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Quark Expeditions® Blog

Antarctica through the eyes of a first-timer

Corina Hitchcock 0 From-the-Field, Antarctica, Passenger Experiences, penguins, Wow-moments, Humpback whales, Wildlife, Drake Passage

When it comes to booking your Quark Expeditions trip, our Polar Travel Advisers are top notch. They can guide you through the entire booking process and answer every question you can possibly think of! Why? Because they've been in your shoes; a first time polar adventurer, brimming with anticipation and excitement! That's why we asked one of our PTA's, Naomi, to tell us a little about her Quark Expeditions voyage to Antarctica. She's knowledgeable friendly, and wants to make sure you get the most out of your adventure.

Name: Naomi Box
Job title: Polar Travel Adviser
Trip Name: Antarctica Explorer
Pre-post night city: Ushuaia
Ship name: Sea Spirit
Date of Travel: January 31st – February 10th, 2012

1. Give a brief overview of your role at Quark and what you like most about it:
As a Polar Travel Adviser at Quark Expeditions, I thoroughly enjoy talking to clients and helping them plan for this completely different adventure. I take great pleasure in helping them understand what to expect, how to prepare, and like to remind them that although there is a great urge to photograph every moment it is important to put the camera down.

2. Tell us a little bit about your travel style:
International Woman of Mystery – kidding!!!! Adventurer.

3. Did anything interesting happen during your journey to the destination? Interesting seat mate, tips for smooth entry, Anything interesting in B.A./Ushuaia?
We had a crazy Drake passage crossing with 13 meter waves, breaching Humpback whales who entertained us for over 45 minutes off the bow of the ship, and I had two penguin chicks try to get on my lap. Awesome.


Baby Gentoo cooling off on some rocks Baby gentoo cooling off on some rocks

4. What were the weather conditions like during your trip?
Crazy crossings but beautiful sailing when we hit Antarctica. Blue skies all the way through minus one morning.

5. Best memory on the ship or your overall impression of the ship and/or staff:|
Phenomenally passionate individuals representing an equally phenomenal experience. The closest I can come to describing my trip and Antarctica is that it was like being on another planet -spectacular.

6. Top 3 things you did or experienced on your Polar expedition :

(1) Penguin chicks following me around the island we were on
(2) Humpback whale calf breaching for over 45 minutes
(3) Watched an avalanche from afar


Naomi and a curious gentoo penguin chick Naomi and a curious gentoo penguin chick
7. Describe a wow moment or particularly special memory from your trip:
I was speechless for about 2 hours after that encounter with the humpbacks – I almost could not believe what I was seeing. It affected me greatly and I am very thankful that I was privileged with the encounter.
8. Sum up your trip in 3 words:
Majestic. Eye opening. Fortunate.


9. What would you say to anyone who is considering travelling to the Polar Regions:
It is a once in a life time experience – so go. When you are there - put your camera down. When you come back – remember how fortunate you are and tell everyone why it is so important to see these areas.

10. Are there any other experiences, restaurants, food, people, places or sites you would like to highlight?
Deception Island, Aitcho, Neko Harbour, Pleneau Bay, Iceberg Graveyard and let’s hear it for the wildlife- nothing comes close to the experience you have seeing them in their natural habitat.


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