Travels to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica: Recap

Kellie Netherwood_Iceberg_Antarctica

There are many places in the world I’ve visited, enjoyed and left with a vow to return again one day. But it’s often a hollow promise, overshadowed by the desire to explore other locations and the fear that a return trip may distort and diminish the memories of the original experience.

But Antarctica was different.

Before even leaving the ship after my first experience of the world’s wildest continent two years ago, I began planning and saving for my return.

I had unfinished business with Antarctica and I felt it had unfinished business with me.

It wasn’t just the tangible attractions I wanted to experience again: the wildlife, dramatic landscapes and endless photographic opportunities. I also craved the sensory overload that forces you to forget the past, ignore the future and soak up the moment. I looked forward to disconnecting from every day life and all of its distractions. I welcomed the deafening silence and simplicity of the natural world.

I had an addiction that needed feeding.

Kellie Netherwood_Adelie Penguin Swimming_Antarctica

I boarded the Sea Adventurer three weeks ago with a cocktail of emotions flowing through my veins. There was a touch of familiarity, a sense of de-ja-vu, the comfort of knowing what to expect with the excitement of knowing that it’s the unexpected.

But there was also a little apprehension. I was travelling with Quark Expeditions again albeit on a different (and smaller) ship. I had chosen a longer itinerary with the hope of crossing the polar circle, but was returning to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. I was essentially repeating the expedition I had enjoyed only two years ago.

Would my second trip live up to the expectations created by my first?

The simple answer is yes.

Kellie Netherwood_Damoy Point_Antarctica

My feet are now firmly back on ground in Ushuaia after reluctantly disembarking from the ship that had been my mobile base camp for the past three weeks. I’ve shared both Christmas and New Year with a group of like-minded strangers from all walks of life. I’ve explored new locations and wildlife sightings. And I’ve enjoyed different experiences at places I’ve been before.

Throughout this journey I’ve often been asked how it compares to my first adventure. It’s been different in so many ways that it’s difficult to answer, but I can honestly say that both trips have exceeded my expectations in their own unique way and my polar addiction is far from sated.

Kellie Netherwood_Leopard Seal_Elephant Island_Antarctica

Am I planning a third visit? Oh yes! The wait may be longer than two years this time, but I’ll be back. Antarctica is an incredibly special part of the world that remains an unattainable dream for many people, a once in a lifetime adventure for others and an addiction for a lucky few that feel a connection with it that keeps pulling them back.

I’ve returned with many photos and stories that I will be sharing in the months to come. In the meantime, here is a sneak preview:

The Falkland Islands

Kellie Netherwood_Falkland Islands

 

South Georgia

Kellie Netherwood_South Georgia

 

South Shetland Islands

Kellie Netherwood_South Shetland Islands

Antarctica

Kellie Netherwood_Antarctica

 

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Kellie is a traveller and photographer who is most at home when exploring the world beyond it. Through the intersection of her travel, writing and photography passions, she shares her experiences to inspire others to create there own. The desire to live life instead of existing through it has introduced Kellie to inspirational locations throughout seven continents and from this a passion for landscape and wildlife photography has evolved. She feels a particular connection to the polar regions and Africa. You can see more of her photography at www.kellienetherwoodphotography.com

Comments

  1. I’m so glad you had another great trip, can’t wait to see and hear more about it!

  2. Kellie,

    I will look forward to reading about your return to the Far South. It sounds like you had an amazing time again.

    I returned 3 weeks ago from my trip on the Akedemik Ioffe and I am still in awe. The whole trip was amazing and I am reliving it as I edit the 10,000 plus images that I took. I was 19 days on the ship and then another 10 days in Patagonia which also took my breath away.

    I can feel the call to return already. But this year Iceland and Norway are calling so that will have to keep me happy for awhile.

    I look forward to reading of your adventures.

    Carol
    Australia

    • Great to hear you had a terrific time Carol and I can relate to the number of photos you have to edit! I’m actually in Patagonia at the moment, waiting until a rainy and windy day in Torres del Paine and hoping the weather forecast is accurate in that it will clear for my remaining three days here!

      Look forward to sharing more Antarctica stories with each other when I return to regular internet 🙂

  3. Though I am not really a fun of cold places I am a big fan of landscapes and would love to visit Antarctica one day. How much did the 3 week trip cost you?

    • I can’t remember off the top of my head (I’m still travelling in South America at the moment) but it certainly isn’t cheap, although there are ways to help make it cheaper with discount offers or last minute deals in Ushuaia. The Quark website lists the prices, I had the lowest priced twin room on the lower deck with a porthole. In addition to that, you need to add flights and travel insurance and maybe a bit for some new clothes if you don’t have anything for cold climates (although Quark give you a parka which saves the hassle of forking out money for that). Definitely worth every penny though 🙂

  4. Wow, glad I found this post. I just booked the same tour you are describing on the Quark Sea Adventurer for next week, except it’s their end of season cruise ending up in B.A. I was concerned it would be a little long of a cruise but seems like you really enjoyed it! Can’t wait.

    • That was the ship I was on – you will LOVE IT!! The expedition team is fantastic and I’m sure it won’t feel long enough. I wasn’t ready to leave both of the trips I’ve done. The longer trips are so much better because you have time to really get into the experience and soak it up. Have a great time and say hello to the team for me!

  5. Hi Kellie,

    Wow, multiple trips to this part of the world! Awesomeness!

    I love the image of the leopard seal. I fell in love with these guys on nature shows; so much ferocity, but also, pretty affectionate as I saw one bond with a photographer many years ago.

    Keep on inspiring!

    Ryan

  6. Clare Jane says:

    Hi Kellie
    I am thoroughly enjoying looking through your Antarctica posts. I am currently planning my excursion to the southern Polar region for Nov-Dec 2018. I originally didn’t know anything much about South Georgia or The Falklands Islands, however they’ve recently come onto my radar. Antarctica is a definite, what do you think about South Georgia and The Falklands. I’m sure they are great, but are they worth the add on (doubles the price of my trip)?
    I’m of the attitude that if you go that far, and likely only once (lucky you going twice), we should do all. Anyway, I’d love for you to tell me more and to hear your recommendation.
    Thanks, Clare

    • Hi Clare. 100% yes to South Georgia! It blew my mind, the wildlife and wild and rugged landscape is incredible. The king penguin colonies in South Georgia are massive and worth a visit there just for them – but add the history, the landscape, the other birds, seals….! I went through the same thought process, as you are right, it doubles the price of a trip but I agree with you – if you are going that far and likely to only go once, make it the best possible trip you can – and this includes South Georgia! Happy planning, let me know if you have any other questions.

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