At Back Track Adventures we love Antarctica as a destination – it is one of our favourites! Many of us have been there (like Leanne, pictured right) – and we all want to go back some day.
But you can’t just take our word for how beautiful, magestic, breathtaking and special Antarctica is. Please take some time to read comments and stories below from Back Track Adventures’ Antarctic clients.
Have you travelled to this beautiful region already? We would love to her your story. Please share your memories so we can post them on this site to inspire others to experience the beauty and grandeur of this very special destination.
- Landing on Elephant Island on Christmas Eve and during a snow fall.
- Salisbury Plain and the 250 000+ breeding pairs of penguins.
- Just watching the behaviours and individual personalities of each penguin, even though they all look alike.
- Arriving on the Antarctic Peninsula on Christmas Day with absolutely perfect weather.
We would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this trip to other travellers as it truly is an adventure of a lifetime. Saying that I can’t wait to go back. We have included a few photos that you might be interested in using.
Standing on the ice surrounded by glaciers and silence was surreal.
Experiencing the variety of wildlife up close and personal without fear, is so different from animals in captivity.
The small ship experience, Zodiac adventures and expedition leaders provided a wonderful variety of information and activities that will be in our memories forever.
I know on my first visit It felt so unreal that I had some difficulty to believe I had actually arrived in the frozen south with all the wild life and breath taking scenery and the incredible history.
I still examine all the new brochures each year on the off chance there may be something that will really capture my interest and encourage me to go again to the frozen south.
The fact that the ships only take limited numbers of passengers it makes for a more friendly experience and not like the large cruise ships with the thousands of passengers most of whom you never meet.
As I sit here reflecting on this memory, I am remimded of an evening on board ship cosied up in the Club Bar, where we travellers were regaled with hilarious stories by the team leaders of our expedition. Stories such as, “When will we see the polar bears?” and “Will it be cold on the ice?” And one nervous dear lady who met the captain on the bridge and asked, ”Do ships like this go down very often?” and to which he dryly replied, “Only once, Madam!”
Shipboard life aboard a Russian icebreaker is very different from a Pacific cruise on a luxury liner. But there is always excitement – the excitement at seeing our first iceberg which sent many scrambling for the long lens cameras. It turned out to be an icecube compared with what was to come! Everyone on board was a seasoned traveller with tales of base camp Everest, trekking Nepal and suchlike. But all were mesmerized by Antarctica. Amazingly, some brave souls wearing only a cozzie, did the “5 second Polar Plunge!”
With the sea heaving below, a feeling of intrepidation assailed me the first time we disembarked the ship via the steep gangplank to board the small Zodiac craft, which would take us to land on the Antarctic continent. This was a fearful experience, dressed as we were, in heavy “moonwalker-like “ gear as protection against the cold. Once moving through Antarctic waters in the small craft, the feel of the crisp air on your face could be treacherous if the wind blew up. Worse than that were the actual landings. No landings at all! Just ice, rock and snow.
The sights in Antarctica were almost indescribable. Massive icebergs that really are blue – the result of refracted light trapped over time – are the dominant feature. Crusted glittering snow belies the rock and ice just centimetres beneath your feet. The wildlife is remarkable. Orca whales, albatross lazily wheeling above, seals basking on the ice, and adorable little “Happy Feet” aka penguins. The penguins are captivating. Oh, and did I tell you a colony of them STINKS! Too much KFC. That’s krill, fish and crustaceans of course!
The carping of thousands of penguins when you’re near a colony and strong gutteral sounds from seals are occasionally heard, but overwhelming is the SOUND OF SILENCE. This is something one is totally unprepared for. SILENCE. And MORE SILENCE. A sense of eerieness. I struggle to find the words to do justice to Antarctic’s magnificence, and the humbling effect it had on me. It occurred to me that if you had lost your God of late, you’d rediscover Him again down there.
Befriending a group of ladies on the ship, I didn’t think we would ever connect again, in spite of exchanging contact details. One lady in particular, interested me. She was an astrophysicist, who had left her husband at home in Florida, suffering progressive dementia. When Christmas 2012 arrived, there was a warm letter from her with an invitation to visit. And I’m thinking that maybe I’m not ready to give up my passport just yet.
So many wonderful memories. Would I go back? You betcha!!
As tips, I would say the sea kayaking is a must do. It added a whole new dimension to the trip and we saw and did things that the rest of the passengers never came close to. I’d also recommend the night “camping” on the ice. It wasn’t the most comfortable, but was certainly a memorable experience.