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  • Writer's pictureRobin Gilmore

The Auburn's Expedition

The Auburn family has known the Chima family since 1951, and these long-time family friends just returned from an amazing two-part adventure.

Mark & Sandy Aboard the Azamara Pursuit - Captain's Club Cocktail Party

The first part of Mark and Sandy's trip included a 17-night cruise to Antarctica. The inaugural year for this ship, they sailed to Antarctica on the 777 passenger Azamara Pursuit. Leaving from Buenos Aires, Argentina, the cruise sailed around various islands and touched beautiful locations like Montevideo, Uruguay, the Antarctic Sound (the northernmost part of the mainland of Antarctica), and Ushuaia, Argentina (the southernmost city in the world).

Part two of the trip was a 7-night Galápagos Islands adventure. The Auburn's love Royal Caribbean's small ships, so the 100 passenger Celebrity Xpedition made for a wonderful experience. One of the unique parts of this trip was that the ship can't dock in the Galápagos, so Zodiac boats are used to get people to shore.

Here are some of the wonderful travel nuggets the Auburn's shared with me...

Q: Did you have a favorite part of the trip?

A: We were able to see a total eclipse of the moon on January 22. The boat was darkened and we were somewhere outside of the Falkland Islands around 1:50am.

Sandy, (Sister) Mary Elizabeth, and Penguins - The Falkland Islands

Q: What was a typical day like on your cruise to Antarctica?

A: We maintained our typical exercise routine while cruising, so we would wake up between 6:00am - 7:00am. After we exercised, we would have breakfast. There were no ports in the Antarctica portion of the cruise, but navigation was planned so we could go on the deck and see icebergs, penguins, etc. There were also lectures on the boat about the countries we were visiting as well as activities like painting classes, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and trivia. After dinner there was cabaret entertainment with different performers like magicians, singers, and dancers. We also had the opportunity to meet various cruise leaders like the captain and cruise director. There were even late-night activities like karaoke. This was a cruise where everyone could plan their days to make the trip special for them.

Q: What was a typical day like on your Galápagos Islands cruise?

A: Between breakfast and lunch we'd put on our life jackets, hop in a Zodiac boat, and go out for some type of animal or geological viewing. Maybe we'd walk on lava or sand, or maybe we'd see some blue-footed boobies or seals. After lunch, there was a lecture. Following that we'd get back on another Zodiac boat to do something like swim or snorkel. We returned to the ship around 6:00pm. At 7:00pm all of the passengers gathered in the living room area to learn about the plan for the next day. Dinner was at 7:30pm. Following dinner there would be brief entertainment or a film.

Disembarking a Zodiac for a Galápagos Lava Field Walk

Q: Is there anything you would've done differently?

A: We wouldn't have done anything differently. Some of our transfers were a bit rocky, but other than that the trip was fantastic.

Q: Do you have any tips for anyone wanting to travel to Antarctica or to the Galápagos Islands?

A: Don't wait too long to go to the Galápagos Islands as it can be very challenging if you're an older adult. It was a very physical journey with lots of walking and getting on and off the islands.

Q: How was your experience booking with Chima Travel?

A: It was wonderful. Jen Morgan booked our trip and she's a fine professional. Mark is 6'4" and needs extra legroom, and Jen is always great about making sure our needs are met.

One of Antarctica's Larger Icebergs - 450 Meters Above the Water

It was such a pleasure speaking with Mark and Sandy about their trip. It's so rare for people to experience both the "frozen continent" and the famed Galápagos Islands, and I absolutely loved hearing about their trip. If reading about their trip has made you as excited as it's made me to plan your next adventure, please call, email, or stop by. We're excited to see you and plan your next unforgettable journey.

If you've booked with Chima Travel and want to let the world know about your adventure, please reach out to us so we can feature you on our blog!

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