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glaciers in antarctica in bright blue water
Travel stories

On tour in the South Pole

Dec 22, 2015 by Laura Barber

Following in the footsteps of great explorers, intrepid Go Ahead travelers Vickie and David spent four days discovering the far reaches of the Earth on a tour of Antartica. With trips to all seven continents now under their travel belts, Vickie shares their experiences on the southernmost point in the world.

Antarctica Cruise

Our motivation

After visiting six continents, the obvious next step for us was to visit the last one. We wanted to go sooner, because our travel plan is to visit the places that are farthest away or most challenging first, and Antarctica was the last “challenging” destination on our list.

It’s almost impossible to visit any place on the planet that has no signs of human activity—roads, telephone poles and buildings. Antarctica was silent. We were the last cruise of the season, so there were no other boats, and except for research or old whaling stations, there were no marks made by man anywhere.

The temperatures are frigid, so you’ll want to pack smart for Antarctica. And almost as important, enough books to last both two-day crossings on the ship!

A few of our favorite things from tour

The penguins

Flocks of penguins porpoising past us always put a smile on our faces; on land, their waddling figures had the same effect. If you sit down and stay still, they will approach you—one came up to me, turning his head from side to side before trundling off.

The scenery

The scenery is indescribably beautiful and otherworldly and you don’t know where to point your camera first, because everywhere you look is so incredible. While documentary films are nice, nothing can replace a 360-degree view with the wind blowing around you.

The whales

There is no more majestic sight on the planet than whales, and we saw many—including a pod of orcas. Whether they’re breaching, tail slapping or just swimming up close to the surface, there is nothing quite like seeing a whale up close in the wild.

What would you most look forward to seeing on a journey to Antarctica? Tell us on Facebook!

Traveler stories
About the author | Laura Barber
It all began on a school trip to London in 7th grade. Since that first jaunt across the pond, Laura has been hooked on all things travel (and British for that matter). When she's not at work using her words to help people find their own adventures, she can be found running 5ks, refining her cribbage game, or rewatching The Office for the 100th time.