Mounting an expedition to Antarctica

On December 10, 1995, TerraQuest’s maiden voyage commenced as the expedition ship Livonia set out from Ushuaia, Argentina. Over the next two weeks, online adventurers from around the world followed the guests and crew as they sailed across Drake’s Passage to the continent of Antarctica. With twice-daily live chats and digital dispatches linked via Inmarsat satellite systems, TerraQuest made history by becoming the first commercial travel expedition to make live uplinks to the Internet from Antarctica.

The Virtual Antarctica expedition was a success beyond all expectations, with over 800,000 hits to the site during its active period. A tremendous amount of positive press was generated and the e-mail and chat feedback was resonant of a deep sense of community among the trip’s real and virtual participants.

Relive the excitment of Virtual Antarctica through the gallery of images and dispatches, or surf into this award-winning Website to learn more about the vast white continent at the bottom of the world.

Start with The View from the Bridge, our virtual console for the TerraQuest experience. It presents images uploaded by satellite from Antarctica during our Web event, and provides a “navigation bar” for further exploration of our site. Or jump directly to the specific sections described below.

Just as every voyage during the Age of Discovery was carefully charted in the Captain’s Log, so our virtual journey to Antarctica is recorded here, in the Ship’s Log. Along with our two primary Virtual Antarctica correspondents, Jonathan Chester and Richard Bangs, we feature regular reports from others in the Terraquest cast and crew, including Kevin Baumert of WorldTravel Partners, Victor Goodpasture of Creative Communications Services (Kodak’s ad agency in San Diego), and more. Check here for the latest from Virtual Antarctica!

Mounting an expedition to Antarctica is a complex endeavor, necessitating careful planning, safeguards and follow-through. So it is with virtual travel: prepare yourself with maps, itineraries, and equipment lists. Learn about the actual ship that takes our passengers to the Antarctic Peninsula, and the rules that all environmentally-minded travelers should follow in visiting this sensitive area. Remember, virtual travel is one thing, but there’s a real world out there to explore.