Antarctica Cruises, 2023

Penguin Editorial credit

Trade in your sunscreen and sandals for icebergs and adventures when you head for the untouched beauty of the White Continent. With less crowded ports, unprecedented expeditions, and the natural beauty of icy waters and wildlife, Antarctica is quickly becoming a top cruise destination. Check out the top three luxury liners that will sail you to the South Pole.

Silversea Cruises: Silver Cloud

silversea butler use
Credit: Silversea

With the highest space-to-guest and crew-to-guest ratios in expedition cruising, Silver Cloud offers unprecedented comfort to travelers looking to explore Antarctica and beyond. Upon arrival, guests are met by Silversea’s attentive staff and a flute of champagne as they are escorted to their suite by their butler. Onboard, guests enjoy four world-class restaurants. At The Grill, guests dine under the moonlit sky and have the opportunity to cook their food on sourced volcanic rock right at the table. Aside from adventure and aperitifs, the ship boasts the serene Zagara Spa, industry-leading service (be met with a towel as you emerge from the pool), and – unique to Silver Cloud – a state-of-the-art photo studio where budding photographers can transform prints from their cameras.

Abercrombie & Kent’s Le Lyrial

Antarctica, Le Lyrial Cruise Ship
Credit: Ambercrombie & Kent

Abercrombie & Kent’s newest charter ship from Ponant is an expeditioner’s dream. Aside from the sleek style and sophistication of the ship itself, and of course the balcony staterooms and suites, the real distinction of traveling on an A&K charter of Le Lyrial is the award-winning team of experts. Akin to an education at sea, A&K’s expeditions are led by the most experienced marine biologists, ornithologists and geologists, along with a shipboard historian who shares tales from Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. When you’re done exploring, your private butler will tend to your every need, from cocktails on your balcony to arranging for your personal hairstylist.

Quark Expeditions

Antarctica for Quark
Credit: Quark Expeditions

Set for sail in 2023 Quark Expeditions unveiled its newest ship in polar explorations. Cutting edge technology, advanced safety measures and a vastly experienced expedition team are just a few reasons to set your sights on this ship. Think of it as a 5-star hotel on the sea. Leaving no stone unturned, guests will have access to dual helicopters, indoor / outdoor dining,  spa and fitness, and a rapid Zodiac.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an ice-strengthened ship and an icebreaker ship?

An ice-strengthened ship is a ship made of steel. These ships are made to get through the ice at Antarctica and the Arctic. Nowadays, most of the ships that cruise to Antarctica and the Arctic are ice-strengthened ships. Ortelius and Plancius Read more »

What kind of clothing should I take during my expedition cruise?

We require you to bring a waterproof jacket and pants (minimum 15,000mm rating) for Zodiac cruises to shore. You will also need high rubber boots for trips on Rembrandt van Rijn. Apart from that, our advice is to take warm, windproof, waterproof Read more »

You must be in good general health, and you should be able to walk several hours per day. The expedition is ship-based and physically not very demanding. Although we spend as much time as possible on shore, you are welcome to remain aboard the ship i

Read more »

21 photos of Oceanwide Expeditions
About Oceanwide Expeditions


Taking you closer to the heart of the polar regions has been our driving passion at Oceanwide Expeditions for over twenty years. Our knowledgeable cruise leaders, committed staff, and thoroughly outfitted vessels are our way of expressing what we care about most: making your cruise to the Arctic and Antarctic truly unforgettable. When you sail with us, you experience a part of the world that is unlike any other. Mountainous glaciers, snow-swept shores, whales and polar bears and vast colonies of penguins make up this world, and they are all part of the surreal ecosystem you can watch unfold before you on your future Oceanwide expedition.


Providing you a travel experience that inspires (and is inspired by) you, that’s what taking you closer to the heart of the polar regions means to us. We get you away from the vessel and into the action as fast as possible: up to two landings per day in the morning and afternoon, with a fleet of inflatable Zodiacs ready to shuttle you past the ice floes and onto the shore. We keep our programs flexible so that you get the most out of whatever surprises nature has in mind. When you sail with us, the cruise is just the tip of the iceberg.


So what exactly is beneath the tip of that iceberg? The pioneering spirit, which all travelers to the polar regions (regardless of age and background) have in common. Guiding our expeditions with passion, tapping into the desire for inspiration and beauty, and always taking you closer to the heart of the Arctic and Antarctic – at Oceanwide Expeditions, that is our promise to you.

