Antarctica Falklands and South Georgia Vavilov

Anyone out there booked to go on this expedition?  It will be my 3rd polar experience and I can't wait to go!


Hi, We're going on the same trip but leaving on 13/1/2012. It's our first time to Antarctica & can't wait.

Any tips? Richard & Pauline.


... Well, where to start?
What to expect: the trip of a lifetime! An expedition crew which works tirelessly to ensure that you have the best chance of seeing fantastic wildlife. The scientists are incredibly knowledgable and are all experts in their own fields. I was lucky enough to meet Ian Stirling on both of the trips that I have done (Antarctica and Arctic). Atrue polar expert and world renowned expert n polar bears. Feel very privileged or have met him. There will be educational sessions, particularly on sea days. Well worth attending. I'm not sure which ship you are on, but the Captain of the Vavilov allowed us onto the bridge for viewing. I spent hours here on sea days. Fantastic way to learn.
What to take: clothing - I took lots of layers. You will probably go out on the zodiacs 2+ times a day, so worth taking spare gloves, thermals etc just in case the get wet. Not always easy to dry stuff easily. If you are using a camera, I found the best was a pair of glove liners plus thick waterproof gloves on top. That way, you can just take the top pair off but still keep your hands from freezing when you use the camera. Camera batteries definitely don't last as long in the cold, so take spares and also spare cards. Exodus list is good.
Ship: vavilov is comfortable but not extravagant - it is a research vessel. Very stable and quiet. I was lucky inso far as the Drake was calm but if you tend towards sea sickness, prevention is better than cure, so take tablets. Hospitality of the crew is first class and food amazing. If you have any specific points, pls let me know and I can try and answer


Hi Claire, Thank you so much for your really helpful tips. Just two other questions for the time being - is the 'dress code' really casual on the ship (we're going on the Sea Spirit). We're assuming (hoping) that it's more about comfort than anything else. 

Also, if you had to choose would you rather go to the Arctic or the Antarctic? The recent TV show Frozen Planet has really whetted the appetite! 

Have a great trip in December. 

Regards, Richard & Pauline 


Hi Richard and Pauline

On the Vavilov, the dress code was really casual but I don't know about the Sea Spirit as I think that is more "up market".  I would just bear in mind that if the crew spot something interesting to see, you will endup outside, so good idea to always have something warm to hand.  The only slightly formal night was the Captain's dinner  -  but even here, most people  were in casual attire.  The crew dressed in "uniform" for this event.

Antarctic or Arctic.  Really hard question as they are both very different and literally polar opposites in practically everyway.  I came straight off the ship from the Antarctic, went into an internet cafe in Ushuaia and booked the artic.  In the Artic, we were really lucky with amazing polar bear sightings.  However, for me, it is the huge,remote vastness of Antartica and the big ice that is taking me back (plus the penguins, whales and seals).





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