When Inspirato member Andrew Zanevsky and his wife, Katrin, set off on the 2022 Inspirato Only Antarctica Expedition at the beginning of this year, they were seeking “an unusual adventure,” according to Andrew.

Before joining Inspirato in 2019, they’d gone on a Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands and loved it. And with the past few years of COVID-19, they realized they wanted to travel and experience the world much as they possibly could.

(All photos courtesy of Andrew Zanevsky)

“We originally went for the penguins,” he said with a laugh. “But turns out there’s so much more in Antarctica to love.”

An Antarctica Exploration of a Lifetime

With a home base of the National Geographic Resolution—a brand-new ship at the time of its voyage, featuring a team of on-site Lindblad experts and scientists—the Zanevskys and 76 others set sail for the seventh continent in January. That’s a feat only few can say they’ve accomplished; only about 56,000 people visited Antarctica in the 2018–19 season, according to the New York Times.

“One of the hugest draws of the trip was the wildlife,” Andrew said. Among the animals they saw were whales, four different types of seals, and of course, penguins.

“They’re adorable,” he said. “And they make penguin highways in the snow. There’s a network of highways in the snow. Then suddenly, when one of them decides to jump in the water, 100 of them go at the same time. It’s very funny.”

The animals, though, were just “the tip of the iceberg,” Andrew said. “And speaking of icebergs, that was another huge highlight of the trip. And that was so unexpected. The colors are unbelievable. Deeper blue. We kayaked around beautiful icebergs, the depth of color is unreal… they were as tall as skyscrapers.”

And having the on-site team of experts was so helpful for understanding the otherworldly landscape.

We loved the onboard biologists and specialists. They explain everything that’s going on, with geology or weather events. We saw avalanches of ice sliding into water—it’s like going to another planet. You see things that you don’t normally see anywhere else. The whole environment makes for the trip of a lifetime.

Andrew Zanevsky

“The nature, for us, was extremely important,” Andrew continued. “These people really know the environment. The team does amazing things. They film underwater, and the marine life is very rich and colorful, which is unexpected in a place so cold.”

Among the quintessential Antarctica activities like kayaking, hiking, and Zodiac excursions were special offerings like an official polar plunge, leaping into the icy, Antarctic waters, which Andrew and his wife participated in.

“It is cold, but it’s short. You feel proud of yourself that you’ve accomplished something—a bucket list thing,” he said. “And, of course, they give you a drink after that!”

Getting to Antarctica

Though the actual Antarctica expedition was close to two weeks, a lot of it was travel, Andrew explained—getting to Antarctica is no easy feat: The members were flown into Miami, then to the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia, Argentina, and from there, spent six nights aboard the ship.

But the Inspirato team coordinated everything smoothly, even when travel got tough, especially when traversing the infamous Drake Passage—the deep waterway that runs between the southern tip of South America and Antarctica’s South Shetland Islands.

“The ship provides anything you need to be more comfortable. The doctor is always available—you just call, and he runs to your cabin,” Andrew said.

“I really recommend anyone to go to Antarctica if they have the means and the opportunity. It’s something completely unique. You come home and share it with your friends…we’ve never received such a response before,” he said. “People were thanking us for sharing our experience with them, just from looking at the photos and videos.”

Plan Your Next Luxury Adventure

If you’d like to experience and cruise Antarctica for yourself, reserve your spot on the 2024 Antarctica Expedition now. And if you can’t wait that long for an Inspirato Only adventure, there are still a few spots left on the Rome to Venice cruise this summer— a little Mediterranean sun never hurt anyone.

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