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Inexpressible Island

" I am so sorry it has taken me this long to write to you all and thank you for the most extraordinary experience of my life. I traveled with Samuel, Agnes, Helen, David, Andrew, Connor, Matt and Dr Pat and Leanne of course, to the Ross Sea back in February this year. My husband James and our friends (it was their honeymoon) have not stopped talking about our time on board the Akademik Shokalsky - the pancake ice, sun dog, seals, whales, penguins (Royal, King, Adelie, Yellow-Eye and even Emperor), pack ice, southern lights, katabatic winds, albatross....
Though for me the historic huts were the absolute highlight. (I made Helen and Samuel promise to drag me up the beach to see them even if I was half dead). I can't tell you how I felt standing at Cape Adare, Cape Evans and Cape Royds. It was the fulfillment of a lifetime's ambition. I only wish my father were alive today so I could have the pleasure of telling him about it. He took me to Annascaul far to the west of Ireland when I was a small girl to show me Tom Crean's pub 'The South Pole'. He was fascinated by the Scott and Shackleton stories having grown up in the 1930s when both men were the epitome of heroism. I wish I had paid more attention then, but you never do when you are young. He died many years ago and would have been completely astonished if he had had even a glimmer of a notion back in 1970-something that his little girl would one day stand where those great men once stood.
Probably the most mind blowing thing for me though was being able to get to 'Inexpressible Island' - thank you thank you Samuel and Capt Igor - in a tiny break in the weather. I have a dear friend who went to a very good school during the 1940s. The school principal was none other than Raymond Priestly. She met him many times and describes him as a courteous, kind and very intelligent man. You should have seen her face when I told her that I had actually stood by the slope where his ice-cave had been dug 100 years ago. I can't tell you how thrilled she was to see my photographs.
So the upshot is that I have caught the Antarctic bug good and proper. Do you remember our fellow passenger J.J. , Leanne? She told me that some people catch it and if they do it's incurable. I have it. "

- Kathleen, UK

Siberia's Forgotten Coast

" From the moment we left Avacha Bay and a Tufted Puffin appeared out of the fog, we knew it was going to be a special trip.In those 2 weeks were spectacular views of Steller's Sea Eagle, multiple sightings of Brown Bears (safely from our zodiac!), and amazingly curious walruses. Not forgetting the thousands of seabirds, and seeing Orcas and other whales from the deck.
Rodney runs a tight ship but we all appreciated it out in this remote part of the Pacific.The accommodation was comfortable and the food was excellent. The expedition staff made sure we all had great experiences.
The birdwatchers' icing on the cake was seeing the Spoon-billed Sandpiper at its nesting ground in glorious summer plumage.
The trip far exceeded expectations and we felt very privileged to be able to be part of it. "

- Barbara and David, Perth Aus.

" ...Your combined knowledge and skills was outstanding and inspiring. Don, treading the fine line between people's expectations and providing safe, rewarding experiences must at times be difficult but you did it with ease and we both had so many breathtaking, awe-inspiring experiences in expedition mode.
I had done a bit of reading to prepare for this trip, but your words, from each of you a different angle, brought the knowledge to life and made me love Antarctica more than I thought I would - although Antarctica and the penguins had a hand in that as well. I will certainly honour the pledge I amde at the Mark of the Penguin ceremony - until my last expedition is taken.
This note wouldn't be complete without special mention of the chefs - Robin and Ben. You did an amazing job and the food was exceptional and that is without factoring in the many challenges you would face cooking on the ship - thank you... "

- Kelsey (Australia, travelled 2016)

" ...Your combined knowledge and skills was outstanding and inspiring. Don, treading the fine line between people's expectations and providing safe, rewarding experiences must at times be difficult but you did it with ease and we both had so many breathtaking, awe-inspiring experiences in expedition mode.
I had done a bit of reading to prepare for this trip, but your words, from each of you a different angle, brought the knowledge to life and made me love Antarctica more than I thought I would - although Antarctica and the penguins had a hand in that as well. I will certainly honour the pledge I amde at the Mark of the Penguin ceremony - until my last expedition is taken.
This note wouldn't be complete without special mention of the chefs - Robin and Ben. You did an amazing job and the food was exceptional and that is without factoring in the many challenges you would face cooking on the ship - thank you... "

