(916) 342-5496

≡ Menu

Five Things You May Not Know About Remote and Pristine Antarctica

Image: Alex Cearns Houndstooth Studio

Image: Alex Cearns Houndstooth Studio

Adventure travel expert Shawn Weller checked a major item off his bucket list and travelled on a basecamp voyage to Antarctica. Shawn found that this remote, pristine and largely uninhabited land mass, provides endless opportunities to experience and learn new things.


Here are five unexpected things he discovered about Antarctica on his once-in-a-lifetime trip.Kayaking in Antarctica | <i>Shawn Weller</i>

Kayaking in Antarctica | Shawn Weller

It’s not as cold as you think


One of the first things people were telling me when I mentioned that I was heading to Antarctica was “it’s going to be freezing”. After all, I was going to the coldest continent on the planet. To my surprise, some days were actually warmer than it was at this time of the year (end of November) back home in Ottawa, Canada. We had nice weather with temperature from 1°C / 34°F on the coldest day to 14°C / 57°F on the warmer day during our final landing in Neko Harbour.
Giant icebergs dwarf the zodiac, Antarctica | <i>Learna Cale</i>

Giant icebergs dwarf the zodiac, Antarctica | Learna Cale

It’s bigger than you can imagine


I was expecting to be impressed by the vastness of the White Continent, imagining sweeping landscapes that would take my breath away. I was absolutely right, except nothing could prepare me for the sheer size of the incredible landscape – it is truly indescribable. I felt so privileged to be experiencing all of this grandeur. The sounds of this continent are as humbling as its silence – you can feel your proximity to nature and its power as well as the need to respect it and take care of this amazing place.


Prolific wildlife and amazing history can both be discovered in the Antarctic Peninsula | <i>Sue Werner</i>

Prolific wildlife and amazing history can both be discovered in the Antarctic Peninsula | Sue Werner

You’ll learn more than you could’ve imagined


Between shore excursions, kayaking sessions and zodiac cruises, you will learn more than you can imagine. On-board, there were numerous lectures with experts in diverse specialties like polar exploration history, ice formation, rich fauna and Antarctica’s unique geology. My favorite lecture had to be the one with our ornithologist Martin. He could not have made birds more interesting, especially about the cute, clumsy and curious penguins. We would later see hundreds of penguins of three different types during our voyage.

Meals onboard the ship | <i>Valerie Waterston</i>

Meals onboard the ship | Valerie Waterston

The delicious on-board cuisines


When I stepped on-board the MS Ortelius leaving Ushuaia behind, I never expected the amazing food we were served. We enjoyed a daily buffet breakfast with all the fixings, lunches to die for and dinners that tasted like they were made at a 5-star restaurant. With three different choices on the menu every night, there was always something to please the palate. One of my personal favorites was the roasted New Zealander pink lamb rack with truffle mash potatoes and ratatouille vegetables followed by desert – so good!

Iceberg scenery, Antarctic peninsula | <i>Learna Cale</i>

Iceberg scenery, Antarctic peninsula | Learna Cale

There’s a lot more blue on the white continent than you’d think


Something I didn’t expect while planning my journey to the White Continent was how blue it actually is. The icebergs, glaciers, water and the sky offer such variations and shades of surreal blue – it is truly spectacular. Fun fact: The bluer is an iceberg, the older it is. You’ll learn why on this once in a lifetime voyage.

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

Connect With Us

What People are Saying

Traveled to Japan ~ East and Southeast Asia

We had a fabulous time. The hotels were great as were the tours. We enjoyed the private guides best. Every one of our private guides was fantastic and made sure that we got to do what we (Andy!) wanted to do. Our guide in Arashiyama changed things around so that Andy could go to the Monkey Park, which was not on our original itinerary, but something he decided he wanted to do. She even climbed the mountain with him after settling me in a coffee shop with a cup of coffee!! Summer, our guide in Shanghai, was fantastic, and even helped get us checked in at the airport when we left. The tours themselves were wonderful and we got a good taste of the cities we visited. Both of us are planning on returning to Japan and China again sometime in the future and I will certainly keep you in mind when the time comes. By the way, the tip that we probably appreciated the most was to fly premium economy. I don't know if we would have survived that trip if we hadn't!!

Thanks for your help!!

Loved this vacation with my family.

Excellent experience, the trip was fantastic, we didn’t have to worry about anything.

Reviewed By Suzy - Fair Oaks, CA | Traveled to Washington D.C. ~ District of Columbia ~ USA

I would recommend this agent to my family and friends


Schedule your
complimentary getting
acquainted session using my
convenient online scheduler.