In summer of 2020 adventurer Peter Hillary joins us aboard as a Global Perspectives Guest Speaker on two compelling Arctic voyages. The son of Sir Edmund Hillary, Peter is the first second-generation to climb Mt. Everest. He has climbed the Seven Summits, been on over 40 mountaineering expeditions around the world, and in 1999, he established one of the five Ross Sea routes to the South Pole via the Shackleton Glacier. Peter shared some thoughts with us on his upcoming travels into the ice.
How many times have you traveled to the Arctic?
I have been to the Arctic regions eight times which include climbing expeditions, flying to the North Pole with Neil Armstrong and voyages on ships in Canada, Greenland and Norway.
What is it about this region that keeps you coming back?
The incredible beauty of the Arctic, its wildlife and its human history. For me sharing these experiences with other people makes all of this even better!
You are on two back-to-back trips aboard our newest ship the National Geographic Endurance. What are you most looking forward to about the destinations as well as the ship?
Of course I am excited about travelling on board Lindblad’s newest ship while visiting these beautiful Arctic islands. And there is the excitement and anticipation of the wildlife we will get to see.
The first trip takes you to the Faroes archipelago in the wake of Viking explorers. What do you hope to take away from that journey?
The stories of early human explorers are fascinating and they underscore the sheer tenacity of all our forebears—such a contrast to our circumstances today.
The second trip has you exploring deep into the ice of East Greenland and to remote Jan Mayen. What are you hoping to see?
On this particular voyage I hope we will see some of the mega fauna of the Arctic which really defines what we all think of the remote Arctic itself—polar bears, walrus, seals, reindeer.
How does the Arctic compare to the Antarctic for you?
There is such a contrast between the Arctic and Antarctic—firstly the Arctic is so much easier to access with shorter sea voyages and secondly the imprint and history of humanity is substantial in the Arctic while for Antarctica human beings have only been visiting there for just over a century.
How will you help enhance the trips for our guests?
On these voyages I will be speaking about my expeditions to the polar regions and the adventures we experienced. I look forward to sharing the adventure of our voyage with our guests and wandering along the beachfronts with them during shore excursions. I also look forward to trading stories with our guests over dinner during the trip.
How do you suggest guests prepare for these Arctic trips?
The development of polar travel and the greatest exponents of polar travel were people like Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen from Norway. On these voyages we will visit Norway and Greenland where they did some of their remarkable journeys so reading about the polar explorers will give insights into the men and the development of polar travel techniques.
To travel with Peter, join us aboard our brand-new polar ship, National Geographic Endurance on the following voyages: Coastal Wonders of Norway, the Faroe Islands & Iceland and Arctic Exploration: A Voyage to Iceland, East Greenland, and Norway