We asked the CEO of Quark Expeditions to tell us a little about himself and his first experience traveling to Antarctica with Quark. Some great tips here, thanks Hans!
Name: Hans Lagerweij
Job title: CEO (Chief “Experience” Officer)
Trip Name: Antarctica Explorer
Pre-post night city: Buenos Aires
Ship name: Sea Spirit
Date of Travel: November 2011
1. Give a brief overview of your role at Quark and what you like most about it:
I am managing the company. Most important aspects of my role are to develop future strategies and plans as direction for the team and hire/develop the best team in the industry. I like to work with passionate and creative people that develop and deliver an unique experience.
2. Tell us a little bit about your travel style:
I consider myself an Adventurer, as I like to be active. I am passionate about the adventure options Quark Expedition offers and think they are an important part of our experience.
3. Did anything interesting happen during your journey to the destination? Interesting seat mate, tips for smooth entry, Anything interesting in B.A./Ushuaia?
I was caught in one of the regular airport strikes on my way to Ushuaia. My tips; stay calm, don’t panic. Stay in the airport and gently push to be on the next available flight while at the same time stay in contact with your travel agent at home who can monitor developments. Best thing to do is to book your flights as well with Quark Expeditions, so we can do this for you and support you in case of flight interruptions.
4. What were the weather conditions like during your trip?
Generally good and smooth, although we were caught by a one day long big storm at Deception Island.
5. Best memory on the ship or your overall impression of the ship and/or staff:
One day, we brought back from a zodiac cruise a big piece of probably million years old “black’ glacier ice that we carried to the lovely bar on the Sea Spirit. Here we used it to cool down all our drinks for the rest of day. That’s what I call an open bar! I love the Sea Spirit. It is luxurious but at the same time informally “cozy”.
6. Top 3 things you did or experienced on your Polar expedition :
(1) Camping on the continent!
(2) Sea kayaking among the ice
(3) The walk on Deception Island. As it was early in the season, there was still a lot of snow and ice which made the volcano-black stones, sands and ashes stand-out brilliantly. A heaven for photographers!
7. Describe a wow moment or particularly special memory from your trip:
Certainly waking up early in the morning having spent the night camping on the continent, in the peace, quietness and tranquility of a beautiful early Antarctica morning. Camping is a must do adventure option!
8. Sum up your trip in 3 words:
Unforgettable, adventure and fun
9. What would you say to anyone who is considering travelling to the Polar Regions:
Just do it! Don’t leave it for “later”
10. Are there any other experiences, restaurants, food, people, places or sites you would like to highlight?
Before I embarked in Ushuaia, I stayed two nights in Puerto Williams, which is a short two hour boat ride from Ushuaia. You have here a beautiful quiet lodge called Lakutaia. It is the most southern hotel and has the most southern golf course. You can take fantastic walks, e.g. in the park Omora.