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Three great reasons to visit Antarctica on Bark Europa

We have a wonderful group of people on board Bark Europa on our current voyage, in fact on all of our voyages. Our guests come on board with such a variety of expectations, interests and competencies. Some have been dreaming of visiting the continent for years or decades, the others have seen a picture of our good ship and were inspired by the beauty of the landscape and the sails. There seems to be three main reasons for guests to come sailing with us. Often it is a combination of the three, but perhaps one is more important than the others. So, what are these three reasons to visit Antarctica on Bark Europa?

The History

Very commonly our guests say they wanted to experience Antarctica in a different way – on a ship that is a not necessarily a modern cruise ship or a polar yacht, but closer to the type of ships the polar explorers used more than a hundred years ago. Bark Europa’s hull was originally built in the age of the heroic expeditions, in 1911, when Deception island was populated by whaling ships, German explorer Filchner was hopelessly drifting in the Weddell sea pack ice and Scott and Amundsen were racing towards the South Pole. In this way, our ship ties us to the history of the sites we visit today. Many of our guides and guests alike have a passion for the history of the polar expeditions, and many a night has been spent in the deckhouse swapping interesting facts, fascinating stories of events that happened on the islands, the harbors and channels we see on our voyages. It is a truly fantastic experience to visit an overwintering site or a cairn built by your favorite expeditioner and relive the stories in this way.

The Landscape

Glaciers, sharp mountain peaks like the teeth of an ancient monster, visions of black and white with occasional stripes or shapes of the brightest blue ice you can imagine. The landscape of Antarctica is very harsh with few colors, and yet an endlessly fascinating celebration of shapes and shades of black, gray, white and blue. After a while one
almost forgets the other colors exist and the eyes get used to recognizing the slightest variations in the shade of the colors we see.
The landscape also changes drastically from South Shetland Islands volcanic basalt rocks to the older, harder, glacier-covered rock of the peninsula. Geologists, glaciologists and lovers of rugged landscape could spend hours watching the shapes on the horizon. Not to mention the photographers who fill a memory card after another with pictures of ice
bergs – and the picturesque tall ship in the back.


 The third common reason for people to visit Antarctica with us is the wildlife. What we observe on our voyages is a phenomenally flourishing ecosystem based on one key species – the krill. The krill swarms feed the penguin colonies and the rorqual whales that migrate down to these high latitudes to feed. The populations of seals and whales have been
recovering since the historical sealing and whaling days. Today, such abundance of wildlife that we see here, is hard to come across in other parts of the world – largely thanks to the efforts to protect allspecies around Antarctica. Bark Europa is proud to be part of IAATO, and to follow the strict environmental regulations and guidelines set by
this organization. We do our very best to provide our guests with knowledge and experiences in a way that poses least possible disturbance to the wildlife and ecosystems here. As guides on board, we are happy to see how our guests develop their own sense of responsibility to preserve the wildlife we see – that the rules and regulations we follow do not
feel restricting, but it is our pleasure and honor to visit the continent knowing that we are not harming it with our presence.

What is your main reason wanting to see Antarctica on Bark Europa?

-Annukka Pekkarinen

Geschreven door:
Annukka Pekkarinen | Guide

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