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Antarctica turning into a sought after destination for Saudi travel enthusiasts

Published: Updated:

Antarctica is slowly emerging as one of the most sought after destinations for Saudi cruise travellers, who are always on the search for something exotic and different. Antarctica, which is also known as the ‘White Continent’.

As per the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) 38,478 visitors travelled to Antarctica with IAATO members during the 2015-2016 season. That is a 4.6 percent increase over the previous season. Furthermore, 43,885 visitors are expected to visit the continent in the 2016-2017 season.

To address the needs of the Saudi travellers, ‘The Q Experiences’ has announced a trip to Antarctica on a luxury cruise. Starting on 9th of December 2017, this will be an 11-day curated trip to the exotic ice crowned continent- Antarctica also rightly known as The White Continent.

Speaking about this journey, Vasim Shaikh, Founder of the India headquartered, Q Experiences said, “We have received tremendous response for this remarkable trip from GCC countries. At Q, it is our constant endeavor to create memories that last for a lifetime for all our travelers; we are keen on creating a similar experience for our Gulf travelers as well, and we are hopeful to see more travelers from this region to join us in this trip of a lifetime”.

“It is the first time such a curated journey to Antarctica is being promoted in the GCC region. Since the number of travelers from this region has been negligible over the last few years, The Q wanted to bring this journey to the luxury travelers of GCC who are globe trotters and have been waiting to step foot on the seventh continent. We have put together the most refined way to explore the wilderness of Antarctic Peninsula with a superlative culinary experience,” added Shaikh.

Cruise Itinerary

Starting off from Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the luxury cruise trip promises to create an experience of a lifetime and will take travelers across ‘Drake Passage’ into the Land of Ice. The travelers would be on board “The Great Majestic Explorer” – a sleek, gorgeous yacht, which would have 132 elegant staterooms and suites.

To ensure a superior gastronomic experience to the travelers, Mr. Atul Kochhar, renowned Indian Michelin-starred chef will be on board curating the finest of Indian regional cuisine. In addition, the team of a catering centre of excellence run by Alain Ducasse Enterprise will also be on board to enhance the global cuisine.

The travelers will be cruising through some of the most breathtaking glaciers of Neko Bay and Paradise bay, anchoring at Port Lockroy, finally sailing to the largest colony of Chinstrap Penguins at Deception Island and visit the quietest place on earth- the majestic Weddell Sea, and at every step of the way, there would be experts to guide the travelers and show the sights one had only dreamt of.

Travel enthusiasts can also watch the mysterious stories unfold at www.thewhitecontinent.com. “The travellers aboard the Majestic Explorer will be sailing through the confluence of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, known as ‘The Drake Passage’ for two days and nights. On the fourth day travellers will get their first experience of magnificent glaciers, rising slowly from the waters at Neko Bay and Paradise Bay,” added Mr.Shaikh.

Wildlife enthusiasts

Marching towards Port Charcot & Port Lockroy on Day 5 and 6, travellers will explore the stunning ice-covered rocks and home to the kelp gull-a haven for the avid wildlife enthusiast. The port has a museum, little store and post office from where one can send a postcard to their friends and family.

On the seventh day the travellers will be exploring ‘Deception Island’ -a place steeped in history and home to the largest colony of ‘Chinstrap Penguins’ in the Antarctic peninsula. The travellers will witness a breathtaking sight of over 100,000 pairs of penguins and play along with serenity of Elephant seals and Fur seals.

On the very next day they will be sailing through the quietest places on earth- The Weddell Sea. Travellers will get a chance to actually sight- The Lord of The Weddell Sea- The Weddell Seal himself.

“During the last three days of the journey, the travellers will hit the land, crossing the Drake Passage once more, making their way back to Ushuaia and civilization. The ship will dock on the last day and the journey to majestic White Continent will thereby come to an end,” Shaikh noted.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on August 3, 2017.