Prices, Agents and last minute bookings

This table was compiled in November 2014 and given the huge task it was it isn't going to be updated frequently!

Note: Low season is November and then Feb/March, High season is December - Jan.

All prices in USD unless otherwise noted and are for the 2015/16 season direct from the operator's website. It should give a good guide as to the relative cost of each ship but you'll need to check the exact details depending on the cabin class you want and your departure date.

The most basic cabin is usually a triple share, but some ships offer quads and some only have twins. Twins sleep two people and may or may not have double beds, some will just be two beds on opposite sides of the cabin from each other - not at all a bad thing in a rough Drake crossing. The quality of the most deluxe and the most basic varies enormously between ships but you should be able to find photos to illustrate each cabin class.

Ship Name Basic Peninsula itinerary Falklands, South Georgia, Peninsula
low/high season most basic cabin twin most deluxe cabin low/high season most basic cabin twin most deluxe cabin
Akademik Ioffe low 7,495 10,695 13,195 low 12,695 16,395 20,595
high 8,495 11,295 13,995 high 15,895 20,695 25,295
Akademik Vavilov All itineraries are specialist and different to the standard ie just Peninsula and Falklands
Bark Europa €6,154 sharing a 4/6 person cabin not offered
Bremen not offered no distinction made 13,040 18,220 24,700
Expedition low 5,499 8,499 10,799 low 10,999 14,499 16,999
high 6,999 9,899 12,199 high not offered
Fram no distinction made 11,197 13,756 18,903 low 10,851 14,421 20,647
high 10,907 14,447 20,703
Hanseatic not offered   16,240 19,880 32,470
L'Austral
Le Boreal
Le Lyrial
no distinction made €6,950 €9,880 €19,550 no distinction made €8,570 €12,430 €24,200
Nat Geo Explorer
Nat Geo Orion
low 12,970 15,460 24,740 low 22,430 26,350 43,250
high 13,990 20,030 26,720 n/a
Ocean Diamond n/a n/a
high 5,995 9,595 11,595 high 12,795 16,295 24,995
Ocean Endeavour low 5,495 10.495 13,595 not offered
n/a
Ocean Nova low 9,995 10,995 n/a not offered
high 11,795 13,495 n/a
Ortelius no distinction €5,300 €6,500 €7,900 n/a
high €9,900 €11,950 €14,550
Plancius no distinction €5,300 €6,850 €7,900 n/a
high €10,700 €13,500 €15,600
Sea Adventurer low 6,995 10,995 13,995 low 15,995 20,595 25,995
n/a n/a
Sea Explorer n/a not offered
high 11,795 13,995 18,995
Sea Spirit no distinction made 8,885 11,995 16,895 low 13,595 16,995 25,995
n/a
Seabourn Quest no distinction made 14,999 27,999 33,999 not offered
Silver Explorer low 9,750 11,850 27,350 low 16,950 19.650 37,650
high 9,950 12,050 28,850 high 18,650 22,450 44,150
Ushuaia low 5,500 8,900 9,910 low 8,590 13,930 15,500
high 6,920 10,700 11,880 not offered

The below all offer trips across multiple operators. Some are more specialist than others and will charter ships for exclusive booking. You may or may not get a better deal going direct to the ship operator but an agent can give you (theoretically) impartial advice and help in trip selection. Can also offer extra protection and guarantees and organise flights too. This is not an exhaustive list but covers the most commonly mentioned and used companies

Agent Comments
Abercrombie & Kent British based luxury travel agency. Has been known to charter the Ponant ships
Antarctica Bound British based company covering the poles.
Chimu Adventures Specialist in South America and Antarctica and has handled my bookings, excellent company. Has British and Australian offices. Has also been known to charter ships. Drop me a line and I'll give you a recommendation of who to speak to.
Discover the World British based company specialising in cold places.
Exodus British based company, specialising in small group adventure travel. Also has specialist photographic charters, usually on one of the Russian ships
Explore British based company, specialising in small group adventure travel (I'm from the UK, I'm listing what I know!). Have travelled with them and they handled booking well and sorted flights too.
Expedition Trips US company covering poles and Galapagos. Very responsive to emails and seem knowledgeable. Often first to get and notify of special offers. Their mailing list is a good place to be.
Adventure Life Know nothing about them apart from good recommendations on other websites
Cheeseman's Ecology Safaris Specialist wildlife operator, not an agent as such but charters ships for specialist voyages. Key differentiator is that they claim to offer the longest time ashore and groups are always limited to 100