Our Polar Cruises In Comparison To A Polar Exploration

As his new book, ‘Beneath The Ice’, was released last week, the Telegraph recently published a piece by polar explorer Patrick Woodhead entitled ‘10 Things No One Tells You Before An Antarctic Expedition’. In this list, Patrick highlights a number of things that you may not consider those embarking on the type of adventure that involves ski-trekking 1,850km across the Great White Continent have to go through.

After reading the article, it got us thinking…just how different is an experience such as the one Woodhead undertook to the polar cruises that we offer here at Fred Expeditions. The answer is a lot. Whilst you will obviously get to enjoy the beauty and wonder of the Arctic or Antarctic, just like Patrick did, there will be considerably less pain, risk, and endurance involved in your trip.

Here are some vast differences between the two scenarios, along with a couple of things that could apply in both cases.

Patrick says:

“You're going to have to eat a lot of raw butter”

Fred says:

“How does 5-star dining sound instead?”

Silversea CuisineSilversea Cuisine

Here, Patrick highlights the fact that polar explorers have to keep an eye on their calorie intake. When they are burning up to 9,000 calories per day, there is often a need to dine out on a stick of butter in order to keep energy levels high.

Luckily, the butter you’re likely to consume will be part of a sauce to accompany your steak or served in the form of a delicious bread and butter pudding. It’s amazing what the chefs can do on a ship in the middle of polar waters. Many of the operators we work with use local ingredients from the areas to which they travel, so expect plenty of regional delights. Each cruise line has its own selection of delightful dishes on the menu, but Silversea is renowned for silver service and 5-star dining.

Patrick says:

“Washing is a painful experience”

Fred says:

“Not when you have luxurious en-suite facilities”

Lindblad Toiletries

Woodhead describes the only way to wash when you are in the middle of the Antarctic wilderness is to strip down in the -30-degree temperatures and rub snow all over your body. This is a far cry from the facilities you will have at your disposal when you travel with Fred, though.

En-suite bathrooms come as standard on board all of the ships we offer and, depending on who you travel with, there are likely to be a few welcome extras as well. For example, Lindblad Expeditions offer environmentally-inspired bath products, personal climate control and plush robes, whilst Silversea’s bathrooms include both a shower and a bath along with a choice of amenities.

Patrick says:

“There is often a huge sense of isolation and disconnect when you come back to everyday life”

Fred says:

“Everyone will want to hear about your amazing experiences”

Man Photographing PenguinsMan Photographing Penguins

Whilst Patrick talks about having to re-adjust to life in the real world when you return from Antarctica; you will be able to re-visit your holiday memories for a long time after your trip is over. Friends and family alike will want to hear all about what you got up to and the awe-inspiring things you saw, and you will have plenty of photographs to refer to during your storytelling. Most of the operators we work with provide onboard photography workshops, during which professionals will help you capture the perfect shots to take home.

Granted, you may have to adjust to the fact that you won’t be waking up to some of the most fantastic views in the world anymore, but that can soon be remedied by putting the plans together for your next big adventure.

Patrick says:

“Choose your companions carefully. You may have to eat them.”

Fred says:

“Your shipmates will become one big family”

Circle At North PoleCircle At North Pole

In this section of the article, Patrick discusses the fact that the tiniest issues can be blown out of all proportion when you are spending a long period of time in a tent with someone. In contrast to this, the atmosphere aboard your expedition vessel is likely to be an excited and welcoming one. Everyone is eager to meet new people who share the same interests as them, and by the end of the trip, you are likely to have made at least a few new friends.

It is for this reason that you may not even want to choose a companion to join you. Many people decide to embark on our solo expeditions which offer the freedom of travelling alone but the opportunity to become part of one big family. If all of this sounds too much though, there is plenty of space in the public areas to find a quiet corner to yourself.

Patrick says:

“Take a notebook and pencil”

Fred says:

“We couldn’t agree more”


Woodhead says that having a pencil and notepad at hand helps him to record his thoughts and feelings at certain times, which then become very useful when writing his books. We think this is a great tip for anyone heading off to the Arctic or Antarctic on one of our expedition cruises.

These are experiences that you will not want to forget and so keeping a journal during your trip is a great way to preserve your memories. Recording your thoughts about the sights you see and the things you do will help you bring them back to life all the more vividly once you get back home.

Don’t just take our word for it though, come and see for yourself. We have a variety of different expeditions available in both Polar Regions. Simply call us today or submit an online enquiry for more information.

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