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A&K survey pinpoints some surprising prospects for Antarctica cruises

Article-A&K survey pinpoints some surprising prospects for Antarctica cruises

PHOTO: A&K/RICHARD HARKER CRUISE_king_penguines_Antarctica_AK_Photo_Richard_Harker.jpg
A&K's survey found some travelers return to Antarctica to visit other destinations and see more wildlife such as South Georgia's massive king penguin colony, seen here
The findings of an Abercrombie & Kent survey of Antarctica cruisers may cause travel advisors to rethink how they target likely prospects.

A&K surveyed travelers who went to Antarctica last season to better understand what inspired them to choose the destination.

The majority reported an interest in seeing wildlife in their natural environment and had been on safari in Africa or cruised in Alaska or the Galápagos Islands. Others were accomplished photographers or passionate about history, enthralled by stories of Shackleton and the Heroic Age of Exploration.

Beyond this, there were some unexpected findings.

Claiming a seventh continent

Some 64% of respondents mentioned reaching their seventh continent. For many travelers, the White Continent is the last on their bucket list and one they plan for far in advance.

'Many of our Antarctica guests have explored the world in search of adventure and are eager to achieve this milestone,' said Stefanie Schmudde, SVP global product strategy, product development & operations, Abercrombie & Kent USA. 'I encourage travel advisors to mine their databases for clients who have already been to five continents and plant the seed about where to go next, with enough lead time to get the seventh continent journey on the books.'

Repeat Antarctica travelers

While many think of Antarctica as a once-in-a-lifetime destination, the survey found 17% of respondents had been there before.

'When targeting likely prospects, there is significant value considering clients who have already been to Antarctica,' Schmudde said. 'This is a place we see our guests come back to again and again. Many who visited the Antarctic Peninsula on their first cruise, returned because they wanted to see king penguins and learn more about Shackleton on South Georgia. Last season, we had a guest returning for the sixth time and is already confirmed for their seventh voyage.'

Solo travelers

A growing number of travelers want to make their dream of reaching Antarctica a reality, even when friends and family are not available to join them. Some 13% of A&K survey respondents made the journey as a solo traveler.

'The social nature of expedition cruising is what makes an individual traveler a great prospect for Antarctica,' Schmudde said. 'From Zodiac excursions to nightly recaps, there are opportunities throughout each day for solo guests to connect with other like-minded travelers, and sometimes even future travel companions.'

New to cruising

A&K's survey also found 11% of those surveyed had never been on a cruise before, and chose Antarctica for their first vacation at sea.

Expedition cruising often attracts a different type of traveler so Schmudde encouraged travel advisors to 'think beyond their existing cruise clientele when targeting Antarctica prospects to identify younger and more active clients craving adventures in far flung destinations.'

2023/24 season savings

A&K is offering 'Four Ways to Save' on new bookings for 2023/2024 Antarctica cruises, including a special trade-only offer. This provides savings of up to $8,000 per person (available until Sept. 15). A $1,500 air credit per person is available for international air booked with A&K.

A&K is also offering 50% off the single supplement for stateroom categories 1-3. And children sail free in suites when sharing with an adult during the 'Antarctica, South Georgia & Falklands: Holiday Voyage.'

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