Marketing its explorer cruises to families, what better way to celebrate a White Christmas than sipping champagne and singing carols on Minerva, surrounded by towering icebergs and pristine stretches of snow and ice in Antarctica, asked Swan Hellenic in its latest press release.

Its Antarctic Discovery I cruise will spend Christmas Eve approaching South Georgia spotting whales and albatross in the wake of Minerva. Christmas carols can be enjoyed around the piano in the Shackleton Bar followed by midnight mass (an inter-denominational service). Christmas Day will be spent exploring the bays and beaches of South Georgia – home to raucous penguins and seals. A celebration Christmas Day lunch and dinner is served for passengers followed by more music and entertainment in the evening. New Year’s Eve is just as jovial as guests party the New Year in style with champagne in the light of the Antarctic midnight sun.

Unique to this Swan Hellenic cruise is a dedicated youth director who will be running special interest activities and entertainment for families on board at this festive time of year. The Young Explorers Program, available for passengers aged 10 to 17 years is a marine and ecology program designed specifically to enhance the Antarctic experience – being both educational and adventurous. The goal is provide a meaningful experience that goes beyond the typical holiday.

Onboard and in-the-field activities are planned for the voyage, participants are given a Young Explorers Program Book prior to the cruise, which is then used as and when activities are completed. Two activities are planned for the youngsters each day, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. Some of these activities could include:

  • Partaking in whale watches and marine mammal watches
  • Mapping sea temperature to determine when the ship crossed the Antarctic Convergence
  • Art workshops (previous years have involved the onboard Ornithologist teach the group how to draw penguins and marine mammals properly)
  • Activities also include ship-related and fun quiz tasks:
  • Having navigational sessions and learning to calculate the ship’s timings
  • Learning how to tie knots
  • Decorating Christmas cakes and biscuits
  • Film nights, games and quizzes

Adults will also be learning a thing or two during this cruise, according to Swan Hellenic. An expedition team of the highest calibre will be accompanying the journey on Minerva, sharing their specialist knowledge as well as their enthusiasm for delivering the geology, history and zoology of the region to a wide audience.

The Antarctic Discovery I departs Dec. 16 for 22 days,. Fares start at 5,495 pounds per person. Child fares, specific to this cruise only, are available on request.