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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Antarctica, Unfolding Of A Dream

 

A few years ago I received a travel e-mail about a cruise to Antarctica. Not aware of the uniqueness of travel to the area like I am today, I balked at the $1400 price tag.

 

Sunken Ship Turns out that I might have made the right choice as the ship involved on the cruise hit an iceberg during one of it's voyages to Antarctica.

 

 

All of the passengers and crew were rescued. Unfortunately, I think the ship sank and became forever a part of the Antarctica ocean landscape.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/11/071124-AP-cruise-ship.html

 

 

Antartica Expedition Trans Antarctic Expedition

 

In October 2009 during a visit to New Zealand my interest is again peaked about Antarctica while viewing an exhibition at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch.

Back home I begin some research and discover that a well respected adventure travel company, Quark Expedition has a wide selection of trips to Antarctica. However, the minimum price tag is now, $4000. Although a bit steep for my kind of travel, this time I am not willing to past up the opportunity for maybe a once in a life time adventure.

http://www.quarkexpeditions.com/

I put down a deposit with a K-Mart type lay-a-way plan. I begin making monthly payment in order to pay off the balance due 90 days prior to sailing. For me, this is a good plan as I will practically have my vacation paid off before I leave home.

 

Penguins My plans hit a small snag when I am informed by Quark that my original trip has been canceled because of insufficient bookings.

 

 

I am feeling like a penguin left out in the cold but I am given some time to make a decision. I can have my money refunded or choose a trip on another ship.

 

Drunk Homer At first it is an agonizing financial decision as the new expeditions now start at $6000 but I go for it only to have buyers regret.

$6000 is beyond my Antarctica or any where else travel budget.

 

Somewhere along the line there has been a miss-communication with Quark. Calling to cancel my trip altogether I am informed that I am being given the $6000 trip at my original price, a $2000 discount! Now I can see one reason, great customer service, why Quark Expedition has done so well in this specialized area of the travel business.

Monthly e-mails of the Quark Newsletter along with reading various articles and surfing the web keeps the expedition excitement fresh in my memory as I patiently wait until the end of November 2010 to discover “The Blue Continent”.

 

 

2 comments:

E Squared and Mui said...

Happy to see you're going to blog your trip; have added you to my RSS feed so I can follow along ... have a terrific adventure.

DMBTraveler said...

Glad to have you along. I appreciate reading your post and have used some of your tips. Now in Ushuaia. Of course, running behind in posting!