It had been a dream of mine to embark on an expedition to Antarctica. And even though the expectations were high, the surprise was even greater. The images of the vastness of the coldest continent on the planet will forever be registered among my best memories. It was the most untouched place of nature that I have ever had the privilege of visiting in my life. What spectacular scenery!
Did you know that Antarctica is not a country, but has a territory so vast that it encompasses almost twice the size of Brazil? It is a gigantic continent. And that’s not all… the White Continent is full of peculiarities. It is home to the largest reserves of ice and water on the planet. It is the meeting point of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is home to thousands of penguins, seals, and whales. And it’s where the lowest temperatures in the world have ever been recorded – 890C. Therefore, tourism is quite restricted. Expeditions leave only from late November to early March when the weather is friendlier. In December I caught temperatures between 4 and – 40C. Polar summer.
My starting point for this 10-day expedition aboard the SH Vega – one of the new boutique ships from British cruise line Swan Hellenic – was Ushuaia. The ship is spectacular. It has only 75 cabins with very elegant decor. Added to this, the state-of-the-art navigation equipment, including powerful stabilizers, was a decisive factor for me to board safely. After all, to reach Antarctica you have to cross the Drake Strait, one of the roughest seas on record.
Two days later and I could hardly blink so as not to miss anything. Sailing in the caldera of a dormant volcano, walking on the great mass of ice watching cute penguins nest, observing unusual shapes of gigantic icebergs, visiting old abandoned scientific stations, kayaking on the edge of glaciers, spotting dozens of whales, and revering the sunset of the Lemaire Channel, known as one of the most impressive places of natural beauty in the world, is mesmerizing.
With this destiny that entered my life with such force and has come to be among the Top 10 on my never-ending list, I wish you all a wonderful new year full of beautiful surprises. Happy 2023! ✨