Podcast conversation with Jen Martin and Lesa Bain of Lindblad/National Geographic Expeditions.

We all had fun talking about what it’s like to go on an Antarctic expedition. For many people, they save it as their last continent, but if you’ve always wanted to go, there’s no need to save it for last!

Their opinion, which I agree with, is that crossing the Drake Passage is a must do. It’s an integral part of the experience that allows you time to bond with your fellow passengers, learn from the on boat experts and build the anticipation of what’s to come.

Some helpful insights from the show:

  • Sunsets can last 3-4 hours in Antarctica!
  • The season is from November to early March.
  • If you want to snowshoe or cross country ski – the very early season is the time to go.
  • Wildlife is prevalent throughout the season.
  • Voyages range from 10 days to see Antarctica to 20 days while tacking on South Georgia and the Falklands (where the elephant seals are) or 30+ days to end up in New Zealand.
  • Remember to bring: sunscreen, waterproof camera/cell phone bag, extra camera cords and cards and multiple hats, gloves, socks. You can leave your high heels at home.
  • It’s important to be thoughtful about what ship you go on – the international rules only allow 100 people on land at a time so bigger ships allow limited landings and some don’t have any ability to land.
  • About 1/3 of the passengers opt to partake in the Polar Plunge.

OTT – going to Antarctica on a small expedition ship would be considered OTT (over the top) by many. The prices start at about $900/person/day. All cabins are lovely and the goal is not to spend time in your cabin. But if you do want to take it up a notch, go for the category 7 suite with the double balcony and hammock.

Ships can sell out well in advance, especially during holiday seasons.  If you want to maximize your ability to get the exact cabin you want, on the ship you want, on the dates you want – you will want to plan up to 2 years ahead.

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