Dazzling Antarctica

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At midnight on New Year’s Eve, the orchestra was playing “Auld Lang Syne” as we sailed the South Atlantic on our way to the White Continent aboard M.V. Discovery.

Antarctica is truly magnificent, with mountains, sea, snow, icebergs, glaciers and ice packs but not a bit of green. It is a land of breathtaking beauty, where we experienced unexpected howling winds, snowstorms, sea lanes blocked by ice, and dazzling sunlit panoramas. The only settlements are small, isolated scientific stations and penguin colonies, both of which we visited on 12-man Zodiacs (rubber rafts).

We sailed from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 29, ’04, to Antarctica via the Falkland Islands, debarking in Ushuaia, Argentina, Jan. 10, ’05. I arranged the trip through GoAhead Vacations (Cambridge, MA; 800/242-4686 or www.goaheadvacations.com).

The GoAhead tour director with us, Sarah Dove, was just great, not only “looking after” us (for instance, getting and distributing our airline boarding passes on the last day) but each day providing background information about the Antarctic that constituted a college course by itself.

My wonderful trip to Antarctica cost me $6,051, including round-trip air from Baltimore. I went as a single (which is always more expensive than traveling as a double). One of the reasons I selected this trip is that the rate charged a single traveler by the cruise line was about half of what other lines charged.

The White Continent is a fascinating destination, one I can recommend to all who love adventure, spectacular scenery and penguins.

HELEN ANNE VIGNESS
Adelphi, MD

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

At midnight on New Year’s Eve, the orchestra was playing “Auld Lang Syne” as we sailed the South Atlantic on our way to the White Continent aboard M.V. Discovery.

Antarctica is truly magnificent, with mountains, sea, snow, icebergs, glaciers and ice packs but not a bit of green. It is a land of breathtaking beauty, where we experienced unexpected howling winds, snowstorms, sea lanes blocked by ice, and dazzling sunlit panoramas. The only settlements are small, isolated scientific stations and penguin colonies, both of which we visited on 12-man Zodiacs (rubber rafts).

We sailed from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 29, ’04, to Antarctica via the Falkland Islands, debarking in Ushuaia, Argentina, Jan. 10, ’05. I arranged the trip through GoAhead Vacations (Cambridge, MA; 800/242-4686 or www.goaheadvacations.com).

The GoAhead tour director with us, Sarah Dove, was just great, not only “looking after” us (for instance, getting and distributing our airline boarding passes on the last day) but each day providing background information about the Antarctic that constituted a college course by itself.

My wonderful trip to Antarctica cost me $6,051, including round-trip air from Baltimore. I went as a single (which is always more expensive than traveling as a double). One of the reasons I selected this trip is that the rate charged a single traveler by the cruise line was about half of what other lines charged.

The White Continent is a fascinating destination, one I can recommend to all who love adventure, spectacular scenery and penguins.

HELEN ANNE VIGNESS
Adelphi, MD