Ever wonder what it is REALLY like to spend time in Antarctica?
Three Travel Bloggers share their experiences
Alyssa Ramos of My Life’s a Movie
Alyssa went to Antarctica with Quark Expeditions in December of 2017. You can read her post on the 10- day trip she took and what she thought about traversing the Drake Passage, notoriously famous for its’ rough crossings. You can read her account here:
Antarctica is already a checklisters dream destination, Quark Expeditions can elevate your experience one step further by offering even more extreme experiences such as kayaking, paddleboarding, mountaineering and even a night of camping on the continent itself (additional fees do apply).
Alyssa took advantage of the paddleboarding option. I have to say, this looks like a lot of fun!
Dave and Deb Coulson of The Planet D
Dave and Deb also traveled with Quark Expeditions and chose the sea kayaking and camping options. Their stories about their adventures in Antarctica can be found here:
Did you know you there is not an option to use the toilet on Antarctica? Not sure I could make it that long without using the bathroom!
Liz Carlson of The Young Adventuress
Liz visited Antarctica with Intrepid Travel (in partnership with Quark Expeditions). Her trip included visits to the sub-antarctic islands of South Georgia and The Falkland Islands.
Often overlooked when considering an Antarctic Expedition, usually due to cost and/or time constraints (a full trip can be upwards of 3 weeks!), there is plenty to see and do.
For those history buffs who remember the Falklands war between Argentina and the UK, there are many relics and sites available to see. This trip can be taken in and of its own, missing Antarctica altogether. Most expedition cruise lines do at least 2 trips a year, one at the beginning of the season, and one near the end.
Ernest Shackleton, arguably one of the greatest and bravest explorers ever to have lived, is buried on South Georgia, and you can visit his grave site. Hear indescribable tales of survival during the cold, harsh and unforgiving weather of Austral winters in Antarctica.
Of course, there are some not so magnificent things to see on South Georgia as well.
Reality check: Whaling was a huge industry in the early part of the 1900’s, peaking in the mid-1920’s where as many as 40,000 whales were killed each year. Abandoned whaling stations, whale bones and carcasses can still be seen all over the island. Thankfully, this horrific industry was shutdown in 1965.
As a penguin lover, there could be no greater experience than to see and hear thousands upon thousands of King and Macaroni penguins on South Georgia. You have no idea just how many penguins there are down there until you see it yourself. You can see the photos and hear about Liz’s experience on her blog.
Antarctica Cruise Operators
Quark Expeditions and Intrepid Travel have a partnership whereby booking an Antarctic trip with Intrepid Travel will yield the expedition cruise portion of your trip with Quark. There are many qualified operators to Antarctica, including Hurtigruten, Lindblad Expeditions, Silversea Cruises, Ponant and Crystal Yacht Expeditions. Each has their own dedicated and highly trained expedition team of naturalists, oceanographers, photographers, biologists etc. Each cruise and departure date offers something a little different for everyone.
You should consult with a knowledgeable travel profession (such as myself!) who can assist you with choosing the right expedition voyage for your travel style. It is definitely not a one cruise fits all mentality and when you are spending that kind of money, you want to make sure that you get it right!
Traveling to the White Continent is a dramatic awe-inspiring and life-changing experience. I recently had the opportunity to meet Liz Carlson at a blogging conference. Her recollections of the cacophony of thousands of king penguins littering the beaches of South Georgia and the extreme pungent odor of penguin guano was captivating. An absolute must for any adventure travelers bucket list.
If your considering a trip to Antarctica, grab my free expedition cruise resource here. If you know someone contemplating a trip, please share this with them. I know they will find it as enlightening as I did!
’til next time,
Explore. Discover. Learn