As one of the greatest living explorers, Sir Ranulph Fiennes is more qualified than most to share experiences about the unique landscapes of the Arctic and Antarctic. As the first man to circumnavigate the world along its polar axis, Fiennes has spent numerous months in these inhospitable environments, mainly as part of the Transglobe Expedition.
Fiennes' Transglobe Expedition set out from Greenwich in September 1979 travelling through France, Spain and Western Africa before setting sail for Antarctica in December. Sir Ranulph Fiennes shared stories of how his team lived in cramped conditions in Antarctica, in the Triwall huts which his late wife, Ginny, designed. Made out of prefabricated cardboard, the four huts served as living quarters, a generator hut, a radio hut, and a VLF hut.
This is in stark contrast to Scenic Eclipse, with suites ranging from 32m2 to 247m2, 10 dining experiences and a 550m2 Spa Sanctuary on board, guests will have all the amenities that they need and will experience Antarctica in complete 6-star luxury.
Sir Ranulph also spoke about the Antarctic landscape that Scenic Eclipse guests will witness. From the glaciers and ice-shelves, to the mountains which were used to help the team navigate and crevasse that they tried to avoid, Sir Ranulph spoke about a landscape like no other on earth.
Once they crossed Antarctica, Sir Ranulph and his team headed north towards Alaska where they set off to the east, along the Northwest Passage with the aim of crossing the Arctic Ocean. Sir Ranulph spoke of the unique challenges that the Arctic Circle presents, with no land underneath, the ice is constantly moving and makes navigation difficult and treacherous at the same time.
Another challenge that the team encountered were the locals, native to the Arctic region polar bears usually hunt seals, but on a couple of occasions Sir Ranulph was awoken by a polar bear trying to get into the tent.
Scenic Eclipse will have a dedicated Discovery Team on board who will use their expertise to bring guests closer to the action, so you may be lucky enough to spot a polar bear from the safety of a Zodiac or kayaks.
As well as talking about his experiences, Sir Ranulph Fiennes shared some advice with guests. Top of his list for anyone venturing to the Polar Regions was good camera equipment to capture the unique scenery and wildlife. Another tip was the clothing that guests should wear, Sir Ranulph suggested layers were key to surviving the polar conditions and a good pair of sunglasses. Scenic Eclipse guests who sail on a polar cruise don’t need to worry about packing a big coat though, as all guests will be given a complimentary jacket and hat that will keep them warm and dry whilst venturing to and from expeditions on the Zodiacs.