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There’s more than one way to take a cruise, and sometimes smaller is better | Anchorage Daily News

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Excerpt from article previously published on July 01, 2017 by Scott McMurren for Anchorage Daily News:

Not everyone signs up for warm-water cruises, though. Tom and Penny Wells took a cruise to Antarctica this winter with Quark Expeditions.

"I would book this trip again in a second," said Penny Wells.

The Wells family traveled in January during the Antarctic summer. "We had phenomenal weather for crossing Drake's Passage," said Penny.

The cruise on the Ocean Endeavor included stops in the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island, the Antarctic Peninsula and crossing the Antarctic Circle. The ship is configured for a maximum of 199 passengers, with 130 crew members.

"The staff was great," said Penny. "We listened to birding experts, marine mammal specialists, historians on whaling and the famous (Sir Ernest) Shackleton expedition."

Zodiac excursions were included in the price, although there were additional charges for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and camping onshore.

"When we arrived at a good place to see penguins or to do some hiking, we would get at least two Zodiac landings per day," she said.

The cruises can sell out up to two years in advance, said Penny. So first they got on a waitlist until someone canceled.

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Scott McMurren is an Anchorage-based marketing consultant, serving clients in the transportation, hospitality, media and specialty destination sectors, among others. Contact him by email at You can follow him on Twitter (@alaskatravelGRM) and For more information, visit

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