Wednesday, July 22, 2009

One giant leap - on the ice

by John Honeywell, Captain Greybeard


Not many people can claim they flew to the Moon with Neil Armstrong. Just two, in fact - Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. And only one of those got dust on his boots.

But intrepid cruise passengers now have the opportunity to sail to Antarctica with Armstrong on board Lindblad Expeditions' vessel, the National Geographic Explorer

The three-week voyage leaves Santiago, Chile, and after five days on the White Continent, also calls at South Georgia and Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands before returning to Ushuaia in Argentina.

The journey, which was announced as Armstrong celebrated the 40th anniversary of his moon landing, will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Atlantic Treaty. Cruise-only fares are from $18,450 for a porthole cabin to $34,270 for a balcony suite.

Lindblad says passengers who sign up for the trip will have the unusual opportunity of spending time with Armstrong as they are "following in the footsteps of heroic Antarctic explorers and reflecting on the future of exploration."

They will also be on hand to record his first words as he sets foot on the Antarctic ice for the first time - something about "one giant leap for a penguin," perhaps.

The Explorer, an ice-strengthened expedition ship, carries 148 passengers in 81 outside cabins, and is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft and a flotilla of kayaks.

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