1. Bird watching. Our on-board Naturalist shared her infectious passion for birds. I recommend you get out on the decks, head to the bridge and anytime you’re on land, look out for those fascinating creatures from tiny terns to elegant albatross and even mean Skuas trying to snatch an egg or chick. Grab some binoculars and spend time testing your observation skills. You will feel like royalty as birds guide you to our next destinations dancing gracefully around the ship.
2. Switch off. No WIFI, no worries! Although there is WIFI on board, I would recommend making the most of being at the other end of the world to indulge in the remoteness of it all. Let nature and the wildlife be the protagonist of the best series yet. Speak to ‘real’ people and enjoy some ‘me time’, disconnect and appreciate how small we are, as you cruise past a huge glacier or find yourself surrounded by hundreds of penguins.
3. Look with your eyes. So here you are, in a place that is out of this world…Penguins come up so close that you don’t dare move or say a word. This is so exciting, you want to make sure you capture it all. You want to share it with the world. You take a million pictures because you can and you want to make sure you remember all of it as vividly as you are seeing it now. Your battery runs out, you switch to your phone and don’t care if you can’t feel your fingers. Go trigger happy, but then make sure to STOP! Put your lense down and observe with your eyes. Let the penguins look you up in the eye and enjoy the best view.
4. Be curious. Throughout the expedition, you will have multiple opportunities to learn and hear the most amazing facts about the wildlife and plants from our Naturalist. Our Historian will share countless stories about explorers and local communities who we follow or visit. Our Geologist’s talk about rocks and our Glaciologist will introduce us to the ‘fifty shades of blue’. Our Expedition team is like ‘a sailing encyclopedia’ and are always looking to learn more. In true Aurora style, they will join us for meals and at the bar, meaning you have even more chances to ask them any burning questions you may still have.
5. Book an activity. Make the most of our comprehensive program of activities. Whether you book camping, kayaking, skiing or snorkelling in our warmer destinations, this will be ‘up there’ on the bragging rights list and give you an additional and magical perspective on the destination. Also, ‘stalk’ our photographer! Attend their presentations where they uncover valuable secrets to help you take the best pictures and videos whether you have a fancy or point to shoot camera or a mobile phone and follow them to some of the best snapping spots.
6. Get involved. Always wanted to help but not much of a scientist? On most of our expeditions, you will have the opportunity to take part in our ‘Citizen science’ program. For example, you could be taking snaps of whales or look at ice under the microscope. Some of the data we collect will contribute to the research of many organizations including prestigious universities.
7. Zodiac cruise. Our zodiacs are not just a way to get from ship to shore. Make sure you take part in some of our cruises on board these inflatable boats. These will allow you to get to places that you can’t access with our ship or by foot. Whether you’re on a zodiac, cruising past a huge bird cliff in Antarctica or the Arctic, you will hear the deafening cacophony of the locals and no doubt enjoy observing their antics. At times, we will switch of the engines which will give us more opportunities for a close encounter with the wildlife passing by. These are ‘front row seats’ whether you find yourself observing a breaching whale or a polar bear from a safe distance.
8. No regrets. Make the most of it – rain, hail or shine. One day, the prospect of going out in the cold and rainy weather may sound less appealing than drinking a coffee and relaxing in our observation lounge, however, everyone from the Expedition team will tell you, this is the day that something big always happens! You may not be back in those destinations for a while if at all, so do not risk missing out on a potentially life transforming experience. Wrap up, get over it and amongst it!
9. Be flexible. Itineraries you will see on our website are guidelines only. Our voyages are dictated by the weather and ice conditions meaning that on some days we may land somewhere we didn’t expect. However, we know why our expeditioners travel with us and our backup plans will always be built around providing the best experience possible.
10. Packing tips. Leave the tuxedo and ballgown at home. After a day of adventure, we want you to feel relaxed and comfortable in your floating home. Check out our packing list where we recommend what to bring. Bring some layers so you can peel them off while hiking or put them back on, on a windy zodiac cruise.