At the end of the week, I’ll be sailing to the tip of the world: Antarctica.
As a curious traveler, I’ve always been drawn to unusual, out-of-the-extraordinary places, like Madagascar, North Korea, and Zimbabwe. But Antarctica is a far off dream, a place I’d never thought I would ever get to visit.
But thanks to G Adventures, this lifelong dream is coming true. My journey begins on 18 November, and I’ll be setting off from Ushuaia, Argentina, on board the MS Expedition. This will be my second polar crossing — the first was in the North Pole on board the same icebreaker last summer. That expedition was one of the best trips of my life, so without a doubt, I know I’m in for an epic journey – one that probably would stick with me for the rest of my life.
Unfortunately Alberto won’t be joining me on this trip due to financial reasons, he’s already sulking and wishing he could go. But he’ll be with you here, sharing stories from our recent trips. In the meantime, here’s a look at our itinerary and what the trip entails.
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
My trip starts in Ushuaia, better known as the southernmost city in the world. I’ve always wanted to visit Ushuaia as well as the rest of Patagonia, but it’s a pity I can’t squeeze in more time on this trip. I hope to spend the morning wandering around town and hopefully make a quick visit to Tierra del Fuego National Park.
Day 2: Sailing through the Beagle Channel
I’ll be boarding the MS Expedition at the port in Ushuaia and we’ll be spending evening sailing through the Beagle Channel. From my previous experience, I know I’ll be having plenty of fun on the cruise. I made tons of friends on board the cruise during my Arctic voyage – there were people ranging from young solo travelers in their twenties to retired couples from the UK – everyone was friendly and outgoing. I’m also familiar with the crew, can’t wait to see them again.
The cruise is equipped with a space lounge area, where evening lectures are held and documentaries are shown. It also has an awesome library, sauna, and open bar. Every room also has a view and ample room for storage. Hopefully I’ll be able to kick back a little (instead of typing away on my laptop!).
Days 3-4: Crossing the Drake Passage
Our adventure begins with a 400-mile crossing of the passage that’s notorious for being treacherous. It’s going to be a rough ride – I’ve heard stories of how the sea gets so rough that things start falling all over the place on the boat. Not to worry – I’ve stocked up on motion sickness pills, so hopefully that wouldn’t post a problem.
Whatever the case, the rough journey is going to be well worth it as we’ll be arriving at the Antarctic Peninsula thereafter.
Days 5-10: Cruising the Antarctic Peninsula & the South Shetland Islands
We’ll be setting foot on the Antarctic continent today, and getting up close to the unique animals in this area. I hope to see an Adélie penguin rookery – I’ve heard that penguins are all over the place. I haven’t signed up for an extra kayaking option, but hoping that I can do that on board and paddle upclose to leopard seals, orcas, humpback and minke whales.
There’ll be two landings per day, weather permitting. On my Arctic trip, we couldn’t walk too far as there was always the danger of polar bears appearing. Since there aren’t any dangerous predators in the Antarctic, I’m hoping that I’ll have the chance to wander around abit. We’ll also be out exploring on zodiacs and hikes. And yes, like my last polar plunge in the Arctic, I hope to once again dive into the cold Antarctic water!
Here’s a pretty cool video about Antarctica from G Adventures:
*I”ll be traveling with G Adventures on the Antarctica Classic In Depth (XVAESX) trip. Follow my journey on this blog, or on Twitter, where I’ll be sharing short updates along the way with the #WJAntarctica hashtag.
Disclaimer: This experience is made possible by G Adventures as a part of their Wanderers In Residence program. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. All the photos above were provided by G Adventures.