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Old Jul 23, 12, 11:58 am   #1
 
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Using points for Antarctica cruise?

Does anyone know if it is possible to use points to book a cruise to Antarctica? I can't seem to find any previous threads about this. I'm interested in point --> cruise redemption, not using points for cash value (like Cap One, for instance). Thanks!
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Old Jul 23, 12, 12:20 pm   #2
 
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I think it's unlikely, since most of the cruises down there aren't part of the major cruise lines IIRC. Even if it was possible, it would almost certainly be a massive amount of points.

That said, I did a trip there my senior year of college, and it's an absolute highlight of my life. Simply extraordinary.

ETA: I seem to recall hearing the you could often find last minute prices that were much lower, if you were willing to go on like 2 weeks notice.
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Old Jul 23, 12, 12:36 pm   #3
 
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As a travel agent, there are no main cruise line that does a true Antarctic cruise. I know some will go through the region like Princess buts its a quick sail through with no stops.

An adventure cruise like Linblad, Hurtigruten, National Geographic offer a true Antarctic cruise. Any questions, send me a PM.
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Old Jul 23, 12, 5:49 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by sk8uno View Post
Does anyone know if it is possible to use points to book a cruise to Antarctica? I can't seem to find any previous threads about this. I'm interested in point --> cruise redemption, not using points for cash value (like Cap One, for instance). Thanks!
Like other folks already told you, there are no programs that would allow you to redeem on Antarctica "cruise". Moreover, those "cruises" are not luxurious. Many of the ships are hastily redesigned Russia's-built research vessels, so Spartan would be more like it, and they sail through a very, very rough sea. What you could do, however, is redeem miles for flights to Ushuaia--the Argentine's southernmost city where most of those cruise lines sail from.
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Old Jul 24, 12, 12:51 pm   #5
 
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Little different than what you want, but I earned 10k miles taking a cruise with Quark expeditions to antarctica last year.
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Old Jul 24, 12, 1:08 pm   #6
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Originally Posted by dagaetch View Post
I think it's unlikely, since most of the cruises down there aren't part of the major cruise lines IIRC. Even if it was possible, it would almost certainly be a massive amount of points.

That said, I did a trip there my senior year of college, and it's an absolute highlight of my life. Simply extraordinary.

ETA: I seem to recall hearing the you could often find last minute prices that were much lower, if you were willing to go on like 2 weeks notice.
I've thought hard about this, however it was always the cost that prevented me from doing a tour. At any point did you think it was just a mountainous area with snow?

Also what animals did you see?
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Old Jul 24, 12, 1:15 pm   #7
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Originally Posted by sk8uno View Post
Does anyone know if it is possible to use points to book a cruise to Antarctica? I can't seem to find any previous threads about this. I'm interested in point --> cruise redemption, not using points for cash value (like Cap One, for instance). Thanks!
Are there even any points -> cruise redemptions anywhere which don't equate to cash value? I know of lots of ways to redeem points for cruises, but they all "devaluate" to simply being a redemption of the points for the cash value of the cruise. Thus no "high value" to be gotten out of it (the way you can because hotel point prices are not proportional to hotel cash prices, and airline miles prices are not proportional to airline cash prices).

If I'm mistaken, please point me to some existing thread(s) about cruise redemptions not proportional to cash value.
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Old Jul 24, 12, 1:16 pm   #8
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Has anyone tried the Qantas flight over Antarctica?
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Old Jul 24, 12, 1:21 pm   #9
 
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I've thought hard about this, however it was always the cost that prevented me from doing a tour. At any point did you think it was just a mountainous area with snow?

Also what animals did you see?
Um...I'm sure the thought crossed my mind at one point or another, but it left just as quickly. The most impressive part to me (bear in mind this is several years ago) was the simple fact that humanity doesn't exist there. Yes, I know that we have research stations and such, but there's absolutely no doubt when you're visiting that we don't belong and aren't part of it. It's really quite something, especially if you live in a big city and spend most of your time surrounded by people. The scenery is consistently stunning, and incredibly expansive. Some of our pictures from the trip are at http://www.udel.edu/globalagenda/ant...ages/showcase/ if you want to get an idea. If you're the nautical type at all, it's fun to hear about the adventures getting there as well (the Drake Passage can be a major downside - just go into it assuming you'll get seasick, and there's a chance you'll be lucky and won't).

animals...we saw a bunch of different types of penguins and seals; whales; birds. Interesting fact that surprised me: penguins stink! They poop wherever they want, including on each other, and it smells terrible. But very unimportant .

it's an incredibly expensive trip, and I can't honestly say that it was worth the expense compared to other trips that money could have sent me on. but I don't for one second regret going, and I'd jump at the opportunity to return.
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Old Jul 24, 12, 1:47 pm   #10
 
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it's an incredibly expensive trip, and I can't honestly say that it was worth the expense compared to other trips that money could have sent me on. but I don't for one second regret going, and I'd jump at the opportunity to return.
It sounds like you CAN say it was worth it!
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Old Jul 24, 12, 2:07 pm   #11
 
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It sounds like you CAN say it was worth it!
lol...true, I suppose. I've been lucky enough to feel the same about several trips that I've taken. Still, when a trip costs $10k+ for one person, it had better be pretty damn special.
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Old Jul 24, 12, 4:06 pm   #12
 
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Looked into it several times, but by TCC rules you have to touch down to count a country so a flight down from South America is more likely the route I will go. To be honest, the Australian flight would probably be a more fun experience than landing for a day.

Quote:
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Has anyone tried the Qantas flight over Antarctica?
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Old Jul 24, 12, 4:26 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagaetch View Post
Um...I'm sure the thought crossed my mind at one point or another, but it left just as quickly. The most impressive part to me (bear in mind this is several years ago) was the simple fact that humanity doesn't exist there. Yes, I know that we have research stations and such, but there's absolutely no doubt when you're visiting that we don't belong and aren't part of it. It's really quite something, especially if you live in a big city and spend most of your time surrounded by people. The scenery is consistently stunning, and incredibly expansive. Some of our pictures from the trip are at http://www.udel.edu/globalagenda/ant...ages/showcase/ if you want to get an idea. If you're the nautical type at all, it's fun to hear about the adventures getting there as well (the Drake Passage can be a major downside - just go into it assuming you'll get seasick, and there's a chance you'll be lucky and won't).

animals...we saw a bunch of different types of penguins and seals; whales; birds. Interesting fact that surprised me: penguins stink! They poop wherever they want, including on each other, and it smells terrible. But very unimportant .

it's an incredibly expensive trip, and I can't honestly say that it was worth the expense compared to other trips that money could have sent me on. but I don't for one second regret going, and I'd jump at the opportunity to return.
Stunning pictures. Just stunning!
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Old Jul 24, 12, 6:07 pm   #14
 
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Stunning pictures. Just stunning!
+1.........thanks for sharing
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Old Jul 24, 12, 6:33 pm   #15
 
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Has anyone tried the Qantas flight over Antarctica?
Yes, both QF and LA flights SCL-SYD. The view depends on good weather and is actually very brief, but I have managed to see it several times on this route.
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