Travel Consultant Experience – Antarctica
By Linda Walker
Hi. My name is Linda Walker. I’m a luxury travel consultant with Preferred Travel and I’m going to tell you a little bit about my trip to Antarctica, which I took in November of 2016. It is what they consider to be their summer season. It’s actually the only time you can go to Antarctica – between November and March.
We were on the National Geographic Orion. It’s a ship that takes just over 100 passengers and it has a crew of 75. I would definitely say it is on the luxury side. I think one of the great things is that the bridge is an open bridge, so any time day or night you can go up to the bridge, talk to the captain, talk to his crew, watch where he was navigating through the ice. I think that was a highlight of the trip as well.
Antarctica is just such a different place. Like nothing I’ve ever seen before, nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It’s a place that’s not inhabited by anyone. There are no trees, no vegetation, very little life can survive there and it’s just unspoiled. It’s just pristine.
It’s just amazing. We went out every day either on a Zodiak cruise. I would say that probably the most amazing thing for me was going out on a kayak. We were kayaking among icebergs that were just unimaginable. And to just look around and see the beauty of it and to realize that was just no one else around, it was really amazing.
Every National Geographic Lindblad trip has an exploration team onboard and it starts out with the exploration leader and he has a team of naturalists onboard that are just top of the class. There’s always a National Geographic photographer onboard who gives tips on how to get the best photos and every night there is a little lecture or just a gathering really where different naturalists share what they know about the places we are seeing every day.
Preferred Travel has an excellent relationship with Lindblad. We know the people there. We have the one-on-one with them so if there are any issues that come up before, during or after we are there to handle everything start to finish. All of their documentation is fantastic, but questions come up from time-to-time, so by dealing with Preferred Travel we can take care of any of those questions right before hand.
In Antarctica, we definitely saw so many penguins… an unbelievable amount of penguins. It’s great because the Lindblad National Geographic staff pointed out to us species of penguins. So, we saw Chinstrap Penguins. We saw Gentoo Penguins. We saw penguins nesting, so we were able to see the eggs and how they protect them. We saw Orca whales. We saw seals. We saw tons of different types of birds. And to know that those species that live there basically live off the sea because there is nothing there. You could get right up. They tell you stay 15 feet from the penguins, but if the penguins come towards you, that’s fine. And there’s no fear in the penguins at all.
To book a trip like this or another adventure, contact Preferred Travel of Naples at 239.261.1177 or visit our website: http://www.preferrednaples.com
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