My lifelong dream of visiting ANTARCTICA is going to come true!!!
I have been dreaming of seeing the White Continent for nearly 15 years. Traveling to Antarctica can be extremely expensive. At first, it was the cost of getting there that prevented me from going. And then life happened, as it does…I got hitched and had a couple of awesome kids and various other grown-up responsibilities were added to my plate. There were always reasons why now wasn’t a good time to go.
But something changed. In the last few years, I have supported my best friend as she fought and won her battle against breast cancer three times. Even though the fight was not mine, she is my soulmate and having a front seat to the devastation that is cancer has altered me. It has urged me to love harder and live louder.
With that in mind, I decided to get off of my keister and reserve my spot aboard Quark Expedition’s Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent cruise. So…
I AM GOING TO ANTARCTICA Y’ALL!!!!!
Antarctica is Earth’s southernmost continent and the home of the South Pole. Since Antarctica is below the equator, it will be their summer when I arrive. But as a native Floridian with Caribbean roots, I consider anything below 50 degrees Fahrenheit freezing. I am compiling a list of cold weather gear that will help me to stay comfortable, even if the temperatures are bitterly cold.
I won’t be traveling to the “White Continent” on a traditional cruise ship. I will be exploring Antarctica aboard this vessel, the Ocean Endeavor.
The cost of a voyage to the 7th Continent is hefty. I opted for a shared, triple cabin which cut the price down a bit but I still had to shell out $7,000 for my spot. This expedition is going to be the greatest adventure of my life and the most expensive trip I have ever taken. My place aboard the cruise was not sponsored by Quark Expedition or any other travel company. I will provide a full review of the travel experience, once I return.
Here’s more information about my journey to the “End of the Earth”:
Day 1: Fly from Washington, DC to Buenos Aires, Argentina
The entire Antarctic adventure starts in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I will be flying from Washington, DC to Buenos Aires with Avianca. I am sure I will be tired after my 12-hour journey, but I am going to try to make the most of my time there. In my short 24-hour stay, I will be sure to take in some sights, enjoy a steak and glass of Malbec (my absolute favorite vino).
Day 2: Fly from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, Argentina
On this day, we will take a private charter flight from Buenos Aires to “El Fin Del Mundo” or “The End of the World” also known as Ushuaia. Ushuaia is the world’s southernmost city. Once we arrive in Ushuaia, we will have a few hours to walk around and explore this small port city before we board our ship.
Days 3 & 4: Crossing the Drake Passage to Antarctica
On these days we are scheduled to cross the infamous Drake Passage. The Drake is the body of water between South America’s Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. The Drake Passage is 500 miles across, which makes it the shortest and most direct route to the Antarctic Peninsula from Ushuaia. The Drake is the confluence of three Oceans: it connects the southwestern portion of the Atlantic Ocean with the southeastern part of the Pacific Ocean and extends into the Southern Ocean. This body of water can get so turbulent that it is often referred to as the Drake Shake (as opposed to the Drake Lake – when the waters are calm).
Crossing the Drake has become a rite of passage for travel enthusiasts from around the world. I am looking forward to crossing it but I am praying for the Drake Lake.
Days 5-8: Visit the Antarctic Peninsula
By the 5th day, we will arrive in Antarctica and touch down on my 7th Continent. We will be cruising on a zodiac to explore different locations along the Antarctic Peninsula to see some wildlife (hopefully a few penguins and whales), massive icebergs and participate in the famed Polar Plunge.
Days 9 & 10: Crossing the Drake Passage to Ushuaia, Argentina
On the 9th day, we will say goodbye to Antarctica and start our journey back through the Drake Passage and Beagle Channel to make landfall in Ushuaia.
Day 11: Disembark in Ushuaia and Fly back to Buenos Aires, Argentina
We will arrive at the Port of Ushuaia where we will disembark from the Ocean Endeavor. We are slated to tour the famed Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) National Park which is located in Ushuaia. Once the tour of the Park is complete, I will be transferred to the airport to take a charter flight back to Buenos Aires. I will spend one more night in Buenos Aires.
Day 12: Fly from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Washington, DC
On this day, I will hop on a plane for Washington, DC and head home to see my babies.
What do you think of this Antarctic itinerary? Is Antarctica one of your dream destinations? Please leave a comment below.