With 35+ years in the industry, Luxury Travel Advisor Ken Heit has done his share of traveling. When asked to share his fondest trip, the Antarctic expedition cruise quickly came to mind. Is the White Continent still on your list? Ken can make it a reality.
An expedition to Antarctica reduces the world to its barest elements: ice, rock, water, and sky. Antarctica accounts for nearly a tenth of the world's land mass and is more than 99% covered in permanent ice. Ice here takes many forms: sheets, bergs, and shelves, to name a few. It can be old or fast ice, grease or pancake ice, or the most daunting of all: thin ice.
It is no surprise that the White Continent is home to only three year-round research stations. The entire land mass was designated for scientific research in 1959 and is the only continent without a sovereign nation. You're truly exploring the world's last great frontier, complete with volcanoes, unscalable mountains, glaciers and other fascinating barren scenery.
Given the climate and remote nature of this destination, there are no guarantees of seeing albatross or terns, humpbacks or orcas, or one of seven species of penguins; however, you will never tire of the endless sunshine, splendid scenery, and unique zodiac excursions.
Not many people know about the Antarctic Convergence, but it’s a fascinating experience. As you move from the Northern Atlantic Ocean to the Southern Atlantic Ocean, the water temperature changes from warm to cold. At this point, you’ll typically encounter a day or so of thick fog, which clears up just as icebergs begin to pop up next to the ship. Ken found this to be one of the most awe-inspiring experiences of the journey, sailing through this climatic boundary that encircles the Antarctic continent.
There will be plenty of opportunities to disembark and head out on a zodiac, but some of the best excursions feature the local inhabitants – penguins! As you approach shore, seemingly millions of frolicking penguins greet you from the beach. Quite the welcome, indeed.
As you can imagine, water temperatures are freezing in Antarctica; however, at Deception Island, you can take a dip in the natural hot springs, warmed from underground volcanic activity.