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jorgesanchez Ushuaia - A travel report by jorge
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Ushuaia,  Argentina - flag Argentina -  Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur
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jorgesanchez's travel reports

the gate to the Antarctic Continent

  28 votes
Page: 1 2 3 4
Antarctica, the sixth continent of our planet, is a must for every traveller. The natural beauties in the Antarctica have no comparison with other places in the world.


mother penguin shows the way to her children
mother penguin shows the way to her children
In order to get to Antarctica on the cheap I had to wait almost a whole week in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Every day I used to visit several travel agencies asking the same question: Will be today any ship offering dumping prices for the Antarctica? And finally one day the cruise Marco Polo had some empty cabins at 50 % of their official cost: 2300 US dollars (instead of over 5000 dollars) for a 10 days cruise to the Antarctica Peninsula and South Shetland islands, territory claimed by three countries: Argentina, Chile and England. It took us two full days to cross the Drake Passage until we saw land (well, ice). The most fantastic view was that of the Lemaire channel, 11 kilometres long. Every time the captain observed whales, he announced it through the loud speakers, and immediately almost all the tourists of the Marco Polo (about 400) went out to the deck with their cameras to film the animals. We saw some whales, many kinds of penguins, seals, petrels and thousands of birds, etc. The food on the Marco Polo was really incredible and we could eat seven times a day. Every evening there were carnivals on the main saloon, concerts, shows, lectures about the history of Antarctica, casino, games, girls dancing salsa music, etc. It was such an unforgettable travel experience that presently I am saving money to go back to Antarctica in the near future, but next time I will travel there from New Zealand to visit McMurdo US base and the Geographical South Pole.

Favourite spots:
the ship Marco Polo
the ship Marco Polo
We also called in several other islands, such as Deception, to observe the penguins and other animals. We were advised that the animals have priority. You can not bother them crossing their way or feeding them. We were told that in the Antarctica waters live so many krill that their weight is six times superior to that of all the human beings together (and we already are around 7 thousand millions souls in this small planet!). The scientists that gave us daily lectures affirmed us that the krill is the food of the future for the mankind. Krill is a small shrimp, and the animal life in the Antarctica exists thanks to the krill. Every time that the whale opens its mouth, it eats 2 tons of krill.

What's really great:
The certificate I bought in the Chilean Antarctic Base
The certificate I bought in the Chilean Antarctic Base
Chilean Antarctic base -------------------------------------- We stopped in one Chilean base called Gabriel Gonzalez Videla, in Bahia Paraiso, where their scientific people were very happy to speak Spanish with me; they stamped my passport and sold me for just 1 US Dollar a beautiful cardboard certificate stating that I had been in Antarctica. In another place a helicopter left our vessel to bring several scientists from two bases to have a shower in our ship: Port Lockroy (English base), and Palmer (US base). Their people gave us a lecture and in the evening went back to their bases in our helicopter. About forty countries have permanent bases in the Antarctica.

Sights:
I am in Deception Island
I am in Deception Island
After visiting Antartica nothing else can surprise you. Perhaps only the Moon.

Accommodations:
Since there are no hotels in the Antarctica Peninsula, we had to sleep in the ship. We made daily excursions in zodiacs motorboats and returned to the ship to eat, enjoy the shows and sleep.

Restaurants:
No restaurants in the Antarctica only on board the MARCO POLO


Published on Monday June 20th, 2005


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Tue, Jun 28 2005 - 06:57 PM rating by magsalex

Love the penguin pic.

Mon, Jun 27 2005 - 11:01 AM rating by britman

Fabulous report

Thu, Jun 23 2005 - 07:21 AM rating by fieryfox

Thanks for sharing the tips and experiences. Yet another destination to add to the list. :)

Wed, Jun 22 2005 - 11:11 AM rating by christianj.

Hi Jorge,

thank you for sharing your experiences of your phenomenal trip. What did you say, when will you visit the moon...

Take care, Christian

Tue, Jun 21 2005 - 05:14 AM rating by davidx

Fine stuff, Jorge. Keep it up!

Mon, Jun 20 2005 - 04:53 PM rating by rangutan

Well done Jorge. A lot of us dream of Antarctica, your report certainly promoting it so positively. If more travellers would go there, i'm sure the fares/prices would come down.

Mon, Jun 20 2005 - 02:23 PM rating by milana

A wondreful report!!I think it's such a great experience!You always visit simply phenomenal places. Unique photos, especially the 1st one with penguins!Frankly speaking I envy you that you have seen them. Recently I've seen a French documentary "Emperor's journey" about penguins.It was so interesting and you have seen them in real life.

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