Thomas Cook India and its group company, SOTC Travel, have launched luxury cruise holidays to the polar extremes of the Arctic and Antarctica, targeting India’s ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWI) and HNWI segments.
The new venture seeks to tap growing demand for exclusive and immersive travel experiences away from crowds during the Covid-19 era. The cruises offer natural vistas, wildlife encounters, relatively untouched terrain, with a glimpse into the lives of local cultures living in extreme environments.
Each sailing offers a bucket list of experiences, such as crossing the Drake Passage and the Antarctic Convergence, a glimpse of the penguin colonies in South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, and a visit to the home of the Polar Bear in Watkins Fjord.
On board the Ponant Cruise or the Sea Spirit, guests can expect a range of international cuisines, entertainment and live shows, sports and leisure activities, spas, and scenic views from their private balconies. Optional activities include kayaking, camping, hiking and polar region photography.
The 14-day Antarctic Peninsula includes: two-night stay at the Buenos Aires Marriott or similar, one-night stay at the Arakur Hotel in Ushuaia, and 10-night stay in Deluxe Suite on board the Sea Spirit. Guests can also expect encounters with whales, penguins and other marine wildlife using a fleet of Zodiac crafts. Bookings made before January 31, 2021 can enjoy a free upgrade to Premium Suite.
The 17-day Arctic Cruise includes: two-night stay at the Novotel Tour Eiffel in Paris or similar; 14-night stay in Prestige Stateroom on board the Ponant Cruise; unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages on board the cruise; as well as flights from Paris to Longyearbeyn (Svalbard), and from Kanergerlussuaq (Greenland) to Paris.
Guests can also experience the magnificent landscape of Greenland, interact with local Inuit tribes at traditional villages, and partake in activities such as hiking and visit to the lava caves in Jan Mayen. The cruise will also sail along the Prins Christian Sund, a 100km long passage that winds its way through cliffs and glaciers.