On July 28 we were lucky enough to have Coxy from Coxy's Big Break visit the offices, to conduct an Antarctica Q&A session with our Facebook fans.
Below are a few of the questions he was asked. If you'd like to see the entire session, simply "Like" our Facebook page.
Michelle Marcus: Are there any people that actually live in the areas where your polar trips visit?
@Michelle: Yeah we went to a Ny Alesund which is a scientific town and there are little boats loaded with research gear and dog alarms to warn of bears coming into town which was fascinating. There are shops there with trinkets so you can have a souvenir from the Arctic. Longyearbyen was really cool with lots of shops. Walking around was cool except for walking up the hill in all our heavy clothes. The Peregrine guides are great an answering curly questions about the towns.
Stephanie Buckle: Ok it has to be asked - what is the likelihood of not seeing a polar bear?
@Stephanie: Well on our trip we saw four but I guess it is like anything, it is a wild animal and it can't be guaranteed. Peregrine currently has a 100% strike rate so you have to be pretty unlucky to not see them. From Day 1 Peregrine staff's number one priority is to find a polar bear, and they have had a lot of experience finding them.
Michelle Marcus: The polar regions look like the most beautiful places on earth, yet cold and harsh. Is the beauty as incredibly moving as it looks and do the conditions detract or actually add to the experience?
@Michelle: Thanks for your question. It was so awesome that it didn't look real. It looked like a film set - indescribable. It is the most magnificent scenery I have seen in the world. It wasn't cold while I was there, we had 11 days of blue sky and the sun coming off the ice glistened. Put it on your bucket list. This is the place for scenery!
Chanel Marshall: What is your most memorable place in Antarctica and do you recommend making the extra time to visit South Georgia?
@Chanel: Well I actually went to the High Arctic. The most memorable place I visited was the Monaco glacier and when ice falls off it, it's amazing. The chunks of ice are the size of a house and the noise is incredible. Being in tiny Zodiacs got us so close but had to keep a distance or else the falling ice could have capsized our zodiac. This was just fantastic. I recommend visiting this place.
Karen Piahana-Wong: My boyfriend and I would like to get married in Antarctica. Is that possible, and if so, has anyone ever done so while on a Peregrine adventure?
@Karen: Hi Karen, Alex here. Yes you can get married on board however it will just be a blessing from the captain. You will have to obtain real documentation from your home country. We would be happy to have you aboard one of our Peregrine voyages.
Kathryn Smyth: What month do you consider to be the best to visit Antarctica?
@Kathryn: Alex here. The best month to visit Antarctica would be late January or early February. At that time you will find adult chicks and generally more whales. Alex
Sarah Alexander: What is the journey like to Antartica? And how long does it take?
@Sarah: Alex here. The trip to Antarctica takes around two days from Ushuaia though the Drake Passage which can get a little rough. As the expedition staff will tell you, it's either the Drake Lake or the Drake Shake.
Sonia Kircher: What's the most important safety tip you learnt on your trip?
@Sonia: Be fleet of foot, in other words - getting down the gang planks can be hairy. Be aware that you need to be stable on your feet for this. Peregrine gives you a great Arctic jacket so all you need to take along is a good pair of thermals. A good beanie (wool) is great and you must take sunnies, maybe two pairs in case you lose some in the water. And don't forget to take a good camera. One of the great things is that each night you are asked if you would like to hand in your photos and at the end of the trip everyone receives a DVD of all the best photos.
(Editor: See our blog about photography tips)
Brad Ford: Hey Coxy! Was it difficult to sleep on the ship?
@Brad: I can sleep anywhere anytime so for me no. Not a bad idea to take some bulldog clips to clip the curtains shut which will make the room dark. It is just the 24 hours of light that kept people up I think bulldog clips will solve that.
@Morgan Moore: Hi Coxy, what was the food on board like?
@Morgan The food on board was fantastic. It was a lot better than I ever expected. I would give it 9 out of 10 and you'll never go hungry. Coming from me that is a good thing. It was a smorgasbord so you can go back if you are wanting more.
Amanda Cage: Hey Coxy, How many polar bears did you spot?
@Amanda: We spotted one twice at different times as well as two others. We got about 100 metres away from them, but that was definitely close enough. They are very big. At this distance you realise how big they actually are. They are monsters!
Samantha Degenaar: Are there any health requirements to do a trip this way?
@Samantha:The health requirement I would say you need is to be steady on your feet. Make sure you are able to get along gang planks and feel comfortable walking around the ship. Medical questionnaires are required to be filled out before a voyage.
Got another question about the Arctic? As Alex, our resident Polar expert in the section below. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to join in more travel discussions, debates, competitions and giveaways.
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