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Antarctica: Reasons for visiting


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  • 2 weeks later...

Because it's there?? icon_wink.gif I wish I could put it into words but it's some place I have wanted to visit since I was a child. It was always MY dream and not my husband's until we visited Ushuaia last year on a Princess cruise & suddenly the bug bit him too! I think it was the penguins that did it. We are booked on Quark for November & are very excited about it. Are you thinking about Antarctica as well?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm also interested in Antarctica. For me it's the allure of that which is so difficult to reach. The Shackleton story really did it for me, putting Antarctica up there on the list of must go places!

 

No arrangements yet made but thinking 2005. What is Quark?

 

Carnival Conquest 1/11/04 Caribbean

NCL Crown 12/19/04 South America

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  • 2 weeks later...

What does Antarctica mean to me??

 

6-7 day work weeks, 18 hour days, 2 minute showers ever 4-5 days, bad food, no fresh milk for months, and 1- 20 minute call back to the states every other week. I never want to be that cold or grungy again!!

 

However, if you really want to go adn "experience" it, they probably will have openings for shuttle bus drivers in October. They do every year.

 

Grnated, it might be alot better if you didn't have to live there for any length of time.

 

DMS

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Carnival Spirit 9/1/04

 

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  • 2 months later...

I have always wanted to go to Antarctica. I definitely will do that in the next five years. To me it is just as exotic in its own way as Africa, which I have visited several times for extended safaris. To me it simply represents adventure at its height!

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  • 5 weeks later...
What does Antarctica mean to me??

 

6-7 day work weeks, 18 hour days, 2 minute showers ever 4-5 days, bad food, no fresh milk for months, and 1- 20 minute call back to the states every other week. I never want to be that cold or grungy again!!

By any chance, did you work for ITT Antarctic Services? About 15 years ago I applied to work there and had gone through a couple of interviews. Then my family raised such a fuss that I withdrew my application. I still haven't forgiven them :). Crappy work environment or not (and I knew other people who worked down there that share your your assessment) I am sorry that I didn't take the chance when I could.

 

Someday, it'll be an Antarctic cruise for me! :)

 

Cheers,

Esther

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  • 7 months later...

I went to Antarctica in 2002 on the MS Hanseatic. We decided to go as we were swimming in Tahiti, trying to figure out what the exact opposite would be. It was a frivolous beginning but it turned out to be the trip of a lifetime.

 

It is rare to find a place that is so unspoiled, and to see nature in all its vastness. Anyone growing up watching Jacques Cousteau should understand the romance of an adventure like this. We loved it so much we hope to go back one day. The next time however I hope we can visit more of Patagonia first. It's beautiful country.

 

When you have a baby penquin at your knee looking into your camera lens out of curiousity, it is a sublime thing.

 

Margaret

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I went to Antarctica in 2002 on the MS Hanseatic. We decided to go as we were swimming in Tahiti, trying to figure out what the exact opposite would be. It was a frivolous beginning but it turned out to be the trip of a lifetime.

 

It is rare to find a place that is so unspoiled, and to see nature in all its vastness. Anyone growing up watching Jacques Cousteau should understand the romance of an adventure like this. We loved it so much we hope to go back one day. The next time however I hope we can visit more of Patagonia first. It's beautiful country.

 

When you have a baby penquin at your knee looking into your camera lens out of curiousity, it is a sublime thing.

 

Margaret

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  • 5 months later...

Visited the Falklands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula in January 2005 (on MV Orlova chartered by Quark).

 

A place like no other attracting a differents sort of cruiser, it is impossible to beat if you are interested in wildlife. The seas and the shore teams with a remarkable variety most having no fear whatever of man. The scenery is awe inspiring. Some research into Antarctic exploration enhances the experience and gives rise to an enormous respect for early explorers in this area.

:)

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Hi friends,

Are you fond of expedition voyages? Then it is right time to visit Antarctica – the white continent. December, January and February is the right time to experience the adventure of a lifetime. An absolutely life altering opportunity to be under the midnight Sun in a land of white ice, girded by the black mountains! Kayak in the berg fields, glide by penguins amid the sparkle of ice and the fizzing of Antarctic Seltzer…list is endless. Wishing you a happy and adventurous New Year.

Gypcywoman.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all,

I have just started looking at the possibility of going to Antartica or the Arctic. My main reason is - I have absolutely got to see Polar Bears! Now, I know that if I take a land tour to Churchill in October - November I am almost guranteed to see them, what about cruising - who has seen them, how frequently and what time of year - in other words - what are the chances of seeing polar bears???

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My Second son just came back from Antarctica. He was able to fly out to the South Pole (actual and ceremonial- they are about 40 feet apart right now!). He had a great time.

 

Of course it was a working "vacation". He is in the Air Guard and went out to move a runway off the thinner summer ice to more thicker ice inland!!!

