10 years ago, much to my parent’s horror, I sold my house and downsized so I could afford a trip to Antarctica, a move we all soon realised was an excellent decision. I fell in love with this vast continent, it huge vistas, kayaking through ice filled bays, watching glaciers calve huge chunks of ice and of course the comical penguins.
In the long-term this decision paid off as I now encourage others to travel to all of the Polar Regions; essentially I get paid to chat about my holiday! Ok so there is much more to job and I am sat in an office behind a desk but I do still feel passionately that small expedition ship holidays are the perfect way to explore these remote destinations.
I have longed to go back and explore more of Antarctica and to visit the Falkland Islands and South Georgia with their King penguin colonies and nesting Albatross, I’m not twitcher but you can’t help but be impressed by these birds. In October I will realise my dream as I set sail south from Puerto Madryn. First stop will be the Falkland Islands where we hope to land on the remote western islands in search of Rockhoper, King and Macaroni penguins. This will be followed by the east coast and the small capital Stanley.
From the Falkland’s it is two days sail to South Georgia, keeping an eye out for whales and dolphins along the way, heading through the Antarctic convergence and entering Antarctic waters. During the sea crossing the expedition staff will offer formal and informal lectures on the birds, wildlife, history and characters of the region.
I will have five days to explore South Georgia. Its position, inside the Antarctica Convergence but outside the outer limit of the pack ice, makes the island an ideal breeding area for millions of penguins, seabirds and seals. King Penguins from fuzzy little chicks to fattened adults can be seen in the hundreds of thousands. The island is home to Elephant Seals, Fur Seals, Petrels, Macaroni Penguins, Albatross, Skuas, and Gulls. All this wildlife set with a backdrop of magnificent mountains, glaciers and rugged coastline.
After this sensory overload we head down to the Antarctic Peninsula which I will be intrigued to see after a 10 year absence, my previous visit was towards the end of the season in early February. In November the penguin colonies will be at their most pristine and we will be amongst the first visitors to set foot in the great white wilderness.
94 days and counting down….
If you think this journey floats your boat (pun intended) then there are a just few cabins left on this departure with a discount of around £1,325 per person up for grabs on these last berths.