Sailing Antarctica, on the advice of Mariano Curiel
The deep blue sky will embrace you as the cruise glides in thick waters. “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Antarctica,” the captain of the ship will say from the bridge of command, when you reach the South Shetland Islands . An imposing iceberg, crowned by a colony of red-beaked penguins, will watch you. The predominant color is that intense blue and deep white that can only be seen contemplating thePerito Moreno glacier in Santa Cruz.
Mariano Curielis a polar guide as defined when he introduced himself. With the humility of those who did great things, he tells me that he was the first Argentine to cross Greenland on crampons and skis. From west to east, pulling 90 kilos in sled, next to Europeans.
Mariano changed his way of life in 2003, the moment he floored Antarctic soil. At that time he realized that in that place “unfit for humans” was his future. In these years he participated in 200 expeditions to Antarctica and, since in our winter he did not have much to forge, he did as many other expeditions to the Arctic. He is also the founder and vice president of the Polar Tourism Guides Association.
“ Antarctic tourism is regulated by the IATTO (Association of Antarctic Tourism Operators) created in 1991,” Muriel tells me. The mission of this organization is “to advocate and promote the practice of safe and environmentally responsible travel to Antarctica”, all within what the Antarctic Treaty stipulates. And another definition that marked me and helped me to make this adventure was when he told me that he would find “pure nature” plus that “every passenger arriving in Antarctica becomes his ambassador”.
Itinerary of an inexplicably wonderful journey
It departed fromUshuaia, on the Isla Grande de Land of Fire. It takes a couple of days to cross the Drake Passage, as Mariano anticipates, “surfing turbulent waters.” But the boat’s innovative, narrow hull relieves dizziness and cuts waves instead of hitting them directly.
All dressed in red parkas, provided by the shipping company, passengers are ready to disembark and get excited. The night before, because IATTO stipulates, the cruise team reports on how to interact with wildlife and what to do to minimize the impact
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