 

He was able to see quite a few different animals. Walrus, penguin, etc. No polar bears- they live up north.

 

I would love to go myself and by gosh if the Military would like to send me on a working "vacation"- I'd go in a heartbeat (as long as I'm supervising of course!). Too old to do much more....

 

 

Beth

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  • 2 weeks later...

Antarctica was our best trip yet and I don't see how we can top it. Don't wait until you're too old or too out of shape to comfortably swing your legs out of a Zodiac to make the wet landings that are required for the real Antarctic experience.

 

After much research, we selected Explorer II that was chartered by Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, and were very pleased. But there're many other operators.

 

We were leaning toward Lindblad, a pioneer of Antarctica expeditions, but the Radisson all-inclusive package, which included airfare and a night in Santiago, seemed to be a better value for us.

 

But no matter which ship you go on, GO! Keep in mind that ships that carry more passengers are more limited in the number of landings. Our expedition had 167 passengers and we made two to three landings a day, as well as some Zodiac cruising amongst the icebergs. Lindblad's Endeavour carries only 110 passngers or so, which would be ideal.

 

Besides the size of the ship, the weather is a dominating factor. We had mostly good weather last month - some blue skies and sunshine, some overcast days and some strong winds.

 

The highlights, in addition to the unbelievably beautiful scenery, are the wildlife. We're big whale fans and were not disappointed. We saw Orcas, Humpbacks, Fins, and Minke Whales. I was hoping to see a Blue Whale, but didn't. And you'll see hundreds of penguins - yes, there is an "aroma," but we didn't dwell on it and it never was a problem for us.

 

Of course, underlying the whole experience is treading on the Seventh Continent. Many on us on board finally reached that goal - including a 12-year-old girl! The only other child was a young teen, but I don't know if Antarctica was his 7th continent.

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  • 2 weeks later...

TedC - I agree with you that the whale sightings on an Antarctica cruise are truly awesome. If you would like to see Southern Right whales in abundance, come to South Africa between July and November (but especially Sep and Oct). You can view them along the southern coastline (particularly between Hermanus and Plettenberg Bay). We have a home along this route and it is wonderful to sit on your patio and spot the whales! It is a real treat!

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Mercury,

 

Thank you for the comprehensive review you posted after your Antarctica adventure. We read it before we decided to take Explorer II. Some of the crew you sailed with are still on board, including Capt. Moulds and the cruise director. You did a wonderful job of putting the adventure into words.

 

We'll be in Cape Town in early June but it appears our timing is off for whale sightings, alas.

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TedC

 

Thanks so much for your kind words about my review!

 

I will be holding thumbs for you that perhaps there are some early whale sightings. Cape Town is close to Hermanus which is a prime whale sighting area so maybe if you go to Hermanus, you will be lucky!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Hello Mercury,

Since you live in S Africa I was wondering if you could recommend a good tour there that would include the coastal areas where we might see whales as well as the garden/winery areas. I am also interested in seeing Kruger Park. Are there other parks you would recommend as well or more than Kurger? I am also wondering about a safari and the train to Johanesburg. As you probably can tell, I have just started reading about S Africa and am so enthralled with what I have found! How difficult would it be to do this on our own? I guess from what you previously wrote about whales that August might be a good month?

Thanks for any information.

Nancy

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Hi Nancy - glad you are looking into visiting our beautiful country!

I think as a first time visitor I would recommend a tour. Try www.africansky.com which seems to have a great selection of tours. (I do not know them personally).

 

If you want to see whales then August is a great month to choose (Sept and Oct should also be good choices). Make sure you go to Hermanus and also take in a tour of the Garden Route which is our favourite place in South Africa! You will see whales all the way along this route: Hermanus, Cape Agulhas (where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet), Arniston, Mossel Bay, Wilderness, Kynsna and Plettenberg Bay.

 

To see animals, Kruger Park is definitely the best place but you may need to take medication for malaria. August is Winter, however, so it may not be necessary. If Malaria is an issue to you then you can either go to Madikwe in the North West of the country or Shamwari in the South East: both these areas are safe from malaria.

 

Cape Town is a must as is the winelands (Stellenbosch, Franschoek in particular). The weather in Cape Town is not so good in August (can be windy and rainy but you might get lucky!) In fact we will be going to Cape Town in August and travelling along the Garden Route - we were booked on a Med cruise in late Sept but since I am now pregnant we have changed our plans!

 

Happy planning!

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Thanks so much, Mercury, for taking the time to give your thoughts. I will definitely keep this info for future plans and dreams. We go to Antarctica via a S America cruise this January, so maybe next summer for Africa?

Congratulations on a new family member! We had our first grandchild 3 years ago and now we expect his new brother or sister this December.

Nancy

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  • 1 year later...

Hi Mercury

TedC mentioned that you posted a review of your Antarctica trip, but I'm new to this website and I don't seem able to find it. Do you know whether there is still a link to it here?

Thanks very much!

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