Our friends and colleagues plagued us with questions before we left. Won’t you be cold, bored, unsafe and sea sick? I admit, I too had some concerns but none of them proved true.
I was never cold and we were exposed to the ferocious winds and weather when we climbed a volcano in the snow, rode zodiacs around icebergs and kayaked through thin ice. We also had sunny, calm days. How did we stay warm? The pre-departure packing list from Quark Expeditions was so detailed and complete; there was not room for error. We bought the recommended layers, fleece, gloves and socks. The yellow, fleece-lined, super warm, water-proof Polar coats were given to us when we boarded the ship.
There was one exception: both my husband and I voluntarily took the “Polar Plunge” and jumped into the frigid water. Adrenaline and excitement kept me warm until my entire body was submerged. Then I gasped and struggled to climb the ladder back onto the ship. The cheering of new friends kept me sane, or made me do this insane jump. It was truly a “once in a lifetime” experience. Yes, I’ll never do it again, but I’m glad I did it once. It was one of those peak life moments.
We felt secure and never at risk during the entire voyage. Numerous, detailed safety briefings and procedures, as well as the competent and experienced staff and crew, put us at ease. We chose Quark Expeditions because they have 30 years of experience and excellent past passenger reviews.
Never! Although we packed several books, a deck of cards, and dominoes, we were never bored. Two excursions daily, visits to research stations, lots of educational lectures, movies, a health club and activities from yoga to Latin dancing kept us busy.
Everyone aboard had a different remedy for potential seasickness-- just in case the two-day crossing of Drakes Passage was rough. I got queasy for a few hours the very first night and took seasickness medicine which worked like a charm. Other cruisers used a “patch” or ate saltine crackers and candied ginger. My husband never got sick.
For those friends who wondered “Why”, we answer, “Why did we wait so long?”
How does it stack up against other “once-in-a-lifetime destinations?
We rank our Antarctic cruise right at the top of the list, equal to our honeymoon safari in Africa.
Watch the video of Marybeth's Antarctic voyage:
Interested? For more information please visit our Antarctic voyages