In a modern world where travel is becoming more accessible, and in some places oversaturated, there are few destinations as dramatic, mystical and elusive as Antarctica. For intrepid travellers around the world, Antarctica remains as the final frontier – a place that many dream of, but few seldom reach.
The southern continent, covered in ice over a mile deep, holds 90% of the world’s fresh water supply. It has the largest desert on the planet, receives less than 2 inches of precipitation a year in some parts, and is known for being the windiest, driest and coldest location on earth.
Antarctica for the longest time has only been visited by explorers, those working on scientific projects and fishing vessels. With the growing trend in adventure tourism and the desire for travellers to get off the beaten path, expeditions and cruises have slowly become available to the public under strict environmental protocols.
Despite the difficulty and expense in reaching the fabled continent, almost 40’000 tourists visited Antarctica last year. Most of these people arrive on organised tours, with the odd few taking private sailboats or commercial flights.
Antarctica has always been a place that we have longed to visit. We have a love for exploring places that aren’t considered to be typical tourist hotspots, and Antarctica has been the pinnacle of travel to us since we were children.
The diverse wildlife, pristine and harsh environment and intense beauty has captured our imaginations for as long as we can remember. More importantly in this turbulent world we now live in, under tragic threat from climate change and industrial development, there has never been a more important time to visit the places most affected by these elements. It is everyone’s duty to promote the protection of the planet, and we are no different.
In 2017 our opportunity to explore arguably the most fascinating place on earth is becoming a reality.
We’re Going To Antarctica!
We couldn’t be more excited to announce that we have teamed up with the incredible responsible tour operator One Ocean Expeditions to take part in an 11-day journey to Antarctica!
On February 25th we will be departing Ushuaia at the southernmost tip of Argentina and making our way to Antarctica through the Drake Passage. For 11 days and 10 nights we will be completely off the grid, immersing ourselves in the serene world that exists at the bottom of the earth.
Keeping true to our overlanding style, we will be completing the full loop from Argentina to Antarctica and back without taking a flight.
This isn’t an ordinary trip, and this isn’t a luxury cruise. We will be guests on board the Akademik Ioffe, a dedicated research vessel that has been specifically designed for navigating the treacherous waters of the polar regions.
The ship has all the modern amenities to make this a satisfying and safe journey, and it has been converted to maintain a level of comfort and quality that is superior to the traditional research vessels that used to make the same voyage.
Every evening there will be presentations from qualified and experienced biologists and scientists, educating the 90 or so guests on the unique wildlife and ecosystems of Antarctica. These talks are something we are deeply interested in and are increasingly important to continue to raise awareness of the issues facing the region.
But the real adventure begins once we get off the ship.
Adventure travel is our passion, so we are joining One Ocean Expeditions on their Antarctic Peninsular Adventure trip. This is one of their most popular journeys, and is filled with some remarkable activities to whet the adventurous appetite!
That’s right, we will spend one night camping in Antarctica! Having camped all over the world we are so thrilled with the chance to spend the night under the stars there. One Ocean Expeditions have professional gear designed specifically for cold weather camping, so we know we will be in good hands.
Donning waterproof pants and jackets, we’ll be sea kayaking around the Southern Ocean, surrounded by icebergs and marine life. There could not be any more amazing of a place to kayak than Antarctica!
Following an experienced guide we will be able to actually go hiking in Antarctica. Visiting research stations and huts on the way, we’re going to try and find some spectacular vantage points to get unrivalled views of the area.
To actually reach many of the smaller inlets and coves of Antarctica we will have to leave the Akademik Ioffe and jump into Zodiacs. These exciting excursions will get us to some remote and distant places that are not easily accessible otherwise. This will also give us a chance to get up close and personal with whales.
There will also be a whole range of other exciting activities, such as whale watching, science talks, onboard yoga and fitness and plenty of photographic opportunities. We will also get to spend time with penguins, and Alesha is obsessed with penguins!
Why One Ocean Expeditions
Besides the thrill of visiting the least visited continent in the world, partnering with One Ocean Expeditions is something that we are extremely proud of. Founded in 2007, they have been at the forefront of sustainable tourism to both the Antarctic and Arctic regions, growing a strong reputation of focusing on ecological protection in small-group expeditions.
They’re commitment to the environment is second to none, and by using research vessels for these passenger journeys they are also able to fund scientific projects at the same time.
For their northern expeditions they also provide funds for community-based charities. After much research, this is a company that we are confident to back and promote.
Follow The Adventure
On February 25th we leave for Antarctica, and will be documenting our experiences, photos, videos and stories on this blog as well as our social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.
This is by far the most exciting adventure we have ever taken part in, and we will be committed to bringing out the highest quality storytelling and imagery from our time in Antarctica.
And if by any chance you are interested in physically joining us on the expedition to Antarctica, One Ocean Expeditions have spaces available for our particular trip, as well as for a few others this summer season. Just let us know and we can get you in touch with the right person to help speed up the process.
We can’t wait to document this epic adventure, and hope you’ll follow along for an inside look at what travel to Antarctica is all about.
Coming soon: NOMADasaurus in Antarctica!
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