- Kelsey (Australia, travelled 2016)

Chukotka

" I recently returned from my second fantastic trip with Heritage Expeditions. From July 10 to 24, 2017 on "Chukotka, Where Russia's Day Begins." We cruised on the Spirit of Enderby along the Russian Arctic coastline making frequent Zodiac landings including the ship breaking through the ice to Wrangel Island. The staff and guides work hard to make the trip enjoyable for all passengers including us seniors. In addition to seeing so much marine wildlife, visiting many historical and cultural sites in this magical, part of the world, I loved life aboard the ship with its small cruise ship atmosphere, delicious food and comfortable accommodations. I give the trip the highest ratings possible and recommend it to anyone who has an interest in this kind of adventure! Marshall Malden, Ashland, Oregon. "

- Marshall Malden

1722

" Thanks to the great staff, Russian crew and NZ staff for making this trip so fantastic. Now that i'm home it seems like a dream. I loved seeing this part of Russia and learned so much. I enjoyed my fellow participants and camaraderie. I'll always remember this trip and look forward to another Heritage adventure! "

- Amy Ballard (travelled 2017)

Voyage #1778 In the Wake of Scott & Shackleton

" I enjoyed the Akademik Shokalskiy very much because of the placement of my cabin. I saw everyone who passed onto the 4th deck and went up & down the stairs. The guides were excellent, giving us well researched lectures and from the documen-taries I learned a lot. I saw my 17th penguin species - the Emperor - so my bucket list is complete. Connor and Mat's cooking was superb! For my age of 74 it was a long trip, but I would do it again. "

- Dottie Maynard

" We had such a wondrous time on the ship...still reeling from it all, it was just fabulous and the thousands of penguins we saw were just amazing and exceeded all our expectations!!! Four new species for us seen was just amazing...Snares, Royals, SIX EMPERORS and an erect crested!!! We were in penguin heaven!!! We've now seen 15 of the 18 penguins in the wild!!!! So thanks to wonderful Heritage you have all have made dreams come true for us...So amazing and we loved the islands, the ice, all the birds we saw, whales, seals, ice, crazy sea, calm sea, bergs, sky, peace, beauty and wonder of soo far south, we loved the walks on land, all the landings, zodiac cruises, food, crew, staff, passengers...it was all just fantastic.... "

- Julie and Tim (travelled 2017)

Awesome Antartica

" I travelled on the “Ross Sea Antarctic Cruising: In the Wake of Scott & Shackleton” expedition in Feb 2017 and can’t speak highly enough of the experience I had. Our Expedition Leader, Samuel, was exceptional. His open, clear communication, vast knowledge of the areas we went to and good humor at all times made for a wonderful trip. The other staff were equally as good. Having staff aboard that have been involved in Antarctic research and preservation meant we were able to share in their vast experiences and have our attention brought to items that one would otherwise simply overlook. The wildlife we experienced on the trip, both animal and plant, was amazing, and experiencing so much of the wildlife at very close proximity is something I’ll cherish. Thanks to the staff and crew for making such an excellent experience. "

- Brent Pizzato, New Zealand

Galapagos of the Southern Ocean #1668

" I spent Christmas and New Year on the Galapagos of the Southern Ocean trip and it is the coolest thing I have ever done. The birding is incredible, the wildlife is stunning. We had pretty calm weather compared to other trips, and the crew on Professor Khromov made the whole trip an absolute dream expedition. I have recommended Heritage Expeditions, and this trip to everybody I know! For more pics see Instagram Tamzin.nz "

- Tamzin Goldsworthy

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