Gane and Marshall clients Tom and Sharon Jamieson have been kind enough to share with us the video highlights of their recent cruise to the Antarctic:
Tom was also kind enough to write a brief review of their cruise, which you can read below:
In March, my wife and I travelled to Antarctica with Oceanwide Expeditions on one of our many trips organized for us by Gane & Marshall. The trip began with a 34 hour flight with 3 connections, arriving finally at Ushuaia Argentina. Ushuaia is a really nice town on the Southern tip of Argentina and worth spending some time in before heading on to Antarctica.
Our vessel was the Ortelius which accommodates just over 100 passengers and about 45 crew. The trip we booked was slightly different from most cruises to Antarctica in that it included opportunities to undertake a number of additional activities including camping on the Continent, kayaking, mountaineering and various hikes. To get to the Peninsula, we had to cross the Drake Passage which can be (and was) quite rough. However, Antarctica was worth the 2-3 days it took to cross the Passage!
I should forewarn that travel to Antarctica, and the ability to make landings there, is entirely driven by the weather, and in particular, the wind. If it gets too windy, it is not safe to launch the zodiacs from the main vessel, which is the means by which to get to the mainland. We were incredibly fortunate that we were able to make every landing that was scheduled and every activity that was planned.
The night we camped on the Continent was amazing. We had the option of sleeping in a tent or in a bivouac, which is basically a tent/sleeping bag, so we chose the bivouac which means you are completely out in the open. We set up camp about 100 metres away from a colony of penguins. The conditions when it got dark were perfect and the sky was filled with stars. However, in the morning it got very windy and the zodiacs couldn’t make it ashore to pick us up, so we were temporarily stranded in Antarctica! We had to trek across to the other side of the peninsular with all our gear where the waters would be calmer and were picked up by the zodiacs there. Quite the adventure!
Other highlights included watching a Minke whale surface barely 20 metres from us when we were kayaking, and the many hikes we took on the mainland in the company of hundreds and hundreds of penguins. Plus the scenery in Antarctica is stunning and we saw many whales, seals and penguins in the waters.
The entire trip was a fabulous experience, but again, entirely weather driven. Antarctica is a very special place and, as always, the organization of Gane & Marshall was first class and ensured the trip went totally smoothly from start to finish.
Thank you to Tom and Sharon for the generous feedback!