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Pat Coade

These are the ultimate in adventures you'll never want to forget.

Antarctica was Insane

A CBS Television executive writes about his flight to Antarctica

December 8, 2003

Captain Ben Garrett
Victory Adventure Travel
Box 70  Puerto Williams
Tierra Del Fuego, Chile

Dear Captain Ben:

Thank you for all your help in pulling together the trip of a lifetime!  The attention to detail was certainly noticed.  When one goes on such a trip, the guide can make all the difference and Alejo, our guide, was absolutely the best!  His first concern was our safety, as well as the preservation of the wildlife.  However, his knowledge and desire to satisfy our curiosity about Antarctica was superb.

This is a trip I will definitely recommend to others.

Thank you, again for all your help!

All My Best,

Greg Kostura.


( Of 14 February 2006)

Dear Ben

Our trip to Antarctica was incredible. We all loved it and it whetted our appetites for more adventures to that end of the world. Our kids were the only young travelers and they were thrilled by the whole experience.  

Inclement weather had postponed 5 days of flights to King George Island, but luck was with us and we were able to fly out on our planned departure date. Upon arrival we were struck by the stark and inhospitable landscape, but how perfect it was for Antarctica. Throughout our visit it was raining, sleeting or snowing and the wind was blowing – and again it just added to the ambience of being in such a remote place. 

The absolute highlight of the trip was Ardley Island. We clambered into zodiacs for a short but wonderful ride to this nearby island that was teeming with penguins. En route we saw an iceberg which was a first for us -- it wasn’t big but we were happy!   Gentoo penguins were everywhere and they were as delightful as they appear to be in the movies or photos. Having no fear of humans, they came as close as a foot away from us. Our children were captivated as were we! It all ended too soon, alas. However, on our return flight, much of the cloud cover had lifted so we had spectacular views of glaciers, mountains and Cape Horn. 

Thank you many times for answering my multiple questions about the trip to Antarctica. We felt very lucky, in every sense of the word, to be able to make the trip.

And the rest of our vacation in Chile was fabulous too. The penguin place at Seno Otway was gorgeous and wonderful – we were all of 10 people at the place; Torres del Paine was indescribable; Puerto Varas, Osorno, Chiloe, Valparaiso, our visit with our friends in Renaca, etc. It was a 5-star vacation for our family. 

So, of course, you must see some of the photos!!

Sara Jenez

A travel agent from Africa

HI Captain Ben

My experience on the Professor Multanovskiy was amazing. The attention to detail, the professionalism, the food everything was wonderful. In addition the weather was very kind to us and we were able to make all of our scheduled landings plus 3 extra ones. Shane Envoy, our expedition leader and his team reflect their love of the area in their every gesture.

I felt as though I was the first person to step onto the peninsula so fantastic was the environment and respect for the animal and bird life.

The cherry on the top was to receive just the other day, a personalised log bringing back all my wonderful memories. It was an experience of a lifetime and one that should not be missed, thank you all, the crew, the Captain and his staff, the doctor, and of course Shane and his support team, who made my experience so incredible

Yours sincerely
Jane Glasser

PS; As you know I am a travel agent and we tend to be more critical than most guests.......I could find no fault any where......congratulations

Here is what a Dentist from the U.S. said about his Expedition to Antarctica by air with 3 fellow dentists on February 17, 2001 :

Hey Capt Ben:

It was the greatest!
The folks at the air line could not have been
nicer (especially Catalina) and the trip was terrific.

Our guide was Alejo Staeding and everything was perfect.
Great accommodations, good weather and food.
I can't say enough about this trip of a lifetime!

Also, we rented a truck and had thought about driving down to the Puerto Williams area to visit you but, we had to stop in Rio Grande because of time.

The Chilean people and the area around Punta Arenas were the best.

Many thanks!!

Rocklin Alling
and the Trashmen
(name of our travel club!)