Show all polar cruises.

Cruise to Malta in 2018, Experience Valletta, European Capital of Culture


The Valletta 2018 Cultural Program kicks off on the 20th of January 2018: a collection of over 140 projects and 400 events taking place throughout the European Capital of Culture year. Valletta 2018 has invested strongly in a program that sees the involvement of around 1000 local and international artists, curators, artist collectives, performers, workshop leaders, writers, designers, choirs and film-makers. While a number of international artists are collaborating with locals throughout the 2018 program, Maltese artists are travelling to twin European Capital of Culture Leeuwarden in the Netherlands as well as other cities in Cyprus, Japan, Poland and Greece.

The 2018 program is based on a direct investment of €10 million in the cultural sector. At the center of the 2018 program are several infrastructure projects designed to evolve and expand well beyond 2018. Among these are MUŻA, the Valletta Design Cluster, Is-Suq tal-Belt and Strait Street.

Malta’s majestic Grand Harbour is one of the most spectacular ports in the world. A wide stretch of water separating the capital city of Valletta from the historic towns of Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua, the harbour has been a hive of activity for over two thousand years. With its imposing fortifications and vast panorama, Grand Harbour is Malta’s principal maritime gateway and a popular port-of-call for ships that are cruising the Med. The Grand Harbour makes for one of the most dramatic port calls in Europe.

There are several excellent cruise lines that feature itineraries to Malta including:

Azamara Club Cruises with a 10 Night Classic Grand Prix & Med Voyage departing May 5, 2018 from $3,399 and 10 Night Islands of the Western Med departing June 6, 2018 from $4,099.

Celebrity Cruises is offering several sailings to Malta including a 10 night Italy & Greek Islands Cruise from $2,349 ppdo with departures April 27, September 21, and October 12, 2018.

Crystal Cruises offers a 7 Day Ionian Impressions sailing May 4, 2018 from $2,570.

Seabourn offers a 21 day Mediterranean Magic & Malta sailing July 28, 2018 from $9,499 ppdo.

Tauck is offering four 11 day Treasures of the Mediterranean Southbound sailings from $7,690 on June 5, August 7, September 4, and October 2, 2018.

Malta Tourism Authority,

Azamara Club Cruises Announces 2019 Voyages Including New Sailings and a Record 250 Ports of Call

Azamara Club Cruises, a boutique cruise line known for its premier destination-immersive voyages, has unveiled its 2019 itineraries to a record 250 ports of call, including 45 maiden ports, 69 countries, 94 overnight stays, and 145 late night stays. New offerings will include Azamara’s first-ever sailings to Alaska, 9 Special Events Voyages and 9 Country Intensive Voyages.

“Our 2019 itineraries span the world with new ports and destinations such as Alaska and go deeper than ever before into local cultures with one-of-a-kind experiences that you can’t find through local tour services. We are confident that our growing number of first-time and millennial cruisers, along with repeat customers, will find that the new itineraries offer the type of personalized and unique experiences they seek,” said Larry Pimentel, President & CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “With the new itineraries, we are continuing to build upon our Stay Longer, Experience More brand positioning, with more onshore opportunities that allow guests to connect with locals for enriching travel moments, both on land and at sea.”

Azamara is offering a variety of Alaska experiences through 11 voyages each spanning eight to 10 days between May and September of 2019. The line’s new Alaska voyages will feature more time in port with many late night stays, allowing nighttime experiences in this amazing land of the Midnight Sun. Intimate shore excursion highlights include:
· Haines off the Beaten Path – Meet Local: Take a scenic drive to Picture Point along the Chilkat River to visit the artists’ enclave of Mud Bay with a special tour of Extreme Dreams Art Studio – a handcrafted timber-frame gallery filled with unique creations by select local artisans. Then, return to Haines for a guided visit to the quirky yet fascinating Hammer Museum.
· Icy Strait Point – Taste Local: In Alaska’s wildest kitchen, guests can capture the essence of real Alaskan flavors with fresh seafood tasting in a rustic setting hosted by an Alaskan fisherman and an expert filleting demonstration.
· Juneau Dog Sledding on the Mendenhall Glacier – Adventure Local: A dynamic helicopter ride to the Mendenhall Glacier is followed by an exhilarating dog sledding journey with about 300 spirited Alaskan huskies.
· Skagway White Pass Legacy Club Luxury Railway Experience – View Local: Experience the dramatic beauty of Southeast Alaska in opulence while traveling aboard the White Pass & Yukon Route’s luxurious Legacy Club Car, featuring your very own private guide.

