Antarctica – Impossible to Describe
Antarctica is isolated from the rest of the world by ocean currents. 90% of the world's ice is here, 13,000 feet thick, covering the landmass. In winter, it is further cut off by sea ice forming off the coast – virtually doubling the size of the continent. In summer, it is a breeding ground for millions of penguins, whales, and seals that, for the rest of the year, simply spend their time at sea. Most of the wildlife found here is dependent on a cornerstone species: krill. And there is a great deal of it here The krill population in the Southern Ocean represents the largest biomass of a single species on Earth – including human beings!
As outlined in the Antarctic Treaty, this is a continent dedicated to peace, science, and tourism. No human activity is allowed to alter the perfect natural balance. We are visiting a place that has evolved through millennia without human interference. Therefore, we adhere to very strict environmental guidelines and rules: We want to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures!
Antarctica's location makes every cruise to the continent an expedition. Even the most sophisticated technology cannot override some of the climatic challenges that are a part of this environment. Weather, wind and ice conditions have a great influence on our program and schedule. Therefore, we need to be pragmatic: we change landings, re-route, and shift plans as we go along. This also means that we will take advantage of the often-ideal conditions by spending hours ashore, on the water in kayaks, or simply cruising among huge pods of whales.
We will attempt to land several places, including Deception Island, Half Moon Island, Brown Bluff, Cuverville Island, and Neko Harbor. All of these places are serene and offer untouched nature, oportunities to observe penguin colonies, seals, glaciers, icebergs in every shape and color, and old whaling stations.
It's hard to sum up all the impressions you will gain. As a well-known quote from veteran Antarctic travelers puts it: “If you can describe Antarctica with words, you have probably never been there.”