Poseidon Expeditions Blog

Crossing the Antarctic Convergence on Your Polar Cruise

To many of our expedition staff, who have traveled numerous times to and from the Antarctic Peninsula, the journey across the Drake Passage from the tip of South America is a not-to-be-missed prelude to actually visiting the White Continent. On the journey south, which takes the better part of two days, there’s ample time for orientation, the IAATO Briefing, informative presentations and the natural growing anticipation of visiting one of the most remote spots on earth.

But the journey is in other ways a celebrated portal to the Peninsula, crossing through the Antarctic Convergence. This is a magical yet mostly invisible doorway to the land of penguins, seals, glaciers and icebergs. What exactly is the Antarctic Convergence?

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Polar Camping & Kayaking - Webinar with Ida Olsson

Exploring the polar regions can certainly be a great adventure, but how adventurous can it get? Polar kayaking and camping are a great chance to bring your expedition cruising experience to a new level!

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How to Choose the Best Cabin on a Polar Expedition Ship

Choosing the right polar expedition ship is an essential stage of planning your cruise to the Arctic or Antarctica. You may think the vessel is just something to get you to all the amazing places in the polar regions, but that’s not entirely true. Outdoor activities and landings aside, you’re going to spend time on board, so your ship choice can make a big difference in the memories you take home with you. It comes down to finding the right balance between feeling comfortable and well taken care of on one hand, and keeping the expedition side of the voyage fun and educational on the other.

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North Pole Adventure


Recollections of My North Pole Adventure
By Steve Wellmeier

You say you love to travel and you’ve been all over the world, even to Antarctica, the Seventh Continent. Oh, a member of the Travelers’ Century Club, are you? You’ve been to all the capital cities of Europe, to game reserves in Kenya and Tanzania. Places filled with culture, restaurants and museums on one hand and, on the other, remote environments where wildlife reigns and mere mortals pay homage to Mother Nature.

After all of that, “Why?,” you say. “Why would I want to go to the North Pole?” You’re not the bucket-list type, you add, and you really don’t see the point, when you’ve already experienced Arctic wildlife in Svalbard and seen massive icebergs in East Greenland.

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Antarctica, South Georgia & Falkland Islands

Dreaming of going to Antarctica? Don’t forget to include South Georgia and the Falklands!

When you hear the word “penguins”, your mind might jump straight to Antarctica and its snow-covered mountains and valleys. However, several penguin species disagree with that assumption! They prefer a milder climate and believe there is nothing wrong with laying eggs in tussac grass or muddy ground rather than rocks and snow. Who could these unconventional rebels be? Of course, we mean the king penguins, and given the name, they are rightfully entitled to their opinion. Indeed, these species inhabit the subantarctic islands – the Falklands and South Georgia – rather than the continent of Antarctica.

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Poseidon Expeditions Polar Book Club - The Terrors of Ice and Darkness

The dramatic events surrounding the Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition

There is probably no other novel that is as suitable for getting in the mood for an expedition to the remote Russian archipelago of Franz Josef Land than The Terrors of Ice and Darkness, the debut work of the Austrian author Christoph Ransmayr, first published in 1984. Thirty-six years later, Ransmayr, who was recently awarded the Ludwig Börne Prize, one of the most important literary awards in German-speaking countries, is now one of the major contemporary German-language authors.

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Poseidon Expeditions Polar Book Club - The Greatest Show in the Arctic

Walter Wellman (center), in Tromsø on board the Frithjof during his 1898-1899 expedition to Franz Josef Land.

Try, Try and Try Again: American Expeditions to the North Pole, 1898 to 1905

By Steve Wellmeier, Sales Director of Poseidon’s US office

For me, as an American who’s been involved in polar travel for more than 20 years, some of the most fascinating episodes about Franz Josef Land are the multiple times American adventurers in the late 19th- and early 20th-centuries selected it as a base station to reach the North Pole.

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Who Owns Antarctica?

Everyone and no one. Those four words describe perhaps the simplest way of answering questions about the sovereignty of the Seventh Continent. And, the description has been relatively accurate since 1961 when the Antarctic Treaty, signed two years earlier, came into force.

Claims of ownership by Spain of Terra Australis Incognita – lands south of South American and Africa – go back to the 15th and 16th centuries. But it wasn’t until the 18th and 19th centuries, when hardy navigators first set eyes on the continent and ice sheet surrounding it, that more serious stakes were put forth. Spain’s original claims became those of Argentina and Chile, and five other nations jumped into the picture: Norway, France, Britain and the latter’s major colonies of the time, Australia and New Zealand. Because any type of border was practically impossible to enforce, many of the territorial claims overlapped.

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Umberto Nobile - Life and Expeditions

Englishmen, Russians and Norwegians stand at the forefront of polar exploration during the “Heroic Era” of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We think of Earnest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott; Stepan Makarov and Georgy Sedov; and Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen. But an Italian aeronautical engineer, pilot and explorer stands on equal footing – Umberto Nobile.

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On Intimate Terms with My Very First Svalbard Glacier

I’ll let some science nerd give you all the geological facts and figures about Svalbard’s glaciers in another blog post. But, since I’m writing this one, and because I come from an entirely different side of Poseidon’s polar expedition cruise business – marketing and sales – I’d like to write about this subject from a different perspective…

… the perspective of being on the water in St. Jonsfjord in a sea kayak with my older and wiser brother Tom, surrounded by brash ice, with a massive glacier face looming in front of me.

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