With a maximum of 25 guests per on-shore excursion, Azamara aims to “offer a more intimate connection, more local experience and more peace-of-mind. Every excursion is designed and delivered by locals who provide an authentic perspective and individual interaction and are trusted tour operators that provide the highest level of quality, service and convenience”.

The 690-guest ships deliver a true boutique hotel atmosphere with a contemporary design that is inspired by the destinations Azamara visits.

Sailing On Azamara With Your Dreamboat An Ocean-based European Honeymoon Is The World’s Best-Kept Secret



Why limit your honeymoon to a land-based vacation?

Here’s a little-known fact: Taking a cruise for your honeymoon is one of the smartest – and most affordable — things you can do, especially if you sail on Azamara Club Cruises. We recently took a 16-day luxury Azamara sailing from Miami (commencing after a brief but wonderful stay at the Hilton Miami Airport hotel) to Athens, Greece. Extended sailings are a hot new trend — and we have all the insider tips to make your honeymoon, not only fantastic, but unforgettably fabulous – and wonderful for your wallet too. 

Why cruise? First, unlike land-based honeymoons, you simply unpack just once and experience numerous terrific ports of call, with no hassle. If your goal is to honeymoon in Europe – especially the Mediterranean in the summer – and desire a superb warm-weather trip, Azamara should be your first choice. Why fly, unpack, and tote luggage from hotel to hotel, when an Azamara cruise makes traveling from place to place so simple and carefree?

Second, forget your wallet – onboard, all of your meals and drinks are included, including alcohol. A cruise obviates the hassles of finding good restaurants, taking taxis there, paying for dinner and shelling out big tips. On a cruise you can maximize your budget and pay for everything upfront, with no financial surprises.

Third, when you sail on a ship such as the Azamara Journey or Azamara Quest, the staff makes your cruise as special as it can be. Just tell them your requests, and you will see that there is no “No.” Here’s what we recommend, to make your romantic honeymoon cruise all the more fun:

  • Special-order hot fudge sundaes in the Jacuzzi. And with all alcohol included, go ahead and enjoy everything from an Appletini to a Zentini!
  • Bring a special romantic DVD from home, and watch it alone on the big screen in the Cabaret theater some night, complete with popcorn, cocktails and blankets.
  • Amp up your upscale by choosing a Continent Suite – these staterooms have bathtubs (good clean fun for the two of you) and also come with free entrée to the specialty restaurants, complimentary internet minutes, and the services of a dedicated butler.
  • Surprise your beloved with a special meal on your one-week wedding anniversary, with all of your favorite foods. Or surprise your sweetie with a favorite dessert – such as chocolate lava cake with Tahitian vanilla ice cream. Just ask the Executive Chef and consider it done.
  • Don’t forget about taking ballroom-dancing classes and learning the basics from the professional dancers/entertainers on board.
  • Take a moonlit walk on deck at nighttime, under the stars.

Other reasons Azamara Club Cruises is so special:

Azamara Cruises are famous for longer port stays and more overnights, so that you don’t leave ports at the typical 3:00 PM. Instead, you can tour in the morning, shop in the afternoon, dress up for dinner, and go to town in the evening. Let’s face it – St. Tropez is special and completely different at night! Azamara also offers incredible – and complimentary – “Aza-mazing Experiences” to all passengers, such as a special concerts in Ephesus, in a historic amphitheatre, where you can enjoy cocktails, music and more. More so, you can plan your honeymoon around special European events – perhaps you’d like to visit the Monaco Grand Prix in 2016, or watch the golfers at the British Open next summer. These trips and more are available. Azamara’s fares also include all gratuities and tips.

Azamara’s small 686-guest club-like ships also take you to ports where larger ships won’t fit, like in the heart of Marseille, Amalfi, and Crete, or even to the doorstep of Bangkok (while other large cruise lines dock a few hours away).

We also took several excursions thanks to Land Discoveries, and this included a driving tour of Athens, visiting the Acropolis and the famous Plaka.