Captain Ben--

Antarctica was insane!!! My knees were shaking as I stepped off the plane because I was so excited!!! Alejo Contreras was an amazing guide and I can't stop speaking of my experiences there and in Chile. Although I traveled alone, I lucked out and got to go with the best group of people possible!!! It was great. Everyone was normal and nice and not competitive or annoying. We thoroughly enjoyed our experiences together and even dined as a group upon our return to Punta Arenas. Since we got to take our flight as scheduled on Thursday, 2/22/07, we all had extra days to play around with. Would you believe that I saw everyone from my flight in different parts of Chile?

I bumped into one couple (from Michigan) in a hotel for breakfast in Punta Arenas. The driver of a bus I was on in Punta Arenas decided to take a break and disappeared for 10 minutes. While looking out the window, I saw Paul (the guy from New York) walking up the street. He hopped on and we chatted until the driver returned and the bus departed. I saw the O'Dwyers (the couple from Ireland) and had lunch with them in Puerto Natales on my way to Torres del Paine (BREATHTAKING!!!) And, who did I see when I walked into the lobby of Hotel Rio Serrano to see Glacier Grey? Ronnie and Kathy (the other couple from New York)! Can you believe that?

Anyhow, I had a blast! Hotel Nogueira was perfect, by the way.

Captain Ben, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for providing the opportunity for a flawless, once-in-a-lifetime Adventure!!

Thanks again for everything,
Carole McClain

P.S. Two things I thought you might like to know:

1. I've become great friends with Ronnie and Kathy (from NY) since our Antarctic adventure with your company. I've met with them twice while visiting my sister in NY and in November, my mom and I are going to visit them in Tokyo (they're living there temporarily while Ronnie is on a short-term business assignment)! Neat, huh?

2. Kathy wrote a fabulous article for the Four Seasons Hotel Chain's fall magazine on her experience in Antarctica entitled "Ice Capades." Your company's website is referenced so hopefully you'll be getting business as a result of that as well!

A world traveler writes about her flight to Antarctica:

Re: Antarctica Flight

Box 70, Teniente Muñoz 118
Puerto Williams, Tierra Del Fuego, Chile
Phone:56-61-621010, Phone/Fax:5661-621092

JAN 17 , 2005

Got to tell you about my trip to Antarctica! What a trip and a half that was! Definately a highlight of my years travels.

Had a couple of false starts when the trip was posphoned for a couple of days. Obviously the weather is an important fact when flying 3 and a half hours over Cape Horn and to Antarctica in a Beechcraft aeroplane for 10 people plus 2 pilots, but then it was all systems go!

As there are no hotels or anything over there, we stayed on the Chile research base (very basic accommodation) Most people visiting Antarctica do so by cruise, and sleep on the boat, very few people get to spend the night on Antarctica!  Spent 2 days seeing wildlife, (mainly penguins, (see pics) and elephant seals) It doesn`t really get dark over there in summer, virtually 24 hours sunlight! It wasn`t that cold either, between 0 degrees and -5. Would be a completely different experience in winter though! There wasn`t at much snow as I expected either, plenty for snowball fights though!

We got to see the neighbouring research bases, those belonging to China and Russia! It was just like entering those countries! Learnt about all the research that is conducted there. Got an ´Antarctic´ stamp in my passport, (although no countries actually own it) and bought a few sovenirs in the ´shop´ on the Chile base. No internet cafes or anything like that though! Wouldn`t like to live there for more than a week or so!

Anyway, totally amazing place to visit (I`ve now visited every continent!) and I would love to go back someday. I would highly recommend it if you get the chance! Theres more pictures at http://community.webshots.com/user/taliaaroundtheworld if you want to see them.

Back on South American continent, making my way through Chile and Argentina now on route to Brazil in time for the Carnvial.

Antarctica explorer: Talia

An Amazing Antarctic flight

April 22 2004

Hi Ben~

Yes, made it home just a few days ago.....
Antarctica was amazing waters and beautiful landscape, we saw penguins and sea lions.
Alejo was fabulous, full of information and knowledge.
The science stations were interesting and accommodating. The commander of the Russian science station was so surprised to see children.
We all were freezing with the clothes we brought so we were all very thankful when Alejo set us all up with clothing.
The weather was -5, and -20 with wind chill.
We had a wonderful time.
I asked Alejo were you were and he said you were out on a cruise, sorry we missed you and your daughter.
Sonja Gregurek

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