My Next Big Adventure: A Trip to Antarctica!
A trip to Antarctica is phenomenal and I’m so excited to announce that together with Albatros Expeditions, I am going on a 13-day inspiring cruise where we will visit Antarctic Peninsula and the Polar Circle.
Antarctica truly is a special place. Not only because of the size of the continent, but also because it is the highest, driest, coldest, windiest, and brightest continent on our planet! If you’re curious why read these 10 interesting facts about Antarctica!
Why I’m Going with Albatros Expeditions to Antarctica
Established expert cruise, safari and adventure provider Albatros Travel has its beginnings in 1986. The family-owned company now employs more than 250 full-time staff and they have grown from a small office in Copenhagen, Denmark to multiple offices around the world. Today, they have developed into a world-leading company with unique packages from safaris and cruises, to Arctic voyages and Adventure Marathons in the African bush.
‘Albatros’ is the Danish spelling of ‘albatross’ – the globetrotting bird with the big wingspan! All of Albatros Travel’s different business operations are united under the same set of principles that govern the Albatros Way: a commitment to quality, responsible travel and customer satisfaction.
Albatros Expeditions recognizes its responsibility to contribute positively to social, environmental and economic sustainable development in accordance with the UN Global Compact. Albatros Expeditions commits to minimizing its negative environmental impact and contributing positively to environmental diversity and sustainability.
Albatros Expeditions is also a full member of IAATO and they always make it a point to comply with the guidelines of the organization. They already support several local initiatives such as Whale and Dolphin Conservation, which main goals are ending captivity, stopping whaling, creating healthy seas and preventing deaths in nets. The second organization is Hookpod. One of the biggest threats faced by the albatross and other sea birds are longline fishing hooks, set into the water with fishing bait which they try to grab, getting dragged under and drowned. Albatros raises money on every Antarctic voyage via auctions, which are donated to this organization at the end of the season to sponsor a fishing vessel with Hookpods and an observer. And the third organization is the United Nations Global Compact. Albatros Expeditions has undertaken to adapt its operation and strategy to the UN’s 10 universally accepted principles in human rights, environment, and anti-corruption.
The 13-Day Itinerary: Antarctic Peninsula and Polar Circle
Most ships and vessels that make a trip to Antarctica depart from ports in places like Argentina, Chile, Falkland Islands, New Zealand, and South Africa. Our ship will depart from Ushuaia, Argentina.
Since Antarctica is a remote destination, the weather, wind and ice conditions will determine our schedule. So during our voyage, the captain will have the final say on any changes or added activities that can be done.
Day 1: Arrival to Buenos Aires
Our whole experience will start with a one night stay in Buenos Aires. We will explore the city on our own and prepare for the journey to Ushuaia on the next day. This will be the first time that I’ll step foot in South America, so I am pretty excited.
Day 2: Arrival to Ushuaia
On this day, we will board a flight to Ushuaia from Buenos Aires in the morning. We will embark on the Ocean Atlantic ship of Albatros Expeditions in the afternoon to start our trip to Antarctica — so, we will have a few hours to explore parts of Ushuaia. Ushuaia is the southernmost town in the world. Because of this, it has been referred to as “El Fin Del Mundo” or the End of the World.
Our journey begins as we navigate through the calms of Beagle Channel, a strait in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago.
Day 3: Crossing the Drake Passage
Sailing onward, we cross the famed Drake Passage – a body of water that marks the intersection of the cold Antarctic with the warmer Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Drake Passage is known for rollicking conditions and strong westerly winds, called the Roaring Fifties. While this passage may be challenging, we will rest confidently aboard our expedition vessel, Ocean Atlantic, which is purpose-built with stabilizers, powerful engines, and a highly-qualified crew.
Day 4 to 5: South Shetland Islands
Over the next two days, we will explore the sub-Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain.
Projected landfalls include Elephant Island, home to elephant seals, sheer cliffs rising from the sea and snow-covered peaks; King George Island; Deception Island, an extinct volcano with waters warm enough for a polar swim; and Half Moon Island with nesting Wilson’s storm petrels and chinstrap penguins.
Day 6 to 10: Antarctic Peninsula
Finally, we will be arriving in Antarctica. As I’ve already mentioned, activities will depend on the weather but as opportunities appear we will always try to aim to launch our kayaks and go on unforgettable hikes to explore the most beautiful, untouched places in the area. Wildlife overflows on the Antarctic Peninsula. From leopard, fur and Weddell seals of Cuverville Island, humpback whales of Gerlache Strait, to the dramatic Lemaire Channel’s orcas. We will explore as far south as possible to Pleneau and Petermann Islands, Crystal Sound and Fish Island.
Day 11 to 13: Back to the Drake Passage and then Disembarkation
After some magnificent days exploring Antarctica, Ocean Atlantic will start to head north as we make our way back to the South American continent. We will spend two days at sea on our way back to the calms of Beagle Channel and Ushuaia, Argentina. En-route, we will cross the Drake Passage and cruise past Cape Horn, a legendary maritime landmark and the southern tip of South America. During the time at sea, a variety of activities will be arranged onboard and it will be the perfect opportunity to socialize with fellow travelers.
On the 21st of February, it will be the end of our Antarctica adventure. We will disembark our ship in Ushuaia and then continue with a flight back to lively Buenos Aires where we will stay another night.
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All photos are courtesy of Our World Travel Selfies and Albatros Expeditions with photographer Renato Granieri.