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Date: 25/05/2011

Icebergs, penguins and the eerie beauty of an Antarctic cruise

As holidays away on cruise travel insurance become more commonplace, those seeking a more unique experience could consider a move away from the tropical waters of the Caribbean and into somewhat colder climes; the Antarctic.

Cruise ships have evolved significantly and are now able to combine a robust exterior capable of sailing through icy waters with the opulence and luxury those enjoying a getaway on their over 65 travel insurance expect. Inside the liner, everything is exactly as a passenger would see on any cruise, a vast array of indulgences including spas, shopping malls as well as bars and restaurants but outside on the decks is where the differences lie.

Rather than being strewn with bikini clad sun worshippers, the air is chilly and those making the most of their cruise travel insurance holiday are wrapped up warmly. However, the views across the Antarctic are breathtaking with the sparkling white plains stretching out as far as the eye can see, with no sounds other than the local wildlife and the liner gently slicing through the waters.

Antarctica offers many unspoiled natural beauty spots, including the Ross Ice Shelf, which is the biggest floating body of ice in the globe, as well as the evocatively-named Deception Island, which is a volcanic area which remains active but has disintegrated.

One of the most popular reasons for travelling to Antarctica, as well as the spectacular scenery, is for the vast array of wildlife, with both birds and mammals aplenty. The abundance of wildlife allows those sailing on their over 65 travel insurance to enjoy sights such as whale watching, penguins as well as both fur and elephant seals without leaving the comfort of the boat.

Tours usually take place between November and March – the summer season in Antarctica - travel outside these times is generally not permitted due to the dense ice packs and round the clock darkness.