Off to the Antarctic

Sydney's Liz Pope will spend the summer months at sea in Antarctica and South Georgia aboard the comfortable, ice-strengthened Polar Pioneer.

Flying LAN and Qantas codeshare to South America, Liz says her luggage includes a waterproofed backpack, jacket, pants, gumboots and gloves as well as stacks of moisturiser and packs of peanut M&Ms. An assistant expedition leader in Antarctica and the Arctic with Aurora Expeditions, Liz guides passengers when her ship anchors near islands and harbours known to be among the world's greatest wildlife sanctuaries, and carries safety gear and a radio to keep in contact with other expedition team members and the ship.

"In the Arctic, we also carry flares and a rifle, just in case of polar bears," she says.

Aurora has a new 10-day Antarctic Fly/Sail Experience cruising from Ushuaia, Argentina, which involves just one crossing of the Drake Passage, with a charter flight back to the South American mainland. The company also combines river and ocean cruising on a new 23-day journey to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands that journeys among Amazon Basin rainforest communities and includes the chance to snorkel with sea lions and spot giant tortoises. (

Combining ocean, river, land and air travel makes sense for adventure companies, given their expertise in remote places. One Ocean Expeditions combines polar cruising and trekking in the Canadian and European Arctic; World Expeditions likewise can combine cruising and land journeys (