Africa Adventure Consultants Alumni Explore Antarctica
The Wilson family has traveled with Africa Adventure Consultants (AAC) many times, visiting a wide variety of destinations including Botswana, India, Namibia, Tanzania, Zanzibar and more. Their latest adventure took them to Antarctica via South America. They got a taste of South America with stops in Rio, Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, before setting off by ship to explore the world’s final frontier – Antarctica!
On their 11-day Antarctic cruise, Roy and Mary Ann had incredible experiences with wildlife, took in jaw-dropping scenery and explored the country’s icy expanses, all while learning about the continent’s natural wonders and enjoying fantastic food and service.
Some of their highlights included…
- Penguins – The Wilsons said seeing penguins in general was great, but time spent at the Port Lockroy post office was the most memorable. Baby penguins outside of the post office had never seen falling snow before and were trying to catch snowflakes in their mouths!
- Killer whales – Out on a Zodiac excursion they encountered 10 orcas. They knew there was no guarantee of seeing them, so they were very excited to spot them, then follow them as they were hunting penguins. “Being so close to them was exhilarating!“ – Roy Wilson
- Sailing through the Lamaire channel – They had brilliant sunshine to see the channel’s blue icebergs, sparkling water and snow – “…it was absolutely spectacular!” – Mary Ann Wilson
- The number of activities available – Kayaking, scuba, camping, shore expeditions, hiking, Zodiac excursions, helicopter tours and more were available from the ship. There are activities with a variety of fitness and exertion levels, and some of these activities are only available on specific departures – ask us if you have special interests!
- Sailing through the Drake Passage during a storm – Their passage down from Ushuaia was calm as could be, but on their ride back, they encountered a storm. Both Mary Ann and Roy found seeing the raw power of nature to be a highlight. If you’re not keen to tackle the Drake Passage by sea, ask us about the Antarctic Express or our 15-hour trip to Antarctica by air from South Africa!
The Wilson’s top travel tips for visiting Antarctica…
- Clothing – The ship is very casual – no dressy clothes necessary. It is possible to rent cold weather gear (parka, waterproof pants, backpack, etc.), so you don’t have to pack a huge amount of clothing. Also – bring a pair of sweatpants/exercise pants – you will want something comfortable that moves with you under the waterproof pants.
- Upgraded cabin – The Wilsons advise that travelers spend the extra money for a larger room higher up on the ship – it’s worth the cost. It helps to avoid sea sickness, the rooms are quieter and you have a few portholes for views.
- Food – The boat’s crew said to keep something in your stomach – snack throughout the day (which is easy with snacks available all day along with delicious meals). It helps avoid seasickness. They had no problems with seasickness, and an onboard doctor ensured any guests who did have any problems were treated and provided with medication to resolve further issues.
- Before you go – The Wilsons suggest that if you’re planning to visit the continent, watch Planet Earth BBC in advance of your trip to get an idea of what you’ll see. You’ll have an even better appreciation of it all.
- On the way – The port of departure is Ushuaia, Argentina – the Wilsons advise to plan a few extra days exploring Patagonia before setting off for Antarctica.
Because of the Wilsons extensive travel with AAC, they are members of our Livingstone Club and Tanzanite Circle. Click here to read more about these great loyalty programs.