Traveling to Antarctica: A Dream Come True
Alexandra Bacho, Market Engagement Manager at Antarctica21, traveled to the Last Continent in December 2018, on a Classic Antarctica Air-Cruise aboard Ocean Nova. In this story, she shares the memories of her trip of a lifetime.
“I just came back from Antarctica” – even now, after being home for a couple of days, it still feels strange to write that sentence. Visiting the 7th continent has always been my dream, and when you fulfill such a big dream it takes time to realize what happened. I still struggle to find the right words to describe my experience, but Antarctica was everything I thought it would be and more.
Our flight was scheduled to depart early from Punta Arenas, Chile and I had a wake-up call scheduled for 5:30 am, but anticipation had already taken over and I had been awake long before. Antarctica – my dream was finally coming true. As our plane descended through the clouds, I saw the land of ice out my window, first islands came into view, then glaciers, and finally, we landed on King George Island. I was finally here and looking forward to the next few days aboard Antarctica21’s vessel Ocean Nova. The first evening didn’t disappoint as we had a humpback whale sighting. Everyone, including the guides that had seen them before, seemed to hold their breath in wonder as we watched this majestic animal swim through the cold waters.
Photo by Alexandra Bacho
Antarctica feels like another world. On the morning of the third day, I woke up early again as we were entering the Lemaire Channel, nicknamed The Kodak Gap as this passage enchants travelers with its stunning landscapes. Grabbing my camera, I ran to the top deck from my cabin to admire the beauty of this passage and take pictures. I left my cabin so quickly that I forgot my gloves and my hands chapped in the cold wind. I barely noticed the cold though as we sailed among the sea ice, icebergs and stunning white mountains that were reflected in the stillness of the water. The memory of these landscapes will stay with me forever. The following day we had a continental landing and we walked up a hill to enjoy the view of Neko Harbor from a higher perspective. At the top, I sat down and let Antarctica – all its majesty and wildness – soak in.
Lemaire Channel seen by Alexandra Bacho
Antarctica through the lense of Mariela Urra
In Antarctica days go by quickly as there are many activities to participate in. The time I spent sitting and reflecting is something I would recommend to every Antarctic traveler: put your camera down and look up. This is planet Earth. Now that I am back, friends and family ask – “what was Antarctica like?!” I find myself unable to provide an answer that truly grasps my experience. It was an expedition to a new world, where beautiful, magnificent wildlife meets majestic white mountains, and giant, sculpture-like icebergs – a dream come true.