People often ask me what I like more, the Arctic or the Antarctic. The answer is quite complicated as the places are really quite different. Someone explained it once to me (before I had seen Antarctica myself) that it’s a bit like comparing the taiga forests with the tropical rainforests. Both are forests and both have trees, but apart from that, they are completely different. The same is true for both Polar regions. They both have mountains and ice, but even these two things look different.
But of course, I have favourites. I still prefer an Arctic season above an Antarctic season. There is a lot more diversity in the Arctic as there is in Antarctica. More plants and flowers, different bird- and mammal species and a greater variety of landscapes. Especially when you do more trips, you start to notice this. This first Antarctic trip we’ve made 10 landings, 8 of which were at a Gentoo Penguin colony. Really great birds, but not much different in one colony from the other.
My favourite trip, however, is one in the south: any trip that includes South Georgia. This place is so packed with wildlife that sometimes one can’t even land because there is no space for us on the beach. And all this surrounded by very dramatic and spectacular scenery that we hardly have in the Arctic.
My favourite place is also in the south. The first time I came to Paradise Harbour on the Antarctic Peninsula, I fell in love with the place. Big glaciers falling of spectacular mountains and often nice wildlife. Always a super place for a long zodiac cruise or landing. Just sit somewhere and try to soak it all in.