In case you didn't have enough
We would like to thank the Peregrine staff and the Akademik Ioffe crew for their superb planning and execution of this trip. While Antarctica speaks for itself, it also made it very clear to us that it is very inhospitable for those not well prepared. We enjoyed the best possible comfort on board, excellent guides with great expertise, and excellent safety on all trips.
What unexpected to expect
It's not as sunny as you think. Or at least don't count on it. We had 8 sunny hours on the whole trip, according to the EXIF data from my pictures.
It's not as cold as you think. The coldest daytime temperature we encountered was -5C, in the 20F range. But it is windy and so it feels cold.
You won't have as much spare time at your hands as you think. The Peregrine guys will keep you very, very busy, and you will be tired. During the off-days in the Drake Passage you will be either sick or tired as a result of the side-effects of the anti-sick drugs. If you were planning on getting some work done, think again.
The nearest store is a thousand miles away. Don't expect you can buy anything on board. Anything. There will be plenty of water and food, and that's it. If you need something else, bring it. If you need it bad, bring multiples.
Use sunscreen. Even though it's overcast, the sun is strong and will burn you. The good thing is that only your face is exposed, so your sunburn will be limited.
Leave tripod and monopod at home. You can't use it on the boat because it's moving. Chances are you won't be using it on land because it's bright all the time.
Leave super telephoto lens at home. Critters will let you come close.
Film camera? Bring film. Lots of it. They say bring double of what you would expect. Bring double that. They have no film on board - and at worst you can sell it to desperate fellow passengers for great profit.
Digital camera? Bring memory. Lots of it. Have a large card in your P&S that can last you the whole trip? Ask your fellow passengers to download periodically. You can drop the camera into the ocean on the last day of the trip - with all pictures in it. People have. Plan to download images daily to your laptop? Bring a backup hard drive. They tend to die when you need it the least. Make sure you can boot of the external drive. What use is your laptop when it can't start up? Again, the next repair shop is a thousand miles away.
Bring tons of batteries. The cold eats them. Digital cameras with rechargeable batteries - bring at least one spare, and recharge whenever you get a chance.
Image stabilized lenses are your friend. Basically, for the duration of the trip the ground under your feet will be shaking since you will be spending the majority of your time on a ship or small Zodiac boats.
Still here? I have some panorama pictures for you.
Ok, I have some panoramas for you. Click on the image below and you will be taken to a small web section with a few panoramas from the trip. Unfortunately, pretty much all panos were shot from a moving boat, handheld; so you can imagine what that does to horizon straightness and to the parallax...
All panos are 1200 pixels wide. Make sure your browser doesn't scale them down. If you want to see some pure images from this trip, in an easy click-by-click fashion, visit my portfolio gallery.
Reference: The Antarctic Treaty