Journeys traveler Ellen Schwab went on the "trip of a lifetime" to Antarctica in 2015—and fielded many questions from friends and family upon her return. Here, she shares stories from her trip.
Not really – it was summer there and the temperature was usually in the mid-30s. Whenever we went to land, we wore long underwear, warm pants and tops, two hats, two pairs of gloves, a warm, waterproof jacket (given to us by Quark), and waterproof boots (loaned to us for the trip). We went to shore (via rubber rafts called zodiacs) usually twice a day, to a different place every time. Some areas were rocky; some were snow and ice. One could stay on the beach or go for hikes. Sometimes we went to active research stations or ones from the past. One stop was at a British post office from which we could send postcards!
We embarked from Ushuaia, the town at the southern tip of Argentina. We crossed the Drake Passage and went south along the Antarctic Peninsula, crossing the Antarctic Circle.
The ship had about 100 passengers – a nice-sized group.
We were on board for 13 nights.
We saw thousands of penguins (several types), plus lots of birds, whales, and seals. The views of icebergs and water were fantastic.
The food was quite good. We had buffet-style meals for breakfast and lunch (and afternoon snack), and then dinner was served. There were no assigned seats in the dining room and it was fun to sit with different people and get to know them.
I shared a cabin with a friend and it was very comfortable. We had lots of storage space and our own bathroom. The travel style on the ship was quite informal. The ship had a lounge, a bar, and a place for coffee, tea, and snacks. There was even a library. The bridge was always open to visitors.
Quark, Journeys' Antarctica partner, ran a wonderful trip. Their guides were great. Most of the guides were experts in their field and provided on-board lectures about what we were seeing. The expedition staff also gave a daily recap. I would definitely travel with them again.
Welcome to The Bird's Word, the blog of Journeys International. Here at Journeys, we don’t just visit a place. We immerse ourselves into the culture, the people and the places where we travel. It’s what we call “adventure deeper.” Won’t you join us?