On disembarking in Athens, even more luxury awaited us at the Athens Hilton, on an Executive Club floor. Here, we were ensconced in a beautiful room, on a special Club floor – with dedicated concierge – who assisted us with dinner reservations and other excursions. Included with your Athens Hilton Club room are daily food presentations including a fabulous full-service breakfast. There’s also a serene spa, huge swimming pool and fitness center on the ground floor. The Athens Hilton is conveniently located to major city sites – including the Acropolis – and is a quick taxi ride to the Plaka, for gorgeous Greek jewelry, soaps, crafts, clothing, souvenirs, and more. We spent about 4.5 hours at the Plaka one Sunday, and with the strong American dollar, bagged tons of bargains. Dinner was either hors d’oeuvres on the Club floor (delicious!) or a five-minute walk to Oroscopo, a local favorite restaurant, where you can indulge in delicious pastas, pizzas, and salads.

Next stop: Shannon, Ireland. We chose Shannon as a final destination for two reasons. First, we wanted to break up our trip home from Athens to Boston into two manageable legs, and Shannon is the westernmost point of Europe, back to Boston. Second, we have also always wanted to stay in a genuine castle, and Dromoland Castle, a member of the Preferred Hotel Group, did not disappoint. This gorgeous five-star property is the type of place where Kate Middleton and Prince William would feel right at home. We’ll put it this way – once, many years ago, we stayed in probably the world’s best suite, at probably the world’s best hotel: The Presidential Suite of the Four Seasons George V in Paris. We never thought we would find a property to exceed that delight – until we discovered Dromoland Castle.

Located on 500 plush acres, with an impressive 18-hole golf course, Dromoland is your own personal Downton Abbey. 

Gold-framed oil paintings on display everywhere? Check. Crystal chandeliers? Check again. One-to-one staff-to guest ratio? You bet. There are also voluptuous tapestries everywhere, and outside, a pony-and-carriage tour of the immense and lovingly maintained property. We were especially impressed by breakfast, offering every delicacy imaginable. It’s amazing – at 8:00 AM you’ll dine on fine crystal and china, served by waiters in tuxedoes. You’d swear you were at Windsor Castle.

The 98 rooms are renovated every five years, says General Manager Mark Nolan. And he ought to know – he so loves his job there he’s been at it for 26 years. Mr. Nolan says that most people discover Dromoland at the end of their journey – as we did after a cruise – and that the average stay is about 1.5 nights. The complaint about that? He says that most guests tell him, “Gosh, I wish we had stayed here another day. We have loved the castle experience.” We can easily tell you – if you’re honeymooning, there’s nothing more romantic than Dromoland Castle. And if you’re outdoorsy, you’ll be pleased to know you can also go fishing on Lake Dromoland, play tennis, walk and jog on idyllic woodland, go bike-riding, and also enjoy clay shooting and falconry.

Spa-lovers will also not be disappointed by Dromoland’s award-winning spa that showcases Voya organic products, which offer a spectacular facial. Try the Spa Honeymoon Package that includes a back, neck and shoulder massage, facial, head massage and scalp treatment, plus pedicure for him and her.

The Castle is situated so that you can easily experience the County Clare surroundings. We took a delightful tour of The Burren, the smallest national park in Ireland, which was formed by limestone 250 million years ago. 

Despite its rocky lunar landscape, the Burren has nine months’ annually of growing Mediterranean and mountainous plants. Next stop was the Burren Perfumery, for handmade organic skincare and fragrances. (I’m crazy about the honey-orange lip balm, the rose otto cream and the clove-and-orange soap). This is a great place for brides to stock up on terrific locally made beauty products, for herself, or as souvenirs. Ladies – you will love it there.

Don’t miss the Burren Smokehouse, where you can procure award-winning organic smoked salmon, made with salt from the Camargue in France, and smoked on oak that imparts a distinctive flavor. Says Birgitta Curtin, who co-owns the smokehouse with her husband Peter: “What we do here is an art and a craft – it’s not a mass-production. We are an artisan smokehouse.” And — Holy smoke! – we can tell you – their smoked salmon is absolutely delicious and perfect to take home with you.

Our Irish piece de resistance was a boat trip to the Cliffs of Moher, featuring enormous cliffs and big-wave surfing!

For more information contact County Clare Ireland –, and remember that the Gaelic word for “fun” is “craic!” May the craic be with you – on your European honeymoon.

By – By Debbi K. Kickham and William D. Kickham, Esq.

Debbi K. Kickham is the author of The Globetrotter’s Get-Gorgeous Guide – the world’s first beauty book for traveling women and brides,

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