When we talk about our passion for travel, part of our elevator pitch is that we've been to every continent together, at least once--including Antarctica.
That's when the Antarctica questions start to come up. So, here are the five questions we get when people learn that we've been there, and the standard answers we give.
1. Can you actually go to Antarctica?
Yes. When we just told you that we went to Antarctica, we weren't making that up. But also, we weren't stationed at a scientific research base, either. It's absolutely possible to visit Antarctica, and you should absolutely see it while you still can. (It's melting, you know.) Basically, you fly to the southern tip of Argentina, get on a boat and head south. The trip we took--on a Russian research vessel that was retrofitted for adventure tourism--went farther south than most cruises. We actually traveled south of the Antarctic Circle! But there are lots of great options, with a wide range of creature comforts. Just be prepared for the most incredible trip you've ever taken.
2. Was it cold?
Well, it is Antarctica, after all. But, when we were there (the week between Christmas and New Year's Day), the temperature in Antarctica was more or less the same as in New York at that same time. Temperatures hovered just a little above or a little below freezing. It was 34 degrees (F) for us, and it was 36 degrees (F) back in Brooklyn. The only difference was, we were on the trip of a lifetime, and people in New York were going to their stupid jobs.
3. Where did you stay?
This question perplexes me, but there are actually some folks who can't imagine the possibility of going on vacation without staying in a hotel. They're the ones who ask this question. There are no hotels on Antarctica. Nor will you find bars, restaurants or nightlife. Because, you're sleeping on the boat, that's why! It is possible to camp on the ice, and if you pick the right journey (which we'll happily book for you), you might have the option to do that. When we tried to camp on the ice, the weather took a turn for the worse, and we had to abandon the effort, but we gave it a go. We called our little campsite, "Camp Happy Feet," named after an animated penguin that tap danced. And we're still friends with our fellow aspirational campers, to this day.
4. Did you get seasick?
No. We didn't. But others on our ship definitely did. Crossing the Drake Passage can be notoriously choppy. And on our way over, it was very, very choppy. But that was just for a day or so on a "once-in-a-lifetime" trip. There were a couple of people who holed up in their cabins for a day and a half while we made the crossing, but once things calmed down, they had just as much fun as the rest of us did. (Though, they didn't have the benefit of hanging out with those of us who were functional for those first few days). Don't let fear of seasickness deter you from taking this (or any) trip. Between the wristbands and over-the-counter remedies, you don't have to suffer. And many larger ships these days (there are some major cruise lines that skirt Antarctica), are stabilized to ward off the rocking and rolling.
5. I want to do that!
Okay, so maybe this isn't a question, but when we hear people say that, we know that there are question marks lurking in the background. Here's what I'd say: if it sounds even remotely interesting to you, you should start talking to friends and family about how awesome you think it would be to go to Antarctica--freakin' Antarctica, for crying out loud! And if they express enthusiasm for the idea, you should grab them by the arm, and say, "I'm going to reach out to Huckleberry Travel to find out what it would take to get us there. It's going to be awesome!" Don't forget the "it's going to be awesome" phrase, because it is, in actual fact, going to be awesome.