We were never going to go to Antarctica. We knew the price for a trip started around $5,000 per person for 7-10 days and those were the absolute cheapest options. Initially, we set out with a compromise in mind, The Falklands. The Falklands are more developed, easier to get to, and feature lots of wildlife in a very remote place. However, while looking into it during research for Chile and Patagonia it didn't seem like something that was going to work for us either. I cursed Jordan (because everything is always her fault) vowing that I'd require the full monty at some point in the future: a trip that included The Falklands, South Georgia Island, and Antartica. A trip with a staggering price points from that start at $13,000 and quickly work their way into the $20,000 range, per person. That was the death of our dreams for exploration of the isolated polar regions near the southern tip of South America.
While thinking about booking flights to Africa in Chalten, I mentioned that maybe we should check last minute deals for Antarctica. I checked a few websites, but really it wasn't going to be option. Unbeknownst to me, Jordan had gone farther and emailed a company known for having deals. The following day, after returning from our exhausting 12 mile hike, she had an email in her inbox. The prices were... incredible. We had the option to do the full monty, for less than just Antarctica usually costs. This was interesting, when would we have the option to do this so cheaply in the future? Would we want to spend the over $30,000 that it would almost undoubtedly cost us to do it at that time?
We shelved discussion for a day while we individually thought about it and travelled back to Calafate. We had to decide quickly though, we'd planned to do an overland trip through Africa next, and we needed to book in the next few days to secure our spots. After reviewing our budget, we had an unfortunate realization: this was going to drastically shorten our trip. Doing both Africa and Antarctica meant that we wouldn't have enough money to even make it a year on the road in total. That meant a little time left to do Europe or maybe a couple months in Asia. We had to make a choice... Africa, Asia, or Antarctica, pick two.
Such are the decisiona of a world traveller. In our hearts we knew Asia couldn't be sacrificed, it simply wasn't something we were prepared to sacrifice. Between Africa and Antarctica we evaluated the situation objectively, in the future we wouldn't be able to travel last minute, we wouldn't be able to get a deal on Antarctica. We weren't getting any kind of special deal for Africa, it would cost the same amount if we left from South America or North America. Logically, this leaves us a clear choice, Antarctica now, Africa later. After turning to the source of all knowledge, Facebook, and consulting friends we found them split. That left us on our own, given all the facts, we chose Antarctica.
In two days we completely upset months of research and planning and chose to spend nearly 16% of our trip budget on an 18 day cruise to see the most amazing wildlife and desolate landscapes on Earth.
On October 24th we confirmed our trip for a November 4th departure.
Nuts and Bolts
- If you're interested in lest minute deals to Antarctica, email Rumbo Sur in Ushuaia. We worked with Lorena in the office who was fantastic.
- If you do a last minute trip you'll be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement (though it doesn't contain any legalese) stating that you won't tell fellow passengers what you paid for the trip.
- Triples were what was on sale, however, they are single gender. If you ask you can get a double if there are two of you. This meant that Jordan and I actually got an upgrade to a double for the same price.