Most Inspirational Moment
Having seen spectacular scenery and amazing encounters with wildlife, the last zodiac cruise we did in Fournier bay was completely surreal. Blue skies, flat calm and glass like sea, with icebergs and bergy bits all around, seals, penguins and other birds, and humpbacks to finish off with. It was like being on another planet, which in a way it is.
Thoughts on Group Leader
All of the staff, especially the on-board experts were excellent and for the whole trip there was never any doubt that they were doing their utmost to make sure we had the best experience possible.
Advice for Potential Travellers
Do ensure you get to Ushuaia at least a day (24hrs) before the ship departs. Peferably longer if possible. It will avoid the stress of relying on unpredicable airline schedules and adverse weather, making sure you get to the ship in good time for embarkation.Good thermal layers are essential. Pay heed to all the advice given about clothing. Practical, warm and waterproof.Waterproof bags are essential for any camera equipment. Dry bags are OK as long as the camera is padded inside it, as bags tend to get wet and bumped around in the zodiacs.All the showers on board have shower gel, moisturiser, shampoo, and conditioner dispensers. So save weight and leave your own stuff at home.There is a limited library on board (mostly reference books), so we were glad we took electronic readers (Kindle) as they save a lot of space and weight if you are an avid reader, especially on 'sea days'.Sunglasses (UV and polaroid), sunscreen and lip salve protection are essential. The ozone layer is at it's thinnest in this part of the planet.
Try and find out who the on-board experts are likely to be. These people made the trip so much more informative and interesting with the talks and presentations they did.There was a world renowned photographer, an Antarctic scientist with years of experience, a bird expert, an Antarctic naturalist with politcal experience and a published wildlife artist. Great people to listen to and fun to be with.The One Ocean staff members were also expert in their own filelds which included kayaking, zodiac driving, massage, yoga, as well as their own extensive knowledge of the wildlife and Antarctic conditions.The Russian crew were very professional and when not too busy, the bridge officers explained all the ship's functions and navigation. Having an 'open bridge' (except when distractions would not be welcome) made the long sea passages interesting and a good place to spot wildlife from.Safety of passengers was always paramount. Great lengths were taken to ensure everyone got ashore and back with no mishaps.The galley staff did an amazing job of providing a varied menu. Even in storm force winds there was a 3 course lunch/dinner available, with only the soup course not being practical to serve! Fresh 'home' baked pastries for afternoon tea every day too, so don't expect to lose any weight.