At the beginning of 2017 we boarded the Akademik Ioffe, a Russian research vessel operated by the polar tour operators One Ocean Expeditions, and set off on an 11-day trip to the Antarctic Peninsula.
Our ship crossed the Drake Passage, known to be one of the roughest seas in the world, and after a two-day voyage we caught our first glimpse of the White Continent.
Antarctica, the final frontier, the bottom of the earth, is a destination that humbles even the most experienced traveller.
Jagged peaks rise from a steel-blue sea, majestic icebergs float silently between millennia-old glaciers and a plethora of unique wildlife rest, hunt and migrate through the channels.
Of every place we have ever been, nowhere has left such a big impact on our lives as travelling in Antarctica.
For weeks after we got off the ship we were on a high. It consumed most of our conversations with each other, and we’d often think of little moments that happened, and smile to ourselves.
It’s now 15 months after we left Antarctica, and we still feel the same way.
Our journey to Antarctica was the start of our partnership with One Ocean Expeditions, and we excitedly brought out informative articles every month to help provide tips and advice to anyone else planning on making their own trip.
Every time we’d look at our photos or our videos on YouTube, we’d dream about going back. And today we have an exciting announcement to make.
Our Return To The White Continent
We couldn’t be more thrilled to share the news that we have continued our partnership with One Ocean Expeditions into 2018, and on October 20th we’ll be flying to the Falkland Islands to embark on another journey to the White Continent!
For 18 days we’ll be onboard the Akademik Ioffe once again to take part in One Ocean Expeditions’ most in-depth voyage.
This time is going to be different to our first expedition with them, as instead of only visiting the Antarctic Peninsula, we will also be spending time in the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.
The Falkland Islands are steeped in modern history, with the Falklands War occurring in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom.
The Argentine government invaded the Falklands, South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands, claiming ownership of the UK-governed islands.
The United Kingdom launched a naval attack, and 74 days after it started, Argentina surrendered, and the UK retained ownership of the strategically-located archipelago.
Today the Falkland Islands remain a quintessential British settlement, with English pubs and colourful houses dotted around the small towns. It is here we begin our adventure.
South Georgia has been called the Serengeti of the South, thanks to its diverse wildlife that call the islands home in huge numbers.
Here we will find beaches loaded with over 100’000 emperor penguins, enormous colonies of fur seals and thousands of albatrosses soaring through the air.
One of the most unique and confronting wildlife experiences in South Georgia though is witnessing the elephant seals fighting to the death for their mates.
This only occurs at the end of the harsh polar winter, and our visit in October will coincide with this wildlife phenomena.
We will spend 4 days exploring South Georgia before crossing the Scotia Sea towards the Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.
The next 5 days will be spent navigating the icy seas of this incredible destination.
As it is so early in the season we are expecting there to be a lot more snow than last time we visited, and according to the team at OOE, the wildlife will actually be even more abundant.
Our days will be filled with zodiac tours, hikes on the continent, history lessons and plenty of photographic opportunities.
Afterwards we’ll be crossing the Drake Passage once again, rounding the legendary Cape Horn, and disembarking in Ushuaia.
The 18 days we’ll spend onboard the Ioffe is going to be a real adventure, and we can’t wait to showcase the best of these amazing destinations to you.
Why One Ocean Expeditions?
The reason we have continued our partnership with One Ocean Expeditions isn’t just because they are the world’s leading polar expedition company – it’s also because they take conservation and protection of this wonderful planet so seriously.
When it comes to travelling to Antarctica responsibly, One Ocean Expeditions are pioneers, constantly supporting science and research alongside their passenger journeys.
They employ the world’s best scientists, biologists and expedition leaders to join every single trip, and education is pushed heavily alongside the amazing activities.
Each voyage is limited to 96 passengers, which has two effects – one is you get a small-group experience, but the second (and most important) is that because the boats have less than 100 passengers, every single person is able to take part in off-ship excursions at the same time, rather than needing to take turns.
Besides the responsibility and quality that One Ocean Expeditions offer, we also only choose to partner with companies that match our core beliefs, and the crew at OOE are some of the most professional and focused we have ever come across.
It’s an absolute pleasure for us to say we are proudly working with One Ocean Expeditions again in 2018.
Thank you to everyone who followed, engaged and supported our Antarctica content over the last year, and we are looking forward to bringing you even more fascinating photos and videos after we return from the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula in November.