Wildlife Encounters & Polar
Our new Wildlife Encounters programme will feature our Polar Expeditions. This page will be updated soon to reflect the contents of the new brochure.
- The ultimate journeys, literally to the ends of the earth
- Magnificent pristine landscapes with the greatest wildlife spectacles in the world
The contributory and frequently erratic patterns of mother nature rarely smile benignly, but her expression is surely less frosty on those who intrude on her back yard with sensitivity and compassion. A few years ago, after a bold decision to navigate the Weddell Sea in early season, having been battered and buffeted by the full ferocity of the South Atlantic's infamous squalls, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov pulled into the lee of Paulet Island, the first ship to venture there that season.
The following 24 hours is still burnished on my memory. A raucous cacophony of over a hundred thousand penguins greeted Goretex-clad pilgrims as their Zodiacs weaved through a bay choked with cobalt blue icebergs and patrolling Leopard seals. The skies had cleared to illuminate perhaps the most rewarding afternoon I have ever had in the wilderness as not only were the penguins at their most bounteous, they were about to be augmented by some new arrivalsas it was hatching day!
After seven hours ashore with meals being pushed back and back to accommodate the rapacious desire to eke out every magical moment of this special day, the ship finally sailed north. At about 1a.m. I joined some enthusiasts on the stern. We gazed across to port as the extended sunset kissed some monstrous tabular bergs changing their faces from white to pastel pink. 180 degrees to starboard an ivory full moon was lazily rising above the summit of yet another ancient berg, this one the scope of a medium size village. There was no conversation, words rendered impotent by such a savage, breathtaking assault on the senses.This is largely lifted from my log on board but to experience such days are not by fortune alone. Wilderness and wildlife is capricious by nature and never more so than in the extreme areas of the world.
The Polar regions are overqualified in this department. To maximise this it is essential that correct choices are made concerning ships, staff and ethos. For those who fancy spending days searching shimmering sea ice for Polar bears or clambering up loose scree to find bustling bird colonies, these pages may well be your holiday mating call. Small ships containing committed staff with obscene levels of experience and an adventurous and dedicated work ethic do not guarantee the adventure of a lifetime, but they at least make it possible.
Exodus prides itself in its commitment to this ethic in the Poles. They like talking about it, I don't blame them.
Welcome on board!
The Polar section of our website has its own homepage and menu list, why not check out!