An Antarctic Voyage is my “Dream of a Lifetime”

National Geographic Traveler named the Antarctic one of the “50 Tours of a Lifetime”.  One of the world’s most remote and pristineParadise Island climb2 locations, the Antarctic Peninsula, has been on my dream list for a long time.  It’s not uncommon to have to book a year in advance. This year my husband and I will hit a milestone. We’ll finish paying for our kids’ college educations.  Now it’s time for us! We’re going to spend some of their inheritance and live it up south of the Antarctic Circle.

I want to be the person in this picture making friends with the penguins.

I want to be the person in this picture making friends with the penguins.

web--3For a trip of this magnitude and expense, we did a lot of research to know all our options. We selected Quark Expeditions because they have been leading intrepid travelers to the polar regions (North and South) for over 22 years. They offer unprecedented access to these magical environments. We chose a 15-day “Crossing the Circle” expedition because it offers the most in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula. We’ll have one or two Zodiac cruises and landings a day. We will hike on the peninsula, camp overnight on land and drift past icebergs.

Travel companies who give to local people and try to preserve the places they love to visit deserve our attention and business. For example, in the past two years Quark Expeditions, together with their passengers and staff, have on-board auctions that have raised almost $300,000 for charities dedicated to sustainability and conservation. This year Quark introduced the first-ever carbon neutral voyages to Antarctica.

BOOKS TO READ – Start with Shackleton and Scott’s Journeys.

We are fascinated by the extraordinary feat of the British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton who was stranded with his crew on the ice for 20 months and then forced to row across wild seas to safety. His epic journeys to Antarctica have inspired several compelling books including, The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition by Caroline Alexander.

South is Shackleton’s memoir and Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing is a bestseller.

The other great Arctic explorer, Robert Falcon Scott wrote his own story in  Journals: Scott’s Last Expedition.

The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard is the description by a crew member about the tragic 1910 voyage that claimed Scott’s life.

Race to the South Pole (The Great Adventures) by Roald Amundsen is about his incredible journey to reach the South Pole a month ahead of his rival Robert Scott.

The librarian who recommended these books warned me that they are willed with terrifying storms, blizzards, whale attacks and the gritty details of their struggles to be the first on the white continent.

PREPARATIONS

Stay tuned. As we buy gear and prepare for our adventure, I’ll add to this blog. If you have suggestions, please share them!

Category: Adventure, Cruising, Featured

About the Author ()

Marybeth Bond, the Gutsy Traveler, National Geographic author of 11 travel books, featured guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and founder of the Online Travel Magazine www.GutsyTraveler.com She has been featured over 1,000 times on TV, radio and print. She is a Contributor to CNN, CNN Airport Network and CNN.com Speaker, spokesperson, author, travel expert, Marybeth, the Gutsy Traveler walks the talk. She's an adventurer; biked two months across the USA, traveler to over 90 countries, media travel expert for CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, NPR and National Geographic.

Comments (2)

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  1. You can be sure that we will be checking the blog for your account of your trip and of course for the pictures! Going to Antarctica is one of our dreams as well. If you are dry suit scuba certified, there are possibilities of diving and seeing the magnificent glaciers from below. Hopefully, we’ll join a trip there soon too. Enjoy! :)

  2. Arielle Turner says:

    So Cool! Can’t wait to hear about it.

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