A Journey to Reach the 7th Continent
One of our past guests, Claude H. Ostfeld, tells us about his travel experience with us and his journey to get there.
For many avid travelers, visiting Antarctica is on the list of unique destinations; for many, it is the last continent to tick off their list. It’s a real journey for world explorers that attracts people from all around the globe for different reasons. One of our past guests, Claude H. Ostfeld, recently told us about his travel experience with us and his journey to get there. He also made a video in several languages to recount the story.
As photography enthusiasts, Claude and his wife Fabrizia have traveled the world together since the 70s, from Europe to far-off countries in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, reaching over 70 countries in 6 continents and documenting each one of them through photography and video. “When we return from a journey, we are always asked many questions about the places we visit. There was a time when we organized slide show presentations,” says Claude.
Of all their travels, though, only one place and continent were missing – Antarctica. There was no special occasion per se to visit. The trip to Antarctica was their special occasion. “I used to devour books about explorers and adventurers – Jack London, Shackleton, R.F. Scott, Henry Morton Stanley, Burton, and Speke were some of my favorites,” Claude explains, “We decided two and a half years ago (during the COVID‐19 pandemic) that the time for Antarctica had come. We both dedicated about eight months of constant tweaking and planning to organize the trip, looking for an expedition with a small group of people with efficiency and flexibility to take the best photos.” They would also celebrate Claude’s birthday by reaching the Polar Circle and setting foot on the mainland that same day! This was a genuine “expedition” in the making for them.
Once Claude and Fabrizia arrived at Punta Arenas, they knew the trip was going to happen and double-checked their cameras and multiple layers of clothing to combat the cold winds, snow, and ice. Once they arrived in Antarctica after a 2-hour flight, skipping the 2+ day sail across the often turbulent Drake Passage, the silence, pure air, and sheer size of everything were the first things that made a lasting and moving impression.
One of the things that caught Claude’s attention was that “the wildlife generally will not pay any attention to humans. We visit and leave no trace. They noticed us but kept doing whatever they did, oblivious to our presence. We had a Leopard Seal sighting on Deception Island and saw Minke Whales playing around in eyesight of our zodiacs in front of Neko Harbor.”
“The trip was excellent, inspiring, to be repeated,” says Claude, “I also found the meals we had onboard with different guides precious, interesting, and informative. In addition to the conferences and presentations, those lunches and dinners were one-on-one meetings. I don’t know many travel organizations that take that additional ‘extra step’ for their guests.”
Learn more about Claude’s Antarctic adventure in the video he created, translated into ten languages.