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If you love penguins (who doesn’t ?) get close and personal to your well-dressed friends. Antarctica – The “White Continent,” ice so white it’s blue, glaciers look like sideways apartment buildings, a journey where you are awestruck by its beauty. Yes, it’s expensive, weather dictates port stops, and takes over 12 hours to get there! But whether single or married this trip is a once in a lifetime experience. You won’t even miss shopping (we know that’s hard to believe.)
The only way to get to Antarctica is by ship. Some itineraries include an overnight in either Buenos Aires (read our BA post Dec 27th) or in Santiago, Chile. A modern yet quirky city, Santiago has spectacular scenery (encircled by the snow capped Andes) & bohemian charm. Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego known as the “Land of Fire” is the major jumping off point for Antarctica cruises.
Picking your ship – Adventurous & brave? Opt for a smaller ship (100 people) like Lindblad, National Geographic Explorer or Clelia II. Heavy on lectures & zodiac launches, you will set foot on Antarctica. But beware… seas are notoriously rough. Smaller ship = bigger waves! Roller coaster experience helpful! If your image is more romance, dressing for dinner & eating caviar, opt for a mid size ship like Silver Seas or Seaborne Quest, or larger Crystal, Regent or Celebrity Infinity. You will be sipping champagne & playing roulette as the glaciers go by! On a budget? Choose Quark Expedition.
Note: all ships are fully stabilized & come equipped with state of the art navigation systems & technology. Come prepared with seasickness pills, ginger, neck patches & wrist bands. Green is a lovely color but not on your face!
Does being married or single influence Where2Stay? Do you want your hotel hip & modern or do you prefer a quiet and romantic hotel? Sometimes you might want to “marry” the two. You will see an M (married), S (single), or an MS, (married/single) next to each hotel. Call American Express travel to reserve
Hotel Lenox – this first boutique hotel to open offers a wood & stone lobby, jacuzzi’s in the room and breathtaking views. (MS)
Where2Stay Santiago, Chile
Grand Hyatt Santiago – Located in the business part of town offering large guest rooms, lagoon like pool and a three story spa. (MS)
Ritz Carlton – With South America being a great “economical” destination, this Ritz is inexpensive by American standards. City views, dine at Arola serving up tapas & DJ’s playing on the terrace. Swim the indoor pool encased with glass to view the city and mountains. (MS)
The Aubrey – Located in the gourmet neighborhood of Bella Vista this intimate hotel was once owned by a major political family. Perfect hideaway (15 rooms w/private terraces) surrounded by gardens; you may not want to leave your poolside chair. (M)
W Santiago – Signature W beds & a Munchies Box already separates the hip W Hotel from any other. Visit the rooftop Red2One Bar, enclosed in floor to ceiling glass windows and dance away at Whiskey Blue, Rande Gerber’s first South American venture. (S)
Where to begin… Imagine hundreds of thousands of penguins, many so close you can touch them (but don’t), six species of seals, nine of whales, birds… it’s a safari of marine life. Take any excursion the ship offers to Punta Arenas, Puerto Madryn & Puerto Montt. Beauty and remoteness.
Ready to “Face it”