There's many an intrepid cruising sailor who has braved all sorts of sailing conditions who would still blanch a little at the idea of sailing to Antarctica. Neither would they, after the freedom of a sailing boat, do it on a cruise ship. However, there's another way to do it - on a tall ship - and the idea is growing in popularity every day.
In your own yacht? or with the Barque Europa?
Here's what two previous adventurers, Karen and Jim, said about their three weeks sailing to Antarctica on the barque Europa. 'It was perfect: the sail across the dreaded Drake, opportunities to learn from the guides, new discoveries every day, the extremely professional crew, the delicious food and the good friends we made aboard. Each day was an adventure and a new discovery. I can't imagine traveling to Antarctica any other way.'
Of course, you'll need your thermal underwear, long johns and good waterproof sailing gear, but you'll experience the freedom of sailing among albatrosses and storm birds without the nervousness of having to avoid icebergs yourself.
You'll be able to watch humpback whales, minky whales and even orcas, without worrying that they will surface under and capsize you.
In the Antarctic waters, the lovely Europa will anchor in sheltered bays every day. The crew will be on hand to bring you ashore in the dinghies to see glaciers, mosses and lichens, seals, birds and vast penguin colonies.
A professional guide will give information about the flora and fauna. He will explain for example where to find bird and sea elephant colonies and he will give advice about what to do to not disturb the unspoiled scenery.
You'll see steep glaciers, walls of ice with magical shapes and surreal colours. Europa will be sometimes surrounded with floating growlers where the leopard seals live.
You have plenty of time to plan, of course, as the next voyage doesn't begin until January next year. Not going? Then just enjoy the images.
For more information, go to the http://www.barkeuropa.com/!Europa_website.