Why we recommend the Island Sky for the ultimate Antarctic adventure
At cazenove+loyd, we specialise in mind-expanding trips that linger with you long after you’ve returned home. Over the past almost 30 years, we’ve explored the hottest deserts, wildest rainforests and highest peaks in search of finding the best for our clients. The most striking landscape of all is the Great White Continent of Antarctica.
For true adventurers, nothing quite compares to Antarctica. It presents the chance to follow in the footsteps of those revered explorers, such as Scott and Shackleton, and exposes travellers to a completely unique environment. Being in the world’s last true unexplored wilderness creates a heady mix of feeling special – for being one of the few there – but also wholly insignificant among the endless, icy plains.
A trip to the Antarctic is truly a once-in-a-lifetime, bucket-list journey, which makes it all the more important that every element of the experience meets expectations and is right for each client. This means choosing the best vessel to travel on. In our minds, the MS Island Sky is unparalleled.
Given that Antarctica is still a wild and unexplored land, most of the ships that traverse the polar region are practical above anything else, with shared bathrooms, squashed cabins and tiny portholes the norm. In contrast, the Island Sky is a luxurious ship, exuding old-world charm, that does not in any way compromise on the adventure element. She is extremely comfortable but, crucially, also well run, with the best professional guides in the region onboard. The ideal base from which to explore Antarctica in style, the boat has three decks of suites with sliding glass doors that allow you to rush straight out to view wildlife, such as killer whales, as and when they are sighted.
While the thoughtful design, rainfall showers and Wi-Fi are certainly welcome, in our eyes the most impressive element of this ship is the guiding. All passionate experts in their field, the guides have plenty of time to chat informally to those onboard and also host lectures to fully reinforce the incredible sights you are seeing.
For the ultimate adventure, we recommend a three-week trip taking in the Falklands, South Georgia and the Antarctic peninsula. This is the holy grail of expeditions and an absolute must for wildlife fanatics. Each day, there are trips to shore on zodiacs – inflatable, but sturdy motorboats – to trek the peninsula and experience the raw power of nature up close. There are excursions to penguin colonies and plenty of chances to spot seals, albatrosses and even huge whales.
From 2021, a new ship we are eagerly anticipating is MS Seaventure. She will offer a world-class small ship experience whereby you will be able to explore coves, bays and channels previously inaccessible.
For those that are short on time or wish to skip the notoriously rough Drake Passage, there is the option to fly from Punta Arenas in Chile straight to King George Island. Crossing the Drake Passage can prove a trying experience for those who are prone to seasickness, although for those with stronger stomachs, it is well worth the trip for many reasons.
There are now more comfortable ways than ever for our clients to experience a continent that is still so little travelled and yet so ready to be explored. We have a wealth of knowledge that we are just waiting to share – and cannot wait to start planning your trip.
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