TORONTO -- The recent shutdown of adventure-cruise operator Marine
Expeditions last month left something of a void in the
adventure-cruise market, but a new company is emerging to offer
cruises and tours to one of the most sought-after destinations in
expedition cruising: Antarctica.
Toronto-based Fathom Expeditions, a small-ship line, offers
customized itineraries that are designed to accommodate
special-interest groups, from naturalists to climbers and skiers to
photographers and vacationers with a general interest in
The firm will offer three Antarctica voyages this year and next:
a 14-day journey from Dec. 27 to Jan. 9, a 14-day voyage from Jan.
5 to 18 and a 16-day journey from Jan. 14 to 29.
Rates range from $4,670 to $8,160, depending on the
At the helm of Fathom is Dave German, the company's president
and an experienced expedition guide in adventure-oriented
German is serious about his expedition-oriented travel. In 1998,
inspired by explorer Sir Ernest Shackelton, German planned and
executed a 30-day overland trek across South Georgia Island, among
the planet's most isolated locations.
The following year, German led 15 expeditions into the Antarctic
wilderness and last year, he guided climbers and skiers down the
length of Antarctica's Bransfield, Gerlache and Penola straits.
Over the past 10 years, German has led small-ship voyages up the
length of the Amazon River and built expedition programs in the
Galapagos and along the coasts of Peru, Chile, Argentina, Panama
Although Antarctica is its speciality, Fathom offers journeys to
South Georgia Island and the Falkland Islands.
Trip themes change due to a variety of factors, such as the
nature of the passenger contingent.
"We have a multi-tiered program that's customized for older
folks who don't want to climb up volcanoes," said German.
"For more active people, we do some fairly aggressive
German said Fathom is a "boutique" expedition operator, an
indication of the customized voyages and personal attention to
participants the company offers.
"We've worked to get the best expedition leaders," said German,
"and having led about 45 trips to Antarctica, we know a lot of
places that other companies don't."
Fathom charters expedition ships according to voyage needs,
using tested adventure-oriented vessels, including the one-time
Russian research vessel Akademik Ioffe.
For additional information, call (800) 387-1488 or visit the
company's Web site at www.fathomexpeditions.com.