoming 2022/23 season, so we’ve put together 5 bucket-list destinations to help you plan for your next big cruising adventure.
We can’t all go to Mars but we can take a trip to Antarctica. Few places on earth are as other-worldly – or as pristine – as the great white continent. In this vast land of snow-caked mountains, ancient glaciers and blue-tinged icebergs, the only crowds you’re likely to encounter are the penguin colonies.
What better way to explore this frosty wonderland than aboard a cosy cruise ship, fully equipped with all the comforts you need at the bottom of the world? There are several companies that head this far south, including Quark Expeditions, which has a strong focus on both polar regions.
The latest addition to their fleet is the Ultramarine, a small, 199-passenger ship that can squirrel into places not accessible to larger vessels. It even comes with its own helicopters, so you can view this magical wilderness from high above the bergs. Encircled by windows, the ship’s Panorama Lounge and Bar is true to its name, and the main restaurant has a wraparound deck, so you’ll never miss a whale sighting.
The ideal time to visit Antarctica is through the Australian summer. The region awakens in November after the deep chill of winter, when icebergs are at their largest. Whale watching (especially at Wilhelmina Bay) is at its best from December to February and, as the days begin to shorten into March, the sunsets are incredible.