Guest Interview: The Lure of Antarctica
Actor and producer Christopher Wolfe travelled to the White Continent on an ANTARCTICA XXI air-cruise with his father, John, in 2013 (that’s them kayaking in the photo!)
We caught up with him to find out what drew them here, and what impressions and experiences have remained 5 years later.
What drew you to Antarctica?
I love how exotic and how different from anything else it is.
You travelled with your father – how was that experience?
I can’t recommend it to everyone but he is very easy to travel with- the perfect travel buddy.
What were your first impressions when you got there?
Landing on the island and walking down to the boat launch was an adventure. I loved being in the elements and how adventurous it was. The zodiac rides were through big waves.
What did you think of the ship [Ocean Nova]?
It was great. I like the rooms and the viewing deck above and inside. Those were very important. It was very comfortable without being too big.
Impressions of your fellow travellers? Were there any interesting people or stories, for example?
We were fortunate to have several travel agents on the trip who had been to many places. One, in particular, had been to Iran and I’m fascinated with that country. But yes most of the people were interesting considering the nature of the trip.
How did the expedition team enhance the experience?
They seemed like they enjoyed what they did and that made them fun to be around. They were engaging and interesting and helpful. Especially the guy who ran the kayaks and the resident scientists.
Impressions on the Zodiacs? Boarding, cruising?
Again the boarding process was so cool that first day. All the times were very easy and efficient. And immersive.
Were you able to keep active on board / on shore?
I can’t remember any downtime so I would say yes. I loved the time on shore.
Did you encounter rough seas or weather?
The first 24 hours about half the ship were seasick. Including my dad. I don’t think he left the bed for 24 hours. But I was fine. I was actually more fun to be immersed in it all.
Did you have any interesting wildlife encounters?
Yes. We had big seals come up to us while kayaking and the giant penguin colony interaction was phenomenal. Then seeing humpback whales up close was special.
Any unusual experiences or stories? How was the polar plunge?!
The polar plunge was one of the top three highlights, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. In fact, I dove in twice just because I loved it so much. One of the most exhilarating moments. The kayaking was an integral part of the trip for me. Again, the immersive nature of it.
Anything you wish you had packed (that you didn’t)?
Not that I remember but your suggestions were very thorough!
Did you incorporate other travel experiences pre or post voyage?
Yes, we went to Santiago and Punta Arenas and Torres Del Paine
Did Antarctica meet your expectations as a destination?
Completely. And beyond. The only thing I would add would be a helicopter tour inland and in the Emperor penguin sighting. But I understand in our trip that ice was too thick.
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