Impressions of the Ultimate Journey – Antarctica
By Mary Rossi Clients, Carolyn and Dominic
Antarctica Trip designed by Esther Fraser
Esther Fraser’s clients Carolyn and Dominic travelled to Antarctica with Silversea Expeditions. Read all about their incredible journey below.
No matter how much you prepare yourself to have those naïve, television documentary expectations of Antarctica exceeded, once you find yourself there, any preconceptions you had are totally inadequate.
The white continent is totally unlike any other place we have ever visited, the experience of being there truly is other-worldly. In every direction there is pristine beauty and breathtaking natural grandeur. It’s a vast landscape dominated by pure white shelves of ice, stark craggy mountains, colossal icebergs and a sea which varies in colour from sapphire to inky black.
We had forgotten the summer sun never sets here in Antarctica. It drops below the horizon at 2.00am then pops up again an hour later. As for temperatures, most days were somewhere around -0.80C to +0.10C – just your typical summer day here.
The remoteness and solitude is palpable, the silence, when you allow yourself to appreciate it is absolute. Even the breeze seems to pass by silently. The air has a cool fresh ozone smell of the surrounding sea untainted by pollution or general aromas of urban life. Even the distinctive smell of penguin rookeries is not offensive, it reminds us we are in a very special biological environment and is all part of the experience.
The animals are very special and mostly unique to this part of the world. We were briefed to respect their space and not impact on them in any way, but mostly they have no fear of humans and seemed to be as interested in us as we were in them. We could have stayed happily just watching the penguins’ funny antics for days. Added to this we were able to see various species of seals, orcas, humpback whales and a myriad of sea birds both during the landings and from the ship.
We were so lucky to have great weather. The Drake Passage, which has a reputation as the roughest passage of water anywhere, was calm in both directions of our journey. During the two weeks of our voyage, we had several days of crystal clear skies and sunshine as well as days with cloud or light snow without any rain or storms.
All the wonderful staff on this beautiful ship, from Captain Mino, Silversea’s longest serving Captain, to the restaurant staff, room staff, Zodiac teams, and many more made this a journey to remember – forever. The wonderful Silversea Antarctica Expedition Team of 28 trained specialists informed us, educated us and keep us safe for the entire journey.
Anyone visiting Antarctica cannot help but be affected by this journey. It might be in different ways for different individuals and for different reasons. For us, we will always remember the sheer magnificent scale of the landscape, the pristine icy beauty, the special unique wildlife and the absolute serenity and peacefulness.
At the risk of sounding cliché, it really was the trip of a lifetime to an astonishingly special and beautiful place and has set a very high bar for future travels. This destination cannot realistically be compared to another, it is unique.