Explorer Spotlight: Antarctica on Azamara Club Cruises
By: Diane Congdon- an adventurous and well traveled client of Roseborough Travel Agency.
The most absolute-over-the-top trip I have ever taken was a cruise to Antarctica in 2008 on the Azamara Journey. At about 700 passengers, it was the smallest, most luxurious ship and the longest trip I had taken.
Why Antarctica? As a long-time Floridian, I am always looking for cooler weather and mountains for my trips. The scenery was so breathtakingly spectacular that it is not describable in words. I spent three days standing on the deck from dawn to dusk in rain, snow, sleet, hail and sunshine looking at icebergs more than a mile long and much taller than the ship (and remember only 1/10 of the berg actually shows above the water), beautiful mists, whales and bazillions of penguins and other birds, only coming in to get dry gloves and socks and a hot drink. We went where the ice captains knew there were things to see with no set itinerary; if we saw something, the ship stopped and we looked.
The real bonus was the Chilean fjords. Because the ship was so small, we hugged the coast line of Chile from Valparaiso down to the tip of South America. The fjords rivaled, and may have exceeded, the beauties of the Alaska and Norway coasts. The other real bonus was the people; the Chileans, Uruguayans and Argentinians were so welcoming and so proud of their lands. I took a horseback ride to the end of the Americas; drank great Chilean wines; had Uruguayan barbecue at a ranch; bought a hand-woven wool shawl from the woman who carded the wool, wove the yarn and made the shawl (using sign language, finger waving and smiles to make the purchase).
And, yes, Roseborough planned this trip for me.
This trip is still at the top of my list to do again. Along with a safari-laden trip to South Africa.