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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cruise Weekly Comment: Hard Edge Adventure


Cruise Weekly – Comment by Roderick Eime

Softies eh? I get the impression some folk still think adventure cruising is just another way of sipping cocktails around the pool bar – at a premium price.

Those of you with a taste for the harder edge can do stuff to really get their attention at Silvia’s next dinner party.

Some of the cruise companies will offer a range of activities with gold medal bragging rights like scuba diving, mountaineering, trekking, ice swimming and sea kayaking. The easiest wet one is Pendulum Cove on Deception Island where a volcanic thermal vent keeps a small patch of water warm, but for some that’s cheating. Orion Expedition passengers do the “polar plunge”, an Antarctic Circle tradition in the sub-zero waters of the deep south while drinking a toast to King Neptune. Brrr!

Shore excursions like Greg Mortimer’s Shackleton Crossing is a true heroic trek, following the great explorer’s route across South Georgia – albeit at a more relaxed pace. On the water, a sea kayak is one of the most intimate ways to experience the pristine environments at either end of the Earth and several operators now offer this. Pitching a tent for one night ashore on the Antarctic continent is another way to get a taste of the privations endured a century ago. Captain Scott died in his tent, but you won’t.

So, if you have a hankering for something outside your comfort zone, quiz your agent about the tough stuff. You’ll never live it